Nominate an endangered place!
Support Colorado Preservation, Inc. on Colorado Gives Day! On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, Coloradans will come together again to raise millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations like ours. Presented by the Community First Foundation, Colorado Gives Day invites you to give to your favorite charities through the website GivingFirst.org. This is an exciting annual statewide celebration of Colorado nonprofits that opens a 24 hours window for you to give where you live! Colorado Preservation, Inc. is proud to be one of the participating organizations.
100% of your donation will be used to further our mission of Building a Future with Historic Places, providing the resources necessary to preserve and protect our heritage and unique character. As the only statewide, nonprofit organization for historic preservation throughout Colorado, we are grateful that the value of your year-end gift to Colorado Preservation, Inc. via ColoradoGives.org will be increased by generous Colorado Gives Day sponsors. Help us help communities across Colorado save their treasured local landmarks.
Can’t wait till December 9th? (We agree!) You may also pre-schedule your charitable donation. Visit ColoradoGives.org, search for Colorado Preservation, Inc., click “Donate” and select “CO Gives Day” under “Donation Type” when completing the donation form. Thank you for all you do to keep Colorado’s heritage alive!
Little reminders of the mining industry that once dominated the landscape are everywhere in Park County, but few are as beloved by the community and as historically significant as the Paris Mill. Completed in 1895, the Paris Mill was constructed to service the gold ore produced by the Paris Mine in Buckskin Gulch west of Alma. The Paris Mine produced complex ore that was difficult to transport from its high altitude location on the cliffs of Mount Bross, so investors decided to build the mill and a 1,750 foot tramway to bring the ore down to the valley floor for processing. The mill saw a constant stream of investors throughout its first 40 years who strove to improve its profitability and retrofit the building with the latest milling technology. Unfortunately, the Paris Mine hindered these endeavors by providing ore that was increasingly difficult to process, which would shut down the entire operation for years at a time while new technology was installed at the mill.
Initially, the mill was powered by a steam engine and water turbine that operated a jaw crusher and two ten-stamp mill batteries. Ore was then further concentrated using mercury amalgamation. In 1908, the mill received its first major retrofit, which included the construction of its west and south wings to house equipment for the cyanidation process. A rod mill was added in 1925 and a ball mill 1932, eventually replacing the obsolete stamp batteries. The mill was electrified in 1918 and eventually received flotation technology to process its difficult ore. Each retrofit required substantial investment by a variety of owners and lessees that rarely benefited from their outlays. The 1934 Gold Reserve Act allowed the mill to operate for a year on waste rock alone and then on low-grade ore that was readily available in the mine. However, the focus on improving the mill proved fatal in 1937 when a lack of capital for the mine forced the closure of the entire operation. The mill and mine saw little activity for the next forty years as mining declined in the region but 40 years of milling equipment remained inside, largely untouched. In 1977, an attempt was made to revive the mine but it was short lived and the mill once again sat empty.
The Paris Mill survived decades of harsh winters at 11,000 feet before a portion of the 1908 west wing’s roof collapsed in the early 2000s. Shortly thereafter, Colorado Preservation, Inc. brought together interested parties with the mill’s owner to discuss options for securing and saving the building. The mill was named one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2004 and preservation began in earnest, beginning with securing the building against further vandalism. In the following years, a wood assessment and heritage tourism site plan were produced and the site was designated as a Park County Historic Landmark and put under a conservation easement. The mill and 16 acres surrounding it were purchased by Park County in 2009 so that the County could pursue grants and other funding to preserve the building. A Brownfields grant was awarded for the cleanup of hazardous materials at the site, which took place from 2009 to 2011 and also included stabilization of the south wing. Meanwhile, the South Park National Heritage Area funded the preparation of a historic structure assessment and Colorado Preservation, Inc. provided an intern to intensively survey the property and determine its eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places. It was found eligible and was listed on the National Register in 2013, funded through a CLG grant.
Despite many years of work on the mill, it was continuing to deteriorate and the security installed in 2004 was no longer deterring vandals. Large amounts of snow were accumulating in the west wing through the missing roof and parts of the tramway tower were regularly being blown off by the strong winds in Buckskin Gulch. After a trespasser attempted to start a fire in the building, the Park County Office of Historic Preservation determined that immediate action was needed and planned its first Community Work Day in the summer of 2012. Local residents eagerly donated their time to save the mill by completing minor repairs, improving drainage, and cleaning up the site. Local elementary schoolchildren painted the plywood used to secure the building in the hopes of deterring vandalism and hand painted signs were installed around the site to discourage trespassing. Meanwhile, Park County funded the installation of a temporary roof on the tramway tower to prevent further deterioration and a local contractor donated time and materials to patch holes in the east wing roof. Volunteers returned in 2013 to further secure the building, remove vegetation, and begin surveying the 16-acre site for possible trails and points of interest.
Park County has been awarded grants from the State Historical Fund and National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as funding from the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety for the rehabilitation of the west wing, currently scheduled to take place in 2015. In the meantime, the South Park National Heritage Area is funding the preparation of a master plan to guide future construction and site planning. County staff and volunteers continue to regularly visit the mill to keep it secure and identify potential issues. The immediate goal is to establish an interpretive trail on the 16-acre-site and to allow public access. Park County hopes to eventually have the mill open for guided tours so that future generations can learn about mining and milling technology firsthand.
The latest information on the mill is available at www.parismill.com
Written by: Linda Balough, Park County Preservation Office
Last month, 45 good friends, colleagues and staff – both past and present – gathered on a perfect Saturday afternoon in Boulder at Chautauqua in a retreat to honor the first 30 years of Colorado Preservation, Inc. We asked everyone to roll up their sleeves, work in small groups and dive into four signature action areas driving the work of our organization. They brainstormed and debated. Critiqued and challenged. Laughed and reflected. Mostly, the groups looked ahead and visualized. The small group reports revealed a variety of essential recommendations we are already putting to use in guiding our efforts ahead. Afterwards we celebrated, collaborated and caught up with drinks, good food and a group photo. To those who joined us and for the rest of you who were unable to make the trip to Boulder, this summary captures the top takeaways and a number of fresh, achievable ideas:
Endangered Places Program:
- Streamline the nomination and review processes and make both more transparent; use technology!
- Showcase Saves with positive PR
- Publish and promote the entire list and consider limiting the total number of EPP sites
- Secure creative program funding such as sponsorships
- Develop a mentorship program including board engagement and “Saved” places who mentor other endangered sites
- Funding sources could include online crowd funding and Kickstarter (etc.), preservation license plate proceeds, individual site sponsors, conference session sponsors
- Build an active and extension network/directory of skilled resources statewide
Savings Places Conference:
- Connect attendees to a longer-term membership/supporter relationship with CPI; CPI must be branded and identified first as the conference owner/host/creator
- Expand/enhance the Marketplace with creative partnerships for a higher quality experience
- Provide more tours, more offerings
- Consider moving the conference dates out of February
- Provide and offer a live webinar for a fee or record for later viewing, also for a fee
- Query all sponsors to determine the most attractive benefits of a sponsorship package
- Provide multiple tours that appeal to a broader preservation constituency
- CPI to more fully develop its fee for service programs (manage projects, write grants)
- Utilize projects as teachable moments (sustainability, youth training, technology)
- Educate about and manage tax credit projects
- Reinforce need for maintenance
- Work with technology companies to provide more high tech methods to conduct surveys and geo-caching projects
- Investigate latest software to ease tasks of project management
- Link (piggy back) with new/established partners (Main Street, Creative Communities, Scenic & Historic Byways, regional and local groups)
- Connect board members with projects statewide
- Re-establish On the Road program; CPI to be leaders in statewide
Public Policy/Advocacy :
- Educate, inform and engage County Commissioners
- Aim to increase membership/supporter numbers through Advocacy outreach efforts and, subsequently, build a robust army of effective, passionate advocates (position CPI as The Voice of preservation as the statewide advocate)
- Expand geographic base to all areas of the state
- Re-message “preservation” to the value of connecting citizens to “place” and making preservation relevant to citizens statewide
- Develop a program to train preservation leaders of all ages and at all levels (local, state and federal) best practices in effective, classic grassroots advocacy methods
- Connect with allied organizations and share database information for advocacy purposes
- Explore funding mechanisms used by other statewide preservation organizations to support their Public Policy/Advocacy missions
- Develop a robust, effective, and coordinated outreach campaign means of communicating with supporters including social media.
A huge thank you to everyone who came out, brainstormed, remembered and encouraged! We will be working to ramp up our programs to focus on the priorities and innovative ideas that came out of this exercise. Cheers to the next 30 years!
Seth Totten of Denver’s Acme Neon is a craftsman who makes the relics of Denver’s streets shine as bright as ever. With the help of Corky Scholl, founder of Save the Signs, the two are pushing to keep the legacy of neon alive.
Welcome to the story of CPI. Our 30 year history has produced a fascinating collection of successes and saves, blended with a deep understanding of historic preservation that only experience brings. We are a passionate group of professional staff and dedicated board members who knows what it takes to build a future with historic places. As a member-based organization, we thrive through collective impact and collaboration with many partners. We also rely on the ongoing support of donors and friends, like you. I invite you to join citizens statewide to help us ramp up our momentum by becoming a “3 for 30” pledged supporter: $1,000/year for the next three years toward our next 30! Please call me for more information and to discuss benefits. I’d like to meet you, and should your travels take you near our office, come on in. The coffee’s on me.
Roxanne Eflin, MS, CITM