Denver Rio Grande Railroad Station- Antonito

2007

2020

Year Listed: 2007
County: Conejos County
Construction Date: 1880-1890
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
Status: SAVED
 
 

The Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot is not only one of Antonito’s greatest historic assets, it is also a key to the revitalization of the town itself.  This station, constructed out of quarried ashlar volcanic stone, served the town of Antonito and the surrounding communities until 1951.  The significance of the Depot is evident in the fact that all of Antonito’s original buildings were constructed to face the station.

When listed on the Most Endangered Places list the depot had been vacant for over 50 years with neglect and deferred maintenance taking a toll on the structure.  The town of Antonito has formed a partnership with Conejos County Commissioners, Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway, the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec, and Permian Basin Railroad (known as the Antonito/Conejos Railroad Heritage Alliance) to help the town with preservation plans, grant writing, and fundraising.

In 2016, CPI, the Town of Antonito and the Sangre de Christo National Heritage Area partnered to obtain a State Historical Fund grant for restoration of the depot.  Work began in late summer 2016 to repair windows, doors, and woodwork, replace the roof and to rebuild the chimneys.  Schuber-Darden Architects and Empire Carpentry are the able contractors on the project. In 2017, CPI was the recipient of another State Historical Fund grant of $74,806, matched with $25,001 in funding from the Town of Antonito, to continue exterior rehabilitation.  This phase included stucco repairs, masonry repointing, custom storm windows, and exterior lighting.  The rehabilitated depot is now the centerpiece of beautification efforts meant to revitalize the town’s downtown district.  The new tenant in the depot is Conejos Clean Water, a regional non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of water resources in the San Luis Valley. The site was declared a save in 2020.

Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area created this video in 2020 to commemorate the preservation project work at the Antonito Depot:

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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".