What are the Stephen H. Hart Awards for Historic Preservation?
History Colorado began presenting the Stephen H. Hart Awards in 1986 to recognize outstanding projects and individual achievements in archaeology and historic preservation throughout Colorado. Stephen H. Hart was Colorado’s first State Historic Preservation Officer.
From this select group of awardees, one exceptional project is chosen every year to receive the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation. First presented in 2003, the Governor’s Award recognizes a project or person that exemplifies the best in historic preservation, in honoring historic design and craftsmanship, and in adhering to proper preservation techniques and ethics.
The History Colorado President’s Award recognizes a person, project, or program that enriched and educated others about our state’s history and heritage, while the Hart Archaeology Award goes to a person, project, or program that demonstrated a commitment to archaeology and historic preservation.
The 2014 Hart Awards will be presented on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at the History Colorado Center.
12th Annual Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation
Nominee: Dominguez Archaeological Research Group, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, & National Park Service Project: The Colorado Wickiup Project
In 2003, with funding support from the State Historical Fund and the Bureau of Land Management, the Dominguez Archaeological Research Group (DARG) began conducting a documentation and information-sharing project for all known Protohistoric/Historic aboriginal wooden structures in the state, known as the Colorado Wickiup Project. Since then, researchers have identified more than 300 sites with over 800 wooden features and more than 50 sites with over 300 wooden features.
Combined with early ethnographic and historic records of native peoples, archaeological documentation of abandoned habitations and campsites has created a wealth of data and contributed to the study of prehistoric and proto-historic architecture, subsistence techniques, seasonal migratory patterns, and life ways. In addition, DARG sought the perspective of the Ute, who view wickiups not only as structures in which ancestors resided, but as living places that serve as a direct connection to their past. The project has revealed new aspects about the traditional life ways of the Ute and testifies to the wide range of Ute occupation in Colorado.
The Colorado Wickiup project has contributed demonstrable understanding of how aboriginal peoples of this region used these ephemeral wooden structures in the past, and it is an outstanding example of research that combines archaeology, ethnography, history, and technological innovation.
5th Annual History Colorado President’s Award
Nominee: The National Trust for Historic Preservation, St. Charles Town Company, SLATERPAULL Architects, Spectrum General Contractors Project: Emerson School Rehabilitation and Restoration
Widely regarded as Colorado’s first master architect, Robert S. Roeschlaub completed Denver’s Emerson School. In operation through much of the 20th century, the school finally closed in 1979. The following year, three non-profit organizations purchased the property and converted it into a senior center, and in 1994, they received an SHF grant for masonry repairs.
In 2010, when Capitol Hill Senior Resources, Inc. was no longer able to maintain the building, the trustees donated the Emerson School to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with a $2 million endowment in tow, provided by one trustee specifically for the school’s care. In conjunction with an SHF sustainability initiative grant, a loan from the Colorado Historical Foundation, foundation grants, and private donations, the endowment was put to use in 2011 when the Emerson School project began.
The National Trust and its preservation partners used four strategies to render the historic buildings more energy efficient and sustainable: tightening the exterior envelope, restoring historic “green” features, strengthening connections to the surrounding neighborhood, and reducing energy use by nearly 50% to ultimately make the Emerson School a “NetZero” building by 2030. Today, the Emerson School is a glowing example of a “green” historic building, a stronghold in the community that fosters neighborhood revitalization, and a preservation hub that houses offices for 4 preservation-minded local nonprofit organizations—indeed an embodiment of the preservation ethic both inside and out.
5th Annual Hart Archaeology Award
Nominee: Richard Carrillo, Cuartelejo HP Associates Project: Statewide Archaeological Efforts
In the mid-1960s, when Richard Carrillo first worked at Bent’s Fort, few archaeologists dared to call themselves “historical” or “urban” archaeologists. To say he helped birth and professionalize these sub-fields of archaeology in the West is no exaggeration. Beyond his work with urban archaeology, the number and variety of rural historic properties that have benefitted from Carrillo’s investigations is truly impressive, especially considering that many have been subsequently listed on the State or National Register. His research in rural areas, and specifically the southeast, is almost always characterized by his commitment to offer college training opportunities and public outreach. Carrillo’s teaching and civic services are well-known, and a list of only his most important professional contributions, rural or urban, is extensive.
Yet what particularly distinguishes Carrillo’s career is his wide-ranging service to the state and to his community. He has held numerous leadership positions, and in 2013 he joined a select group when the Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists elected him to be one of only 12 Fellows of that group. He is without a doubt one of the leading preservationists in Colorado and yet one would not necessarily know that from a conversation with him. He is an exemplar of how we should act as citizens and preservationists who are deeply invested in the welfare and future of our state.
28th Annual Stephen H. Hart Awards
Nominee: Logan County Board of County Commissioners Project: Logan County Courthouse
In 2000, Logan County began rehabilitation on its historic 1910 Renaissance Revival courthouse, designed by notable Colorado architect John J. Huddart. Armed with patience, commitment, and a whole-hearted value on upholding The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, Logan County and its preservation partners, A-E Design Associates and Wattle & Daub Contractors, spent more than thirteen years in total restoring the distinguished courthouse, performing the work at a level of craftsmanship to equal that of its original construction.
The more than $5 million project—with contributions from Logan County, the Department of Local Affairs, and the State Historical Fund—rehabilitated or restored nearly every surface of the building, from the once panel-covered plaster walls and cornice mouldings to the tile floors formerly shrouded in carpet and adhesive; from the missing terra cotta elements, doors, and windows to the incandescent copper dome and flagpole, both absent before the project began, but both crucial to the complete restoration of the building. Before the restoration, the crowded building did no justice to its significant role in the region. Today, the stately building gives Sterling its town center and the County’s ever-committed citizens a symbol of pride for their community.
Nominee: City of Greeley and Historic Greeley, Inc. Project: Greeley’s Comprehensive Outreach & Educational Preservation Initiatives
Boasting 164 designated properties as well as the Downtown and Monroe Avenue local historic districts, Greeley is a community that values local preservation. For the last decade, city staff and the historic preservation commission (HPC) in partnership with the all-volunteer Historic Greeley, Inc. (HGI) have made education and outreach a top priority of the city’s program. Designated a Certified Local Government (CLG) in 1999, Greeley has pursued and received many CLG grants and State Historical Fund (SHF) grants for preservation initiatives. In 2001, Greeley become one of the pilot Main Street communities and was designated a Preserve America Community in 2004. When downtown Greeley was designated a local historic district in 2006, the final hearing witnessed no property owner objections—a testament to the outreach of the preservation community—and in 2008, downtown Greeley was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, demonstrating the true enthusiasm of the community, as the same area was listed as an Endangered Place eight years prior.
Since then, Greeley has continued preservation outreach with vigor. In 2013, Greeley held more than 40 presentations, tours, and booth set-ups, often bringing in more than 100 participants to each event and garnering audiences of grade-school children, college students, and senior citizens. The City of Greeley and Historic Greeley, Inc. have transformed a fledgling historic locale into a flourishing preservation-minded community whose future stands plump with opportunity.
Nominee: Western Colorado Interpretive Association, Inc; Anthony & Associates; and the Bureau of Land Management Project: Hanging Flume, San Miguel River, Montrose County
Clinging to a cliffside in the Dolores River Canyon are remnants of the Hanging Flume, a unique example of the engineering ingenuity born of gold fever. The Flume was constructed by the Montrose Placer Mining Company in the 1880s to aid hydraulic mining of gold, or moving water from one point to another—in this case, more than 10 miles, over 7 of which were built along a perpendicular wall of stone, hence the name, “hanging.” Over the years, the flume has been scavenged, vandalized, and weakened, leaving little intact except for the butts and bents that hold the original structure to the canyon wall.
The Western Colorado Interpretive Association (WCIA) saw the vital need to preserve this Colorado oddity and received two grants from the State Historical Fund to assess the condition of and create a master plan for the Hanging Flume, which today sits (or hangs, rather) on public land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. As the only known flume to remain in the United States in a condition suitable for preservation, the Hanging Flume was listed as a Colorado Endangered Place and as a World Monuments Fund threatened historic site. In 2012, with the help of private funding from the Hendrick’s Foundation and the World Monuments Fund, Ron Anthony and a group from Vertical Access replicated a 48-foot section, constructed on the original supports 100 feet above the Dolores River along the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic Byway. Reconstructing this small segment of Colorado’s rare relic was the next step toward preserving the magnificent Hanging Flume as an interpretive and educational site to be enjoyed for many years to come.