In May 2005, the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched its annual Preservation Month awareness campaign.
This year’s theme is “People Saving Places”. Let’s give a high-five to the people and organizations saving places in Routt County.
Here is the blue “People Saving Places” banner installed on Lincoln Avenue this month. Designed by local nonprofit Historic Routt County, the banner features familiar historical landmarks that have been saved in Routt County. These buildings and structures would have been lost had it not been for the efforts and resources of those who worked to preserve them for future generations.
Crossan’s mergers and acquisitions market, built in 1903, had been closed for nearly 50 years when Yampa bought it in 2006. Friends of Crossan rallied to save the building with equity and creative fundraising .
The group partnered with Historic Routt County to provide additional capacity for the project. Today, the building proudly serves as the town hall and visitor center of Yampa. In 2020, Crossan’s received the prestigious Colorado Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, the state’s highest historic preservation honor.
The Mesa School is a familiar sight at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass. It was neglected for decades until a group of historic Routt County volunteers teamed up with many school alumni and the community to restore the building to an authentic schoolhouse.
Upon completion of the project, the property was donated to the City of Steamboat Springs in honor of the city’s centennial in 2000. The school is available for rent from the city for private gatherings.
The Arnold Barn was deteriorating in a parking lot at the base of the ski area. In 2016, a group of citizens and heritage organizations raised awareness to “Save Arnold Barn”. Their activism and support inspired a public-private partnership to relocate, stabilize and maintain the barn. The restored monument now welcomes visitors to the ski area.
Hahns Peak Lookout, built by the Forest Service between 1908 and 1912, sits at 10,839 feet in North Routt County. The structure was a fire lookout until the early 1950s when fire management techniques changed and the lookout was no longer needed.
Extreme weather conditions, lack of maintenance and vandalism had taken their toll on the structure. In 2014, the popular hiking destination was listed as one of Colorado’s most endangered places by Colorado Preservation Inc. Historic Routt County has partnered with the USDA Forest Service, HistoricCorps, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and many volunteers to restore the gazebo and install modern lighting. protection. In 2018, the Lookout was celebrated as a “SAVE”.
Kudos to the people who maintain and care for their historic homes and buildings throughout the county. Not only do they save places, but they support sustainability.
Historic Routt County and the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council both promote the preservation of historic buildings as a way to address climate change, energy efficiency, and reduce construction waste. After all, “the greenest building is the one already built”.
Congratulations also to the more than 150 homeowners who have documented and listed their homes, ranches and buildings with Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Colorado and/or National Historic Registers. They too are places that save people.
Finally, a high-five to the Tread of Pioneers Museum for its ongoing work to celebrate, educate, and preserve the stories and artifacts of the people and places of Steamboat Springs and Routt County.
Together, we are people who save places!
Arianthé C. Stettner, Council Emeritus of Historic Routt County.