The Story Behind AdAmAn Alley in Colorado Springs
December 2022 marks the 100-year anniversary of Colorado's AdAmAn Club, but many people have no idea what this local non-profit organization does for the community.
Since 1922, members of the AdAmAn Club have braved Colorado's cold, winter elements to climb to the top of Pikes Peak on New Year's Eve. Once atop the peak, the crew ignites a magnificent midnight fireworks display for all to enjoy around the region. On a clear night, the fireworks can be seen for hundreds of miles along the Front Range. What an epic way to ring in the new year!
Year after year, adventurous souls have kept this bright tradition going, sharing light and hope in the dead of winter. The group leaves the trailhead of Barr Trail on December 30, staying overnight at Barr Camp. They finish the ascent to the summit during the afternoon of December 31. While climbing the summit, wind chills can sometimes reach -50 degrees.
In 2020, members of the club connected with the Downtown Partnership in Colorado Springs to come up with a way to celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary. From this, spawned the AdAmAn Alley project.
An alley in Colorado Springs is currently being transformed into an artistic and inviting space for the public to enjoy. The alley is bounded by Nevada Avenue to the east, Tejon Street to the west, Pikes Peak Avenue to the north, and Colorado Avenue to the south. The project commemorates the AdAmAn Club's important role in the history of the Pikes Peak region. The street features a direct view of America's Mountain to the west.
As visitors walk through the newly-renovated alley they will find bronze trail markers identifying significant locations along the Club’s annual hike. Historical information will also be available at each marker.
A placename arch with four hikers on it was built to stretch between the historic Carlton and Hibbard buildings on Tejon Street. Additionally, a representation of Barr Trail is marked on the alley pavement below. An LED fireworks display is featured on a large screen on the side of one of the alley buildings and another artistic projection created by George Berlin will light up the wall of another structure. Several vibrant, hand-painted murals and expanded photographs also make the alley come alive and honor the group's efforts. One of the paintings was inspired by photos from the first decade of the club’s history. Another image includes a rope connecting the climbers, which is meant to be a nod to the value of community, togetherness, and lineage which binds us all to people and place. A series of sculptures of native plants were installed in the new parklet adjacent to the City Administration building.
Prior to this project, the alley was lined with more than two dozen dumpsters and had significantly crumbling asphalt with extreme drainage problems.
Now, the entire alley has been repaved with new textured and colored concrete. To ensure pedestrian safety, the east-to-west legs of the alley are protected from vehicular traffic by bollards during certain hours of the day. Portions of utility infrastructure, such as electric circuits and service lines, were also replaced within the alley.
The official opening ceremony for AdAmAn Alley is scheduled for December 28, 2022, with the annual NYE celebration to take place at midnight on December 31. The alley's official address is 15-17 S. Tejon Street in Colorado Springs.
There are currently 104 members in the AdAmAn Club.