Temple Aaron Stabilization


Trinidad, CO

Date of Construction



Located in the El Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District, Temple Aaron is a prominent visual landmark in Trinidad and is the oldest synagogue building in continuous operation in Colorado. Designed by Isaac Hamilton Rapp and built in 1889, Temple Aaron is not only architecturally significant but also important for its role in the cultural history of Trinidad. Jewish merchants, who served as traders along the Santa Fe Trail, began locating in Trinidad as early as 1867 and became prominent members of the community. Congregation Aaron is small but has strived to maintain the Temple and continue to conduct services and host community functions for all members of the Trinidad community.

Project Description

In 2000, a historic structure assessment revealed weakness in façade brick and window casements of this historic structure along with safety concerns from the continued use of outdated electrical systems. In the spring of 2003, Colorado Preservation, Inc. entered into an agreement with the Alfred Freudenthal Memorial Foundation to oversee a stabilization effort to mitigate these concerns. A Masonry Pilot Project now provides guidelines for rehabilitation of the exterior and has resulted in the repair of the masonry on the north and east facades of the synagogue. Masonry repair on the Temple has been ongoing since 1997, and four phases of preservation have been completed.

Project Team

Project financed through a grant from the State Historical Fund.

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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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