THE STORY OF THE MANCOS COMMON PRESS
The Mancos Times was the town’s first newspaper, founded in 1893. In 1906 the newspaper enlarged to become The Mancos Times-Tribune and in 1910 moved to its new home on Grand Avenue where it served as office and printing shop until the 1970s when the newspaper went to digital production. Today that building remains completely intact with its glass and ornamental pressed metal façade and its original interior and contents including a rare Cranston printing press, 19th century typesetter’s benches, boxes of metal type and image blocks, and a complete archive of original newspapers from 1910-2010.
There have been virtually no significant alterations to the interior of the building since it was constructed. The interior retains all of its features and much of its furniture, type, and printing equipment. The rear exterior board wall was most likely installed after the 1,500 pound Cranston Press was delivered to the building. The Press has remained in place since 1910 and has been recently returned to working condition.
The significance of the building owes in large part to the survival of its original design, contents, and singular use as a newspaper office and print shop for over 100 years. Such situations are rare, especially for commercial spaces. Although once ubiquitous across the United States, newspaper offices and print shops have been disassembled, their presses sold for scrap, and their contents dispersed. While there has been a recent national revival in letterpress and hand printing, especially by young artists, few, if any establishments possess the architectural and historical integrity preserved at The Mancos Times-Tribune Building.
The Mancos Common Press was founded in 2013 to establish a center dedicated to the printer’s art while restoring and reusing the historic Mancos Times building as a new facility for students and graphic artists.