Main Street, Longmont in the 1960s
Main Street, Longmont in the 1960s


We hope you will enjoy this downtown walking tour, brought to you by the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center.

We’ll start with an introduction to Longmont history.

Longmont was founded in 1871, by a group of people based out of Chicago. They called themselves the Chicago-Colorado Colony, and built Longmont as a planned community, with blocks set aside for churches, parks, and commercial areas.

In 1879, a fire swept through downtown, destroying almost half of the downtown buildings. The oldest surviving buildings in downtown date from just after the fire. 

Longmont experienced a boom time in the early 1900s, when the Great Western Sugar factory was built east of town, bringing new jobs and a cash crop, sugar beets, to this area. 

After World War II, many of the downtown buildings were “modernized” with metal and glass fronts. Renovation and restoration work in the last 20 years has returned most of the downtown buildings to more traditional brick and stone.