Max D. Neusteter Rehabilitation Building - Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society Historic District - Lakewood, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 44.557 W 105° 04.046
13S E 494222 N 4399193
Quick Description: The Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) of Denver helped to save thousands of lives with care and research into the '“white plague' as tuberculosis was named.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 11/24/2012 8:52:11 AM
Waymark Code: WMFRMT
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 1

Long Description:
"Max D. Neuster Rehabilitation Building: 1926 (5686). This one story rectangular stucco building with face brick is the home of the JCRS print shop and book bindery. The main door is located in the center front of the building and is flat, recessed, and heavily trimmed with wrought iron. Windows are single division pivoted sash. The roof is of flat red tile and has decorative urns at each corner. This building, designed by Fisher and Fisher, continues to serve its original function as the area for retraining patients in occupations compatible with their physical condition." (from the NRHP form Section 7, ppg. 3-4 )

Max D. Neusteter was a Trustee of the Denver Chapter of the Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (visit link) page 235-236)

"At the turn of the last century, the nation was ravaged by the “white plague,” and tuberculosis was the cause of death for 154,000 annually. By 1903, the number of consumptives flocking to Denver for its fresh air and sunshine seeking a cure for tuberculosis had outstripped all medical and social service capabilities.

A concerned and idealistic group of Jewish immigrants in Denver met to draft a solution to care for indigent patients suffering from all stages of tuberculosis. These visionaries created a non-sectarian refuge for tuberculars from across the country, providing a safe haven for healing and care, devoid of the taint of professional charity. Ultimately, these efforts reached across the country and spawned a network of Jewish philanthropy and fundraising that saved thousands of lives. The motto for the JCRS was taken from the Talmudic tenet: 'He who saves one live is considered as if he had preserved the whole world.'

With guidance and dedication from leaders such as Drs. C.D. Spivak and Philip Hillkowitz, in 1904, twenty acres of land were purchased one mile west of Denver, and that September six men and one woman were admitted to a fledgling place of hope consisting of six canvas tents and a one-story building. The first brick building was constructed in 1905, offering wards for bed-ridden patients. JCRS Ladies’ Auxiliaries across the country raised money to build more buildings for the rapidly growing institution.

During its first fifty years, the JCRS – also known by its address as Spivak, Colorado – treated 10,000 patients. Along with medical buildings, an on-site farm and dairy, and research facilities, JCRS provided a social services department, library with 9000 volumes, dental office, pharmacy, technical school, monthly magazine, cooperative store, post office, solarium and barber shop.

Because the majority of the patients were Orthodox Jews, there was a need for a synagogue to serve their traditional religious needs. The first such permanent structure was built in 1911, funded by Isaac Solomon in memory of his son, Jacob. Following a fire in 1920, noted architects William and Arthur A. Fisher designed a one-story brick and stucco synagogue in a distinctive Moorish style. Completed in 1926, the synagogue accommodated 70 worshippers and was used for daily, High Holy Day and festival services. Worship services for other faiths were also conducted in this building. The synagogue was the heart of the campus.

The JCRS functioned as a sanatorium until 1954 when the JCRS changed its name and focus and became the American Medical Center for Cancer Research (AMC). In 2002, the campus was purchased by the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Some buildings continue to be used by AMC for laboratories and research.

The Beck Archives at the University of Denver house much of the original material on the JCRS, including Dr. Jeanne Abrams' dissertation, "Chasing the Cure," a complete history of the JCRS. Material here based on her work is used with the author's permission." (from (visit link) )


"Article Contributed on: 1/25/2006 1:55:02 PM


A little known fact: during the 1920s what brought people to Denver wasn’t gold – it was sunshine! The Belmar Optimist Club learned this and other fascinating historical details about the populating of the Westside during a talk on Jan. 19 by Susan Zinn Goldman who discussed the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society (JCRS) and its campus, now Lakewood’s Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD).

According to Ms. Goldman, during the 1920s, 60 percent of the local population was here in a search for a cure for the "white plague," tuberculosis. JCRS was formed in 1904 by the Denver Jewish community as an effort to create a sanatorium for any indigent person suffering from any stage of tuberculosis. JCRS was a non-sectarian haven, providing its patients with food, medical attention, and open-air "tents" that were thought to be the best treatment accommodations (heliotherapy) for those suffering from disease.

Ms. Goldman shared photographs detailing the beginnings of the JCRS and showing some of the artifacts from that time. Through the Isaac Solomon Historic Synagogue Foundation, funds are being raised to house a living history museum in Lakewood for these and other items.

According to Ms. Goldman, the initial gathering raised $1.10 and brought together local tradesmen with Dr. Charles Spivak, who later became the driving force behind the JCRS campus. Dr. Spivak was the first person inducted in the Jefferson County Hall of Fame, and the post office designation at the JCRS shopping center (Casa Bonita) is still Spivak, Colorado.

From this simple beginning, women’s groups across the country took up challenge to raise funds to build the many unique buildings on site that are now used by RMCAD. The campus was self sufficient with poultry, vegetable and dairy farming. During the 50 years when it served as a sanatorium, JCRS cared for over 10,000 patients. Patients who recovered were taught stenography, bookbinding, and other skills. Many of those who died are buried at Golden Hill Cemetery on West Colfax.

At the heart of the campus is a small synagogue building which served the religious needs of the patients. The Isaac Solomon Historic Synagogue building is in need of restoration, and a foundation is in place to revitalize the structure as a living history museum and lifecycle events center. The Isaac Solomon Historical Synagogue Foundation is working with the Colorado State Historical Society, Lakewood Historical Society, RMCAD, AMC Cancer Research Center, and the City of Lakewood to ensure that the early history of Lakewood can be preserved through this educational endeavor.

To learn about the project or become a partner in the effort, visit the Web site at or contact the foundation at 303-987-1316." (from (visit link) )
Name of Historic District (as listed on the NRHP): Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS) Historic District

Link to page with the Historic District: [Web Link]

NRHP Historic District Waymark (Optional): [Web Link]

1600 Pierce Street Lakewood, CO USA

How did you determine the building to be a contributing structure?: Other (Please explain in the Private Message field)

Optional link to narrative or database: Not listed

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