Back in the 1800’s, members of the International Typographical Union (ITU) were unfortunately, stricken with a form of black lung and tuberculosis. These diseases that inflicted the members were due in large part, to the toxic mix of the equipment and the carbon-based inks used in the printing industry during such time. It was believed that the mountain climate offered in Colorado Springs, Colorado was beneficial for treating such lung diseases and, in 1892, the design and construction of the Union Printers Home (UPH) was initiated and completed. The facility was a place to care for the infirmed ITU members, and over the years, the Home grew to comprise of over 260 acres which included a dairy, farm, several gardens, a power plant and much more.
However, nothing can remain unchanged. Advances in medical treatments and technology began to minimize the need for the Home, and effective treatments became wildly available where members actually lived. The members no longer had to go to Colorado Springs for treatment and could stay closer to their loved ones in their own home town. The Home’s utilization was on a steady decline over the next several decades. The Home was opened and utilized by the public in 1990, but further changes needed to be made.
In 2014, the UPH Board of Directors started looking closely at the feasibility of the Home with only one or two Union members left in residence. The Directors decided it was time to wind up its affairs and sell the Home, and the Union Printers Home Foundation was created in early 2015.
The newly formed Foundation, with its office now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was organized to provide educational and charitable benefits to those in need, and invest in tomorrow’s talent, today! Such charitable benefits include providing academic scholarships, to successful candidates, and lessening the burden of obtaining a higher education by today’s youth.
So, this is where the Foundation stands today, residing in a new city, with a new mission, and adapting to an ever-changing environment. Resonating the fine traditions of the past yet standing ready for the challenges of the future. The Union Printers Home Foundation and you, improving the lives of the future through charitable acts today.