Project Update: Saguache Hotel

Owner Putting Sweat Equity into Saguache Hotel

Saguache Hotel, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Preservation Services Director Jane Daniels visited Saguache Hotel in June 2021 to check in on the progress of the new private owner, Andy Hackbarth, as he works tirelessly with his father and other community members bringing this important downtown landmark back to life. Colorado Preservation, Inc. also partnered with Andy to obtain State Historical Fund grant funds in 2020 to rehabilitate the roof, along with helping guide the project in the process of historic preservation, including tax credits, low-interest loans, Secretary of Interior’s Standards, and other funding opportunities.

Onsite at Saguache Hotel, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Considering what the building looked like when Andy acquired it, the Hotel is in much better condition. He and his dad, Charlie, are putting some serious sweat equity into the building. They hopefully will see their efforts further rewarded as they realize their vision for the building as a music venue, a revived hotel, and an eating establishment that will enliven the social and cultural activity in downtown Saguache.

For more information on this Colorado Preservation, Inc. projects and others, contact Jane Daniels, director of preservation services, at jdaniels@coloradopreservation.org.

Read the March 2021 project update.

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Project Update: Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine and Mill

Impressive Stabilization Progress at 4UR Mill

Onsite at Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine and Mill, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine and Mill, known as the 4UR Mill, received State Historic Fund (SHF) grant funds in spring 2020 to stabilize the most critical and severely deteriorated features of the Mill. Work began on the site in spring 2021. Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Preservation Services Director Jane Daniels visited the Mill, located outside of Creede, Colorado, late June to check out the progress, which was quite impressive. Harrison Western, the general contractor, made significant advancement stabilizing the internal columns and preparing the Mill’s main high roof for enclosure. They will take a brief pause this summer not to disturb operations at the 4UR Resort, and will resume work in October. Thank you to Harrison Western, the 4UR Ranch, Form+Works Design, and the SHF for an outstanding job so far!

For more information on this Colorado Preservation, Inc. project and others, contact Jane Daniels, director of preservation services, at jdaniels@coloraodpreservation.org.

Onsite at Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine and Mill, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.
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Project Update July 2021: Dearfield

Dearfield Hosts Legislative Capital Development Committee

On site in Dearfield, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Black American West Museum and Greeley-based Dearfield Committee hosted representatives of the State Legislative Capital Development Committee for a presentation and tour about the Dearfield Dream Project on Wednesday, July 21, at the Dearfield site. Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine helped organize the event, which featured presentations and a tour of Dearfield African American Farming Colony by long-time Dearfield advocates Dr. Bob Brunswig and Dr. George Junne of University of Northern Colorado (UNC). Both Daphne Rice-Allen and Denise Leadon spoke on behalf of Black American West Museum, owners of the Dearfield townsite. Participants enjoyed the event, including other Weld County commissioners, UNC President Andy Feinstein, and representatives of History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI). CBS4 was on hand providing coverage of the event, as can be viewed in its story The Fight to Save a Colorado Ghost Town: Dearfield is Steeped in Black History.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. listed Dearfield on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 1999 and has worked with the many partners since then on preservation of the site.

On site in Dearfield, courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

The visit followed an earlier presentation by Bob Brunswig and George Junne to the Capital Development Committee at the Statehouse in late June. The purpose of that presentation and last week’s visit, which included members of the Legislative Black Caucus and featured Sen. James Coleman, was to explore the possibility of a legislative appropriation to support Dearfield preservation efforts. Private sector contributions greatly aided these efforts, including $15,000 from PDC Energy and $7,500 from Occidental Petroleum.

The Dearfield Dream Project is a multi-organizational research and historic sites preservation program. The work builds on earlier steps by Black American West Museum and scholars from the City of Greeley Museums, University of Northern Colorado, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, and grant-funded private historical resource consultants, including participation by History Colorado and CPI. The project seeks to preserve the Dearfield townsite as a vital Colorado and national historical resource, increasing recognition of Dearfield’s contribution to African American settlement and economic self-sufficiency, civil rights, and social justice efforts. Dearfield was an unincorporated town in Weld County, Colorado, from 1910 through the late 1930s, founded in 1910 by Oliver Toussaint Jackson, an African American businessman and entrepreneur who purchased and homesteaded land used for the establishment of the townsite.

July 28, 2021 update
Excellent news. National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program awarded University of Northern Colorado’s Dr. Brunswig and Dr. Junne a grant of nearly $500,000 for the next phase of preservation efforts for Dearfield buildings. Congratulations!

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Apple Trees for Golden History Museum

MORP Donates Heirloom Orchard Trees to Golden History Museum

Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project’s warehouse of trees ready for Golden History Museum and Park

Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP), which grew from the fruits of efforts to save the historic Gold Medal Orchard (listed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2015 and declared a “Save” in 2021) recently donated apple trees that were historically grown in the Golden area to Golden History Museum and Park. The trees will plant in the fall, adding to and making up Golden Heritage Apple Orchard at Golden History Park. As noted by MORP co-director Addie Schuenemeyer, “We selected varieties that were historically grown in Golden. MORP is able to donate heritage apple trees to community spaces that can care for them thanks to support from the USDA, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Garden Foundation and others.” The museum plans to add tree signage acknowledging the work of MORP to preserve Colorado’s fruit growing heritage. Former Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI) employee Cindy Nasky and her husband Mark helped Golden History Museum Director Nathan Richie and Board President Michael Wood make the connection to MORP and CPI and to spread the word about the project.

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Dearfield Conference

Save the Date! 7th Dearfield Conference Program on May 22

Since 2008, several partners – Dearfield Heritage Preservation Committee, Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, University of Northern Colorado (UNC), Colorado State University (CSU), Colorado Preservation, Inc., City of Greeley and Weld County Youth Conservation Corps – collaborated in a wide range of archaeological and historic research programs and historic building preservation efforts involving the early 20th century African-American farming colony of Dearfield, along with the two historic town-sites of Dearfield and Chapelton, in eastern Weld County, Colorado. Colorado Preservation, Inc. recognized Dearfield Colony on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 1999.

The seventh Dearfield Conference hosted by UNC takes place Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and is open to the public. The conference features presentations and open discussion forums on recent Dearfield preservation and research programs, including archaeological fieldwork in June 2020, university and community engagement activities for students, professional scholarly research and collaboration, along with planning efforts related to the Dearfield Strategic Plan 2021.

Following Covid-19 precautions, this year’s conference will be a hybrid affair, with a small core participant group attending the physical meeting at UNC’s Michener Library, along with an online participant venue. A showing of filmmaker Charles Nuckholl’s Remnants of a Dream: Dearfield and the Story of its Founder O.T. Jackson will occur both before and after the conference via an online link. For more information about the conference, contact Dr. Bob Brunswig at robert.brunswig@unco.edu or Dr. George Junne at Ghjunne@aol.com.

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Project Update: Saguache Hotel

New Owner Brings New Life to the Historic Saguache Hotel

Colorado Preservation, Inc. recently received a State Historical Fund (SHF) grant to restore the roof, fascia and soffits of the historic Saguache Hotel in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. This is in partnership with the building’s new energetic owner, Andy Hackbarth, who has a grand vision for the property.

The project began in earnest in early September 2020. Scheuber + Darden Architects led the team along with Deep Roots Timberworks and local area roofer, Conklin Roofing/Millers Quality Coating. After planning and numerous reviews with SHF, the subcontractors worked diligently on the project mid-October through November. They completed the work in the nick of time before snow fell. With the Hotel’s roof project not yet entirely complete, they will install gutters and downspouts and paint in early spring 2021.

Built in 1910, Saguache Hotel was reported to be “one of the finest in the entire (San Luis) valley.” Constructed across from the Courthouse in downtown Saguache, the stately building anchors the southern edge of the 4th street commercial area and contributes to Saguache Downtown National Historic District. By the late 1990s, the Town and subsequently the Hotel experienced economic hardships due much in part to the realignment of U.S. Highway 285 which bypasses the downtown. Colorado Preservation, Inc., recognizing the 4th Street Commercial District on its Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, continues preservation planning with Saguache community members since that 2009 designation. Colorado Preservation, Inc. is optimistic that its work with Saguache Hotel will continue spurring revitalization and preservation efforts in the area.

Owner Andy Hackbarth can now proceed with sustainable rehabilitation plans, reimagining indoor and outdoor spaces, which include restoring the Hotel’s rooms and lobby with a larger vision to be an attractive music and entertainment venue for the area (Andy is an accomplished musician himself!). The commitment, hard work, and preservation-minded spirit of Andy is impressive. Take a look at and support his progress on Andy’s GoFundMe page – this project is sure to invoke a positive and lively atmosphere to Saguache during the coming years. Also, check out Saguache Hotel’s website and The Crestone Eagle’s recent article about the project.

For more information on this project and others that Colorado Preservation, Inc. is engaged in, contact Preservation Services Director Jane Daniels, at jdaniels@coloraodpreservation.org.

Read the Aug. 2021 project update.

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2021: Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places Announced today by Colorado Preservation, Inc.

            Denver (February 11, 2021)—Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List was announced today by CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera at Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Saving Places 2021 virtual Preservation in Action conference.  Three new sites were added to the list as noted below.

            Since 1998, Colorado Preservation, Inc. has been working with communities throughout the state to save threatened or endangered historic buildings, landscapes, and archaeological sites through its Endangered Places Program.  Three new diverse sites were added to the 2021 list today, while two previously listed sites were recognized as SAVED. 

            2021 marks the 24th anniversary of Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Most Endangered Places list.  The program provides advocacy, awareness, and technical assistance to significant historic sites throughout Colorado that are in danger of being lost.  Colorado Preservation, Inc. devotes staff time and resources to build partnerships, raise funds, and rally concerned citizens so that listed sites can be saved.  In 24 years, the Colorado’s Most Endangered Places program has highlighted 130 historic sites throughout the state; 52 sites have been SAVED and only seven have been lost, with 47 actively in progress and 24 still under alert status.  The program has a wide reach throughout rural and urban areas of the state and has helped local communities save a wide array of historic resources, from agricultural and archaeological resources to commercial districts, downtown properties, cultural landscapes, ditches, kilns, barns, flumes, mining structures, schools, churches, government buildings, and railroad resources. 

Three historic sites were selected for the 2021 list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places:

  1. Historic Bridges of Colorado                                      (Statewide)

As a state with many distinguishing geophysical characteristics, including mountains and plains and rivers and streams, Colorado has by necessity many historic bridges that reflect its diverse regions and cultural heritage.  But until recently, there has never been a strong bridge preservation ethic in the state.  CPI, in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), has embarked on a partnership to identify forty-six (46) on-system bridges representing different types, eras, and locations, for preservation in place of at least 20 priority structures.  The bridges under consideration range in age from 1888 to 1973 and span the full breadth of Colorado’s bridge development, which evolved from early timber structures and steel bridges to the use of more functional and standardized designs using pre-stressed concrete in the post-World War II era.  Listing these bridges will assist CPI and CDOT in developing partnerships with local communities and other organizations for funding and support for bridge preservation efforts.

  • Lafayette Head Home & Ute Indian Agency             (Conejos County)

For a relatively brief, but formative period in Colorado, the Lafayette Head Home & Ute Indian Agency in Conejos was the center of the universe for a diverse convergence of cultures and forces that changed the state’s history.  The Lafayette Head Home & Ute Indian Agency was built by early settler, businessman, and public official Lafayette Head in 1855, and played an important, but little-known role in the settlement of Colorado in the period before and after statehood.  Head used his home and compound as the agency headquarters while working with the Ute and Jicarilla Apache tribes for nine years during a time of uneasy co-existence, conflict, settlement, and displacement.  Head and was instrumental in treaty negotiations with the Ute tribes in Washington, D.C. that led to the relinquishment of San Luis Valley lands to the United States and the establishment of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute reservations in far southwest Colorado.  The Head House itself is representative of Indo-Hispano, Native American, Territorial, and early Colorado architecture.  Head was elected to the Colorado State Legislature and was one of 39 delegates who drafted the 1875 State Constitution.  He was also elected the first Colorado Lieutenant Governor under Governor John Routt.  CPI will work with local, state and educational and tribal partners to preserve and interpret the Head Home and site so future generations can be understand the role the region played in the state’ history.

  • Winter Park Balcony House                                       (Grand County)

Winter Park’s original base area ski lodge, known as the Balcony House, vividly represents the early history and pioneering evolution of the City of Denver’s first Mountain Park, while also fostering groundbreaking developments in the Colorado ski industry as a whole. Since 1955, the Balcony House has played an essential role in skiing, snowboarding and summer activities, and in enhancing the overall experience of visitors.  The two-story Balcony House, with its panoramic views from cascading balconies, is a prime example of Mid-century Modern architecture and may be the only remaining Mid-century Modern public ski lodge in Colorado.  The Balcony House is threatened by under-appreciation of its significance and uniqueness and a 2009 Master Plan that calls for its demolition and replacement with 5-6 stories of condominiums above one level of resort operations.  Advocates for preservation think a better way can be found to accommodate future growth, operations, and programming without sacrificing the Balcony House.  Listing on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places is intended to be a catalyst for further discussion with the Winter Park Recreation Area (WPRA) and Alterra Mountain Company, developers of the ski resort, about how to work together to preserve Winter Park Ski Area’s most authentic building.

Two sites previously listed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places were recognized as SAVES:

  1. Gold Medal Orchard                                                  (Montezuma County)
  2. Goodnight Barn                                                          (Pueblo County)

This project is paid for in part by a History Colorado State Historical Fund grant.  Colorado’s Most Endangered Places are located throughout the state.  The general public is invited to visit, learn, and be inspired! 

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Project Update: Temple Aaron

Temple Aaron Awarded State Historical Fund Grant

History Colorado awarded a $50,000 State Historical Fund grant to Temple Aaron, one of the oldest continuously operated synagogues in its original location west of the Mississippi. This grant will help fund roof investigations, construction documents, and emergency roof repairs. The Temple will match the funds with $29,250 for a total project of $79,250.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. listed Temple Aaron on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2017. Since then the Temple continues making great strides in re-constituting as a regional synagogue, hosting lively and engaging services and programs to attending supporters from Albuquerque to Boulder and beyond.

In September, the Temple hosted both in-person and virtual Rosh Hashanah services on Zoom, led by Rabbi Robert Lennick of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico. Rabbi Lennick engages as the Temple’s first Rabbi since the 1970s. He commented on the feeling of generations past that permeates the building by noting how “the past, present, and the future come together here at Temple Aaron … it’s like a Jewish vortex or something.”

Temple Aaron, opening its doors in 1889, is a contributing historic property in the El Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District. Prolific architect Isaac Hamilton Rapp designed the Temple in the Exotic Revival Style, making it one of the few synagogues of its type in the United States. Elements of the Exotic Revival style include such Oriental motifs as Turkish (Onion) domes and Moorish minarets, both evident on Temple Aaron. The synagogue’s many geometric colored glass windows are reminiscent of the first colored glass windows found in other Eastern mosques. The Temple’s distinctive pressed metal patterned roof has a complex structure featuring many peaks and valleys. It features two towers on the east façade of the building, which sits high on a hill overlooking Trinidad. The Temple was built primarily by Jews of German descent who played a prominent role in the town’s early development, including its first mayor Samuel Jaffa and prominent merchants such as Maurice and Isaac Wise.

For more information, contact Colorado Preservation, Inc. or Temple Aaron.

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Update: Cultural and Historic Resources Task Force

2020 in Colorado? Then there were the Wildfires …

Update provided to Colorado Preservation by Carl Stewart, Colorado Cultural and Historic Resource Task Force

Upon hearing about a fire, a small group from Colorado Cultural and Historic Resources Task Force (CHR-TF) activates to determine if the fires threatened or damaged cultural resources. We mine zip codes, databases, email networks and the web for information. Contacts are made, winds blow and perimeters change. This important work takes place in the background while frontliners first address life safety, firefighting and property protection. We provide our information to the State Emergency Operations Center, especially after recovery begins. In the event of unmet expenses and needs, we may be able to help.

Through the State Archeologist’s office and State Historic Preservation Office, History Colorado retains a database of built cultural assets mapped statewide. Depending on the jurisdiction (private, State, BLM, or US Forest Service), sometimes we transmit this information to the firefighting front lines. The hope is that an obscure historic site is not, for example, needlessly used as a staging location by firefighting crews.

The 2020 fires destroyed some historic cabins. Rocky Mountain National Park, especially around the west entry, experienced the most severe loss in structures and sites. Since these structures are under federal jurisdiction with National Park Service (NPS), they are outside our State group’s scope. In addition to structures, an NPS-run cemetery in cooperation with the town of Grand Lake sustained damage from downed trees and is closed.

Grand Lake Cemetery (closed) near Rocky Mountain National Park, November 2020. Photo credit Carl Stewart.
Grand Lake Cemetery (closed) near Rocky Mountain National Park, November 2020. Photo credit Carl Stewart.

Amazingly, despite the historic size and intensity of the fires this year, it seems at this point we escaped extensive loss or damage to cultural resources, except those in Rocky Mountain National Park. But that does not mean we did not have some close calls. Collections were evacuated by Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs in advance of the East Troublesome Fire. YMCA of the Rockies, both at Winter Park and Estes Park, evacuated some collections. Other collections were placed in safer storage, as some organizations discovered gaps in their emergency planning. The collecting community joined to support each other. For instance, the Greeley History Museum accepted some of the evacuated collections from the mountains.

Evacuation of threatened collections before potential floods in Lake City, CO, 2019. Photo credit Carl Stewart.
With the assistance of CHR-TF, evacuation of threatened collections before potential floods in Lake City, CO, 2019. Photo credit Carl Stewart.

It is important to remember that extinguishing the flames of these fires is often only the emergency’s beginning. The danger of landslides and floods from precipitation and runoff from fire scars extends the fire emergency. The CHR task force will continue monitoring these issues and serve as a resource for individuals or organizations needing assistance in preserving our state’s cultural resources.

To get involved and be a part of our network, sign up for the CHR-TF email list.

Cultural and Historic Resources Task Force is a 2017 Colorado Preservation, Inc. State Honor Award Recipient.

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Project Update: Harry C. James Residence

The James Residence (Dana Crawford House) Now Listed on National Register of Historic Places

The Harry C. James Residence received its official listing on National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 15. Colorado Preservation, Inc. and Historic Denver partnered to nominate the James Residence located at 685 N Emerson Street in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, aka Dana Crawford’s family home, to the National Register. Grants from the State Historical Fund and National Trust for Historic Preservation support this project. Deon Wolfenbarger of Three Gables Preservation led the task and successfully drafted the nomination.

The James Residence was built in 1900 during the beginning of Denver’s City Beautiful movement and is exceptional for its representation of the late 19th and 20th century Revival/Italian Renaissance residential style architecture. The James Residence was first home to Harry C. James, an early Colorado banker and smelter magnate, who commissioned the home’s construction but was later sold to Dr. John H. Tilden in 1933. The home cycled through other prominent Denver owners, the most notable being Dana Crawford. Dana, with her husband, John W.R. Crawford III, as life and business partners along with their four sons, lived in the home starting in 1967. The house was a family home for them until John’s death in 1985 and has stayed in the family since.

Crawford is nationally recognized because of her successes and ethos related to the development and preservation of Denver’s historic downtown core, including saving Larimer Square, Denver’s first historic district. Dana is also the namesake of Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s annual Dana Crawford Awards. We are honored to have that affiliation with her and to aid in the special recognition of her long-time family home here in Denver. Due much to Dana’s long-term care, the home retains a high degree of historical integrity both on the interior and the exterior. Congratulations, Dana!

For more information on this and other Colorado Preservation, Inc managed projects, contact Jane Daniels, project manager, and preservation services director at Colorado Preservation, Inc.

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Featured Project

Preservation for a Changing Colorado

Historic preservation has a direct economic benefit to communities and Colorado! Take a look at the 2017 study, which considered the ways adaption of historic places has a direct financial effect on the state.

This updated, most resent study, was the result of a partnership between Colorado Preservation, Inc and History Colorado, funded by a grant from History Colorado's State Historical Fund. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program.

In a key finding, researchers determined that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado it produced $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state!

The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, responds to the state’s changing demographics, and addresses climate concerns.

Click Here to see download and read the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".

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