Citing the curative clean, dry air of the Rocky Mountains, the Jewish Consumptives Relief Society founded this non-sectarian sanitarium in 1904 for the treatment of tuberculosis patients. Founded by Dr. Charles Spivak, the 148-acre campus grew to include a working dairy farm and 34 structures, many of which included awnings and porches to provide open air access for the patients. Lawns and gardens provided the setting for more than 10,000 patients who would seek the sanitarium’s treatment. Parallel rows of buildings, many designed by Denver architects Fisher & Fisher, flank a formal central mall. Bordered by the Spivak Administration Building, a post office, a water tower, and the Moorish Isaac Solomon Synagogue, the mall is terminated on the west by the Italianate Texas Pavilion for Women. In 1954 the American Medical Center adapted the buildings and grounds for use as a cancer treatment facility.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design purchased 23 acres of the former sanitarium in 2002. In counterpoint to the thirteen extant structures, naturalistic plantings along the central mall create a broad sweep of color and seasonal variation. An historic irrigation ditch brings water to the site while the gateway marking the tree lined entry drive identifies this traditional institutional landscape and campus. The Jewish Consumptives Relief Society Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.