Update on Five Priority Endangered Places Program Sites

25th Anniversary of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places Wrapping Up with Progress on 5 Priority Sites

In 2022, CPI paused its new listing of Endangered Places sites to concentrate efforts on moving forward five key sites identified as priorities because of their unique value as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) or rural sites in need of support and assistance. As noted below, these sites made impressive progress and are poised to move forward in 2023. They include:​

Dearfield Farming Colony

Weld County – 1999 listing:

In 2021, the Black American West Museum and the Greeley-based Dearfield Preservation Committee led preservation efforts to save the Dearfield Colony site. Significant funding followed when Dearfield received a $498,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) through the African American Civil Rights Program. ​In Spring 2022, a University of Northern Colorado preservation project funded by the NPS grant began important first steps in removing lead-based paint and asbestos from the existing buildings. Once this phase is complete, project leaders will direct the NPS funds to stabilization and exterior restoration. The site also received a $49,000 State Historical Fund (SHF) grant for architectural studies and interior restoration. On June 9, 2022, CPI recognized Dearfield at the Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards ceremony for its tremendous preservation efforts and progress. The current project is expected to take two years.

Iglesia de San Antonio/Tiffany Catholic Church

La Plata County – 1999 listing:

Constructed in 1928 through dedicated local labor, this adobe and stucco church represents the early Hispano settlements in southern La Plata County. Located along the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad line, Iglesia de San Antonio/Tiffany Church holds great historic integrity for its beautiful interior and use as the site of an annual pilgrimage and mass every June. In 2022, CPI helped facilitate the completion of construction documents for foundation and wall stabilization and full building rehabilitation, funded in part by a State Historical Fund grant by architect Barbara Darden and structural engineer Jedidiah Williamson. The Archdiocese of Pueblo and local stakeholders, including the nearby church in Ignacio, as raising funds to match a grant for rehabilitation in 2023.

The Southern Ute Boarding School Campus

La Plata County. Southern Ute Reservation – 2020 listing:

Constructed in the early 1900s, the Southern Ute Boarding School Campus (SUBSC) brings to light the national reckoning with the forced assimilation of indigenous children into Anglo-European culture. This boarding school era that separated families and implemented genocidal government policies represents a dark and traumatic chapter in American history. Today, the Main School House, Dining Hall, and Girls’ Dormitory. Nurse’s Quarters and Center Park remain. The School House and Dining Hall also contain WPA-era murals by tribal member Sam Ray. Recent preservation assessments of the murals and environmental remediation give hope for the potential reuse of the buildings and murals while giving the Southern Ute tribe a voice in telling their history.

Stranges Grocery

Mesa County – 2001 listing:

A preservation-minded buyer recently purchased the property and plans to adaptively reuse the space into retail and residential space while rehabilitating the original stonework. CPI has received a State Historical Fund architectural survey grant to evaluate the property further while helping to mitigate the impacts of a proposed highway widening project in 2022 that also impacts the nearby Grand Junction Depot. Meanwhile, some renovations are underway, including a reinforced basement with new flooring and adaptive reuse of the second floor to prepare for exterior masonry repairs and egress improvements. The grocery was built in 1909 and was one of four that once served a thriving Italian American community in Grand Junction.

Union Pacific Pumphouse

Cheyenne County – 2005 listing:

Located in Kit Carson, Colorado, the UP Pumphouse has remained in limbo due to liability concerns and indifference on the part of the Union Pacific Railroad. In the late 1870s pumphouse supplied water for steam engines and today stands as Colorado’s only surviving stone railroad pumphouse. In 2022, senior engineering students from the University of Colorado-Denver completed a comprehensive historic structure and engineering report that identified preservation priorities and estimated costs for preservation on-site and/or dismantling and reconstruction across the street. The Kit Carson Historical Society has also prepared a proposal to purchase a small portion of the land the pumphouse occupies from the railroad that is pending consideration.

CPI’s Endangered Places Program celebrates these positive developments for the five priority sites identified for 2022 and looks forward to assisting with further progress in the future.

Learn More about the Endangered Places Program.

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Mark Rodman – in Loving Remembrance

Gray Bar Divider

Mark Rodman headshotIt is with a heavy heart that CPI shares our sadness with the recent passing of Mark Rodman. In this life, we strive to make a difference and leave a legacy that transcends our time together.

If you had the pleasure of knowing Mark Rodman, you were lucky to know a soul with a vibrancy of life, a passion for preservation, and a committed spirit to leave the world a better place than he knew it. Upon first meeting him you were struck by his kind smile and witty sarcasm that instantly made you feel like you knew him for years.

_DSC0028 - CopyMark served as Executive Director for Colorado Preservation, Inc. from 2002 to 2008, and in those short six years, he propelled the organization towards its next chapter. Under his direction, CPI established a partnership with CBS4 to tell the stories of Colorado’s Endangered Places, CPI undertook a survey of New Deal Resources on the plains of Colorado and helped develop a heritage tourism program that included historic and archeological cultural resource surveys in southeastern Colorado. Mark steered the organization in the purchase of Hayden Ranch and in saving the Mathews-Gotthelf building on Champa Street in Denver. Under his leadership, CPI was presented with the Trustee’s Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006. These milestones acknowledge just a fraction of his accomplishments with the organization. Mark’s impact and legacy extend beyond his time with CPI. He became the Director of Preservation Programs and the Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer with History Colorado as well as served as the Executive Director for the Michigan Historic Preservation Network before becoming Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Officer in 2021. Mark may have left CPI, but his heart never left the organization or Colorado. This morning Mark came to life again as I poured through CPI’s quarterly publications reading his words as he started each issue with a message from the Executive Director supported by a personal photo. It seemed only fitting to quote some of his views on preservation, leaving you with his voice through his own writings:

“We hope that these stories and speeches will serve as a challenge to inspire and to reinforce the important role that historic preservation plays in the life of our communities” – Spring 2003

“Throughout our history, Americans have been intrigued by historic and cultural assets. In most instances however, the bottom line controls the preservation of these assets. In our market-based economy, the protection of our important historic resources require that projects simply have to pencil out, to make sense. As the country has grown and developed, historic preservation advocates have worked to develop the tools and processes to protect our heritage. Preservationists had to establish guidelines for protection while simultaneously provide the economic benefits necessary to attract persons with the means to carry preservation projects forward. I hope you are inspired to bring preservation home to your neighborhoods and communities throughout Colorado” – Winter 2003

“Historic preservation provides the differentiation of place and therefore, deserves a prominent place in every economic development toolbox” – Spring 2004

1Join me in celebrating a man who achieved great things and left a mark on the hearts of all he encountered. Please send CPI your memories and stories of Mark so they may be shared.

The photos below were selected by Mark and posted with his Executive Director messages over the years. They capture and project his humor, passion, and character – a light far from extinguished.

Jennifer Orrigo Charles & the Board & Staff of CPI

stories 2

Memorial Donations in lieu of flowers:

CPI has learned that in his incredible generosity, Mark selected the nonprofit organizations Colorado Preservation, Inc. and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network to receive memorials in lieu of flowers.

Donations may be made online to CPI or mailed to CPI:
1420 N Ogden St, Suite 104 Denver CO 80218
ATTN: Jennifer Orrigo Charles

Or mailed to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network: 313 Cesar E Chavez Ave, Lansing MI 48906

Stay tuned for more information on an upcoming Colorado celebration of Mark.


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National Parks Service Grant Awarded


(May 25, 2022 — Denver, Colorado) – The National Park Service just announced they will be awarding Colorado Preservation, Inc (CPI) a grant of $750,000 to fund a rural revitalization historic preservation subgrant program within the organization.  CPI received the grant through the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program, which awarded $7.275 million to 11 recipients in 10 states to support economic development through the preservation of historic buildings in rural communities across the country.

“The Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants program fosters economic development in rural communities through the rehabilitation of historic buildings,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “With these funds, our state, Tribal, local government, and non-profit partners can develop subgrant programs and select individual projects that will support the economic development goals and needs in their communities.”

“We are thrilled to receive this incredible grant and for the opportunities it creates for preservation projects across the state,” Colorado Preservation, Inc. Executive Director Jennifer Orrigo Charles said. “With these funds CPI will be able to create a subgrant program open to private property owners, nonprofit organizations and municipalities with over $600,000 to award for catalyst projects in rural communities across the state.  Eligible projects must be either individually listed or determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Buildings listed as contributing to a National Register Historic District also qualify.  Applications will officially open February 2023 to coincide with CPI’s annual Saving Places Conference.”

These grants mark the fourth year of funding for the program honoring the late Paul Bruhn, executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont for nearly 40 years. State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices, Certified Local Governments, and nonprofits were eligible to apply for funding to create a subgrant program to fund multiple preservation projects in their rural jurisdictions. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF, authorized through 2023, uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.

To see the full list of grantees, go to https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/paul-bruhn-2022.htm

For more information on CPI and the subgrant program contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at [email protected] and stay tuned for updates on CPI’s website https://coloradopreservation.org

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Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI) is Colorado’s nonprofit historic preservation advocacy organization. Founded in 1984, CPI promotes historic preservation statewide by providing information, education, training, expertise, and advocacy. CPI administers Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List, presents the annual Saving Places® Conference, hosts the Dana Crawford and State Honor Awards recognizing excellence in historic preservation, conducts surveys of historic resources, and maintains an active presence in the state legislature. CPI also assists in grant administration and project management, and undertakes rehabilitation and adaptive use projects that serve as models for preservation statewide. Learn more at coloradopreservation.org.

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Project Update: Ludlow Tent Colony Massacre Site

Progress to Restore Concrete Cellar at Ludlow Tent Colony Massacre Site

April 20, 1914, Colorado National Guard shot striking coal miners with machine guns and burned their tent camp at Ludlow (Tent Colony – 1,200 population) to the ground. The violent day left 21 dead. It was the height of Colorado Coalfield Wars – strikes led by United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I) – which began in 1913 at a narrow canyon opening leading to the mines in the low hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Ludlow. Following the turn of the 20th century, strife between mine workers and CF&I began to escalate as coal miners (many new immigrants) suffered horrible working conditions, gas explosions, low and decreasing wages, and a lack of unions. Many of the workers and their families lived in company “towns” or tent colonies like Ludlow.

Ludlow has since been dubbed the “deadliest strike in the history of the United States.” The Ludlow Massacre was a pivotal event in U.S. mining history that resulted from workers’ efforts to improve conditions and the broader struggle between labor and control over workplace management.

In 1918, a granite monument was erected by UMWA at the site. Later that year, the “death pit” was encased in concrete to memorialize the victims.

Located just off I-25 north of Trinidad, the Ludlow Tent Colony Site is a National Historic Landmark, nationally recognized as a place of memory, and is one of few sites of violence and tragedy immediately commemorated by a union with a substantial memorial. Now more than 100 years old, water infiltration in the cellar has caused concrete instability, spalling, cracking, and failing structural steel components rendering it unsafe for public access.

Starting in 2019, following two grants from Colorado’s State Historical Fund (SHF), Colorado Preservation, Inc. began working to restore the concrete cellar at Ludlow with the following project team: UMWA and Las Animas County provided physical labor, excavation equipment, and materials; the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark Program provided in-kind archeological expertise and support; Scheuber+Darden Architects provided architectural/engineering services. A&M Renovations is the general contractor. In partnership with UMWA, Colorado Preservation, Inc. helped secure funds in 2020 from National Trust for Historic Preservation and is administering it and the SHF grant. This structurally sensitive restoration project is finally underway. With this dedicated team and hopes of good weather, the cellar will be stabilized, and be once again safe for the public by the end of 2021.

Courtesy of Scheuber+Darden Architects

Courtesy of Scheuber+Darden Architects

Courtesy of Scheuber+Darden Architects

Courtesy of Scheuber+Darden Architects

For more information on this project and others that are possible with the help of Colorado Preservation, Inc., get in touch with Jane Daniels, director of preservation services, at [email protected], or 303-893-4260, ext. 236.

For more, check out History Colorado:

Ludlow Tent Colony Site – Ludlow Monument – Ludlow Massacre Memorial – Ludlow Massacre Site (Cellar)

Children of Ludlow

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Project Update: Garcia Ranch Adobe Potato Barn

Conditional Grant from Heritage Area for Garcia Ranch Adobe Potato Barn

Photo courtesy of Colorado Preservation, Inc.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. received notification of a pending $22,249 grant from Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area for rehabilitation of the unique adobe potato barn at Garcia Ranch in Conejos County. The grant will be used to match a possible State Historical Fund grant request, now under review, and is contingent on Congressional approval of 2022 National Heritage Area funding. In the interim, Colorado Preservation, Inc. will work with architect Barbara Darden and project contractors to carry out an emergency stabilization of the unique, double-walled with air pocket west wall of the building, which has partially fallen and threatens the stability of the roof and structure. This feature of the building, along with its adobe construction, made possible better climate-controlled storage of potatoes, which have been grown extensively in San Luis Valley for decades.

Graphic courtesy of Barbara Darden.

In 2019, Colorado Preservation, Inc. listed Adobe Potato Cellars of San Luis Valley on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places and is interested in working with other property owners who might wish to preserve their adobe potato barns and cellars in the area. Garcia Ranch Adobe Potato Barn is owned by Reyes Garcia, who is a descendent of “pobladores” (settlers) who came from northern New Mexico and established the resource rich ranch in 1885. The effort to save the adobe potato barn and others is part of a partnership aiming to help preserve sites of significance to the Hispano people and Spanish culture of Colorado (underrepresented communities per Goal A, 2020 State Preservation Action Plan).

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Project Update: Manitou Springs Carnegie Library

Manitou Springs Carnegie Library Moving Forward

The beautiful and dignified Manitou Springs Carnegie Library crowns a gentle hill overlooking Manitou Avenue in the center of town. It was built with philanthropic funds provided by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. But its role as a library has seen ups and downs and recent challenges, relating in part to ADA access. This prompted a group of concerned citizens to nominate it to Colorado Preservation’s Most Endangered Places in 2020. Although the nomination was well prepared, the site did not make it through the competitive process for listing in 2021. Nevertheless, the Endangered Places Program has provided guidance and support for Carnegie Library Task Force in their capacity building, outreach, and fundraising strategy development. Major progress has been made this year to rally the community around a win-win design solution developed by Ratio Architects to rehabilitate the historic library building, while adding a sensitive addition that meets the library program, including improved access.

This project serves as an example of how the Endangered Places Program can continue helping nominated projects move forward in their preservation efforts, whether or not they make it onto Colorado’s Most Endangered Places. The nomination process itself requires a certain degree of coordination and planning that often helps set the stage for ongoing community preservation efforts.

Carnegie Library Task Force has helped rally Pike’s Peak Library District, City of Manitou Springs, Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commission, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and now Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, along with local schools and citizens, around the library preservation campaign. A capital campaign is getting underway to supplement funding provided by City of Manitou Springs and Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage initiative, which directs a portion of sales taxes to area nonprofits. The campaign has also included bookmarks, door hangers, and outreach to schools to get the word out.

An earlier State Historical Fund grant helped restore the historic library, a beautiful classical Italian Renaissance building designed by prominent architect Thomas McLaren and constructed of light brown brick with a red-tiled roof. While much work remains to be done to finalize the design of the library addition and raise the necessary funds for construction, the community is mobilizing in an impressive way to make it happen. Updates can be found on the Carnegie Library city website and the task force Facebook page.

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Project Update: R&R Market

R&R Market Receives DOLA Main Street Open for Business Grant

R&R Market, San Luis, Colorado

Colorado’s oldest continuously operating family-owned business, R&R Market in San Luis, listed on Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Most Endangered Places in 2019, will share a major grant of $560,722 made to Town of San Luis, along with four other key businesses along Main Street. The grant from Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Main Street Open for Business program will provide improvements to the participating businesses, including fresh paint, new signs, window repairs, doors, and lighting and efficiency improvements. Owners Felix and Claudia Romero are descendants of the original owners of the market, which dates to 1857 and has anchored the state’s oldest downtown for more than 160 years.

In August 2021, Town of San Luis became the newest participant in Colorado Main Street Program, generating much energy and enthusiasm in the area since the announcement. Colorado Preservation, Inc. congratulates R&R Market and the other participating businesses on the grant award and wishes to acknowledge the work of the late Jeremy Elliott of Costilla County Economic Development Commission for his role in making it happen. A memorial service for Jeremy took place Aug. 24 at the offices of Costilla County Economic Development in San Luis.

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October 2021 Newsletter

Not subscribed to Colorado Preservation, Inc. newsletters? Add your email to our list here.

October News includes:

  • A Special Opportunity to Triple Your Impact
  • Save the Date for CPI’s 2022 Conference!
  • R&R Market Receives DOLA Main Street ‘Open for Business’ Grant
  • CPI Receives Conditional Grant from Heritage Area for Garcia Ranch Adobe Potato Barn
  • Progress to Restore Concrete Cellar at Ludlow Tent Colony Massacre Site
  • Town of Saguache Loses Long-Time Leader and Advocate May Engquist
  • Friends of Raymer to host John Fielder Book Signing for Weld County
  • New Report Highlights Massive Economic Benefits of Archaeology in Colorado
  • Dawn DiPrince Appointed Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Officer
  • Iconic Schmid Family Ranch Needs Help to Save Historic Buildings
  • The Necropolis Politic Symposium – Online Opportunity

Read the full newsletter online here.

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Project Update

Commodore Mine Achieves National Register Listing

Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, photo courtesy of Clerestory Preservation

Colorado Preservation, Inc. designated Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, a historic mining district, located outside of Creede in Mineral County, as a Colorado Most Endangered Place in 2006, citing “Natural Elements” as the main threat to the site. Encompassing nearly 30 acres of valley floor and adjacent steep mountain slopes of West Willow Creek Canyon, Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex long stands as one of Colorado’s most scenic and photographed mining sites and is a regional icon. Its history and significance relate to the early silver bonanzas of the 1890s in the area which continued into base metal extraction during World War II. The mine finally closed in 1976 and in 2008–10 underwent several Environmental Protection Agency surveys, assessments, and cleanup efforts.

After 15 years, we are excited to report that this multifaceted and rich site is listed in National Register of Historic Places! This designation was no small feat, as the mine’s historic district is large, complex, and varied. Consisting of approximately 40 contributing and non-contributing resources, it is recognized as one encompassing contributing site, as it displays hardrock tunnel mine features having high levels of integrity and represent the period of significance from 1891–1971.

Bachelor-Commodore Mine Complex, photo courtesy of Clerestory Preservation

Thanks to the efforts and support of the private owner, Ty Poxson, the regional Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with Mineral County, Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, and others including past researcher Mountain States Historical and Clerestory Preservation, who compiled and wrote the recent nomination. Bachelor-Commodore Mine passed the first preservation test and is officially designated as a historic site. The next steps entail negotiating the complicated ownership of the mining parcels so Mineral County can become future stewards of the district. The goal is to stabilize, preserve, and restore the mine structures to make them safe for greater public access, including heritage and educational tours.

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Hereford School

Open House at Historic Hereford School

Hereford School, circa 1940s

You are invited to an open house and housewarming party at the historic Hereford School in the tiny town of Hereford on the northeastern plains near the Wyoming border on Sat., Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hereford School is owned by fine arts consultant and long-time historic preservation supporter Elizabeth Schlosser, who nominated the property to Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2020. Although the school was not listed after the highly competitive nomination process, it is a unique and one-of-a-kind school building with an exciting history deserving of preservation.

Hereford School is not just another abandoned eastern plains schoolhouse but was the centerpiece of a Utopian inspired ensemble of three architect-designed buildings influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The school’s township was purchased by Frederick Findeisen of Chicago in 1925, platted as part of a colony with three primary buildings designed in the prairie school style by architect John van Bergen, including a Community Center, Hereford Inn, and Hereford School. The Inn is a single-family home, and the Community Center is abandoned and threatened with demolition. The overall site is relatively undisturbed and intact. The owner converted part of the school building to a residence and photography studio about 20 years ago. The site has much potential as an educational, environmental, and historical site near Pawnee National Grasslands.

The building is located at 67300 Circle Drive. For information about the open house, contact [email protected].

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