American Legion Hall

History of the Building

The American Legion Hall was built between 1937 and 1938 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and is significant for its association with President Franklin Roosevelt’s legislative agenda to stimulate a devastated economy and boost community morale during the Depression. Since its construction, the Hall has served the community of Eads and the surrounding area as an event venue. Located at the southwest corner of the Kiowa County Fairgrounds in Eads, it is still utilized during the annual Kiowa County Fair. It is a rare surviving example of a simple, vernacular building constructed by the WPA using recycled building materials in its construction methods. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 as part of a multiple property listing for the New Deal Resources on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. The American Legion Hall has served the community for well over 80 years, both during the Fair and for special events, and is one of the only community halls in the area.

Project Description

The American Legion Post 125, owners and operators of the building, are pursuing a preservation plan for the building so that once again it can serve the community as a main gathering space. Currently, the building is deteriorated and used much less frequently, which has reduced the annual rental income of the Hall. It is this deterioration and lack of use that prompted the need for a preservation solution. In 2008, a historic structure assessment determined that the building is in generally good condition and though it has not been changed much over time, it is in need of substantial improvements to improve community accessibility and usage. Elements such as the foundation, floors, shutters and windows, roof, heating, plumbing and electrical systems need to be further investigated to determine how to best approach preservation treatment and project phasing, which will be done through a thorough building analysis and the development of construction documents. The primary goal of the American Legion is to preserve the original historic character of the Hall while at the same time updating it so that the building can once again be utilized for its original purpose – the main community building for the County.

Project Support

The project is supported by the State Historical Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, and the American Legion Post 125.

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Preservation for a Changing Colorado

The 2017 update, Preservation for a Changing Colorado, resulted from a partnership between Colorado Preservation and History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report and accompanying website 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 found that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $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, respond to the state’s changing demographics, and address climate concerns. Click Here to see the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".