September 14, 2011

Milestones Icon: Virginia Patterson

Virginia Patterson’s place in Boulder’s history embodies the story of many in today’s business and education community.

She came to Boulder in 1942 as a freshman journalism major at the University of Colorado, becoming the editor of the student newspaper and head of several other student organizations.

After graduating, she moved to New York as a guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine. She couldn’t stay away from Boulder long, and returned in 1947, getting a job selling display advertising for the Camera newspaper. Later she became a writer and editor for CU’s community service publication. It was there that she met her husband, Alexander Balfour Patterson Jr., who was the first Episcopal chaplain at CU. They had three children.

She later went to work for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, which provided education across state lines, sharing resources and students. And in the 1960s, she served as board member or president of the Boulder Valley School District off and on for 14 years.

In the late 1970s, Patterson and her husband began to settle down, but yearned to work together in the community.

“My husband wanted a toy shop because he liked to paint toy soldiers, and I wanted a dress shop because I liked pretty things,” Patterson said. “We settled on a bookstore, because we both like to read.”

The Printed Page bookstore opened in 1977, and it eventually moved to the Pearl Street Mall, which had just been redeveloped as a pedestrian shopping street. In the midst, Patterson got involved with downtown Boulder’s numerous management groups.

“My particular interest was to make downtown a lively and safe place where people could shop and dine and also bring their children,” she said.

Patterson is a founding member of both the Downtown Boulder Association and Downtown Boulder Inc., the latter of which she is a lifetime board member. She was elected to the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame in 1995.

In 2001, she closed The Printed Page, although a second store, Page Two, operated by her son remains open in Gunbarrel.

Virginia Patterson’s place in Boulder’s history embodies the story of many in today’s business and education community.

She came to Boulder in 1942 as a freshman journalism major at the University of Colorado, becoming the editor of the student newspaper and head of several other student organizations.

After graduating, she moved to New York as a guest editor at Mademoiselle magazine. She couldn’t stay away from Boulder long, and returned in 1947, getting a job selling display advertising for the Camera newspaper. Later she became a writer and editor for CU’s community service publication. It was there that she met her husband,…

Christopher Wood
Christopher Wood is editor and publisher of BizWest, a regional business journal covering Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties. Wood co-founded the Northern Colorado Business Report in 1995 and served as publisher of the Boulder County Business Report until the two publications were merged to form BizWest in 2014. From 1990 to 1995, Wood served as reporter and managing editor of the Denver Business Journal. He is a Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder. He has won numerous awards from the Colorado Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists and the Alliance of Area Business Publishers.
Sign up for BizWest Daily Alerts

Related Content