Everyone who has been to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, can probably agree with me when I say I feel a mixture of love, fascination, tranquility, and exhilaration when I’m there. Perhaps it is because of the music, the view, the vibe, and of course, the red rocks themselves that surround the amphitheater, which both Red Rocks Park and Colorado are named after. If you haven’t been to Red Rocks, you must go! It is a fun adventure, guaranteed, as well as a remarkable symbol of not just Colorado’s history, but of U.S. history, too.
Adaptive Reuse at Altitude: Innovative Partnerships Transform a Schoolhouse
Up at 9,600 feet above sea level in Breckenridge, Colorado, a stately schoolhouse has weathered more than a century of high altitude winters. After Colorado Mountain College moved out of the school, the town leaders of Breckenridge knew they needed to get their hands on this gem. One of only two brick civic buildings in town, this Mission Revival school was unique in this former mining vernacular Victorian town. The question was: What to do with it?
Historic preservation is more than simply preserving buildings and sites. It generates jobs and economic growth while simultaneously allowing future generations to know the places that we have come from to better understand how we got to where we are today.
History Colorado’s Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation assists in documenting and preserving properties that are vital to our state and nation’s heritage. Part of this process is working with the National Park Service to list buildings in the National Register of Historic Places.
Colorado’s historic buildings always tell a story. Some illustrate the wealth generated from the gold and silver mining days while others tell the tale of the state’s agricultural beginnings. Seldom heard, though, are the stories that are confined within the walls of Colorado’s prisons and jails.
To help these tales break free, here is a glimpse at three historic Colorado jails (and one prison) that you may not know about.
1. Haswell Jail
The Pedro Trujillo Homestead
The first time my wife and I traveled to the San Luis Valley, we fell in love with it. We got to know the valley well, and in March 2005 we were invited to see the Medano Ranch, a 50,000-acre spread just west of the Great Sand Dunes. The Pedro Trujillo Homestead is located on the property, and we were taken there to experience the remoteness and beauty of its setting. An hour at the site, with its free-flowing artesian well and breathtaking views of the dunes, left us changed forever. As a boy I tagged along with my parents on 4-wheel visits to many Colorado mountain ghost towns. Everything I had learned on those trips told me that the Pedro Trujillo structure was a treasure. My wife and I decided it needed to be preserved—and soon. In a few more years, there’d be nothing left to save. Continue reading “Privately Funded Preservation: Saving the Trujillo Homestead”