History of the Building
The Murdock Building is made up of three separate structures located in historic downtown Eads, which is laid out along the railroad line. Together and separately, each of these structures has functioned as a bank, café, general merchandise enterprise, flower and gift shop, and dry goods store. The Slater Building has been shuttered since 1984, but the Whitelaw and Schoggen Buildings were occupied until 2006. Kiowa County purchased the “Murdock Building” in 2007 with plans to rehab a portion for its use as a Senior Center and the remainder for lease to the National Park Service to serve as a Visitor’s Center and Offices for the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. This unique partnership offers an opportunity to bring the citizens of Eads and its surrounding areas and heritage tourists to the heart of downtown Eads.
This project entails completing an historic structure assessment of the Murdock Building, stabilizing a portion of the structure (immediate structural work is required on the Slater Bank Building) and completing design and construction documents for its rehabilitation. The historic structure assessment will provide a roadmap for future rehabilitation work, determining the building’s needs. Construction documents for the core and shell of the building will allow for adequate cost estimates to be prepared. Design documents for the interior will be created so that the community and potential funders can envision the interior as a functional space with remaining historic fabric adding to the atmosphere, which will also incorporate an energy-efficient design. The completion of this project will provide a much-needed gathering space for Kiowa County’s seniors and community members and the opening of the Sand Creek National Historic Site Visitor’s Center will attract heritage tourists, rekindling activity in historic downtown Eads.
Funding provided through grants from the State Historical Fund, the Department of Local Affairs, the National Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Kiowa County, in-kind from Colorado Preservation, the Eads Chamber of Commerce, Kiowa County National Bank, and the Governor’s Energy Office.