Preston Farm

Year Listed: 1998
County: Larimer County
Construction Date: 1877
Threat When Listed: Demolition
Status: SAVE-1999
 

The Preston Farm was the first “save” on Colorado Preservaiton, Inc’s Most Endangered Places list.  When first listed, the site was threatened by develpment along the Harmony Corridor in Fort Collins.  Constructed in 1877, Preston Farm was the last remaining farm site within the City of Fort Collins.  Preservation of the building was a result of the partnership between city governemnt and preservationists.  The farmstead, including the farm house and a dozen significant outbuildings, was purchased by a preservation-minded buyer who has kept the farmstead in tact.  Benjamin Preston originally established a homestead here and the land remained in the Preston family for more than 100 years. The farm complex is a tangible reminder of Fort Collins’ once extensive agrarian roots.

Several key partnerships lead to the eventual save of the building; the Landmark Preservation Commission reviewed plans for development of the property and were steadfast in their determination that all contributing buildings needed to be preserved; the Fort Collins Advanced Planning Department commissioned a site plan to show how preservation and development could co-exhist; Historic Fort Collins Development Corp., who adopted the Preston Farm as a priortiy project in 1993 and championed for the building.

The Preston Farm was designated a Local Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, designated an official Save America’s Treasures project, and protected primarily through a conservation easement. Using State Historical Fund grants, the owners rehabilitated the house for commercial use. Since 2002, the farmhouse has functioned as office space for small businesses. Through the city’s Local Landmark Rehabilitation Loan and the Zero Percent Interest Loan Program, the owner stabilized the grain elevator and completed exterior renovations.

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4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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