April 2018 Grants Submitted

Good luck to all of our clients who submitted History Colorado – State Historical Fund grant applications in the April 2018 grant round!

We provided assistance with 14 applications in this round – several are pictured below.  We’re looking forward to the results in June and August!

Far View Visitor Center

Jessica Reske

We are very excited to be working on a project at Mesa Verde National Park!  In cooperation with the Mesa Verde Museum Association, the National Park Service, and History Colorado, we just began work on a Historic Structure Report for the Far View Visitor Center.  I recently had the pleasure of going to Mesa Verde to attend the project kick-off meeting.  We are fortunate to be working with a great group on this unique project!

The building was constructed as part of the National Park Service’s Mission 66 program.   The program was federally sponsored, and was in place from 1956-1966.  The programs’ goals were to be implemented by 1966, the 50th anniversary of the National Park system. Efforts undertaken under the program included improving deteriorated and dangerous conditions in National Parks nationwide which were the result of a visitor boom following World War II.  Under the program, the National Park Service sought to add modern conveniences within the parks, educate the public, and standardize the National Park experience.  The concept of a visitor center, now a staple of National Parks nationwide, came about under this program.  Designers during this time embraced modern, contemporary structural forms, a stark contrast to the rustic buildings previously found in the National Parks.

Visitor Centers constructed during the Mission 66 era were usually prominently sited on major roads within the parks and were recognizable as structures associated with their specific park.  Typically, expansive views were provided from the visitor centers, providing views of nearby natural and cultural resources.  The Far View Visitor Center exemplifies all of these characteristics.

The Far View Visitor Center was dedicated in 1968, and is one of the last Mission 66 visitor centers to open.   The cylindrical shape of the building was intended to evoke the form of a kiva, a Puebloan ceremonial structure found throughout the park.   From the deck of the building, an impressive visa of the mesa is visible.  The visitor center is sited on the main road through the park, across the street from other amenities such as the Far View Lodge and the Far View Terrace Cafe and gift shop.

The visitor center was closed in 2012, upon completion of a more modern visitor center, located at the entrance to the park.  The building is currently vacant.  Part of the Historic Structure Report will include a study of possible uses for the building, including early discussions with a possible user for the building!


View from the observation deck of the Far View Visitor Center




Belmar Farm Caretaker’s Residence

Jessica Reske

Initially constructed as part of the May Bonfil’s estate, the Belmar Farm Caretaker’s Residence is one of the few buildings at the Lakewood Heritage Center which is in its original location.  The building was abandoned in 1962 when the May Bonfils mansion was demolished.  Beginning in 1976, the small structure was used as offices for the Lakewood Heritage Center.  In the 1990s, the offices outgrew the space and the building was used for storage until 2008.  Since then the building has sat vacant on the Lakewood Heritage Center grounds.

As it was an out-building on a large estate, limited historic information is available for the structure.  However, it is clear that the building was constructed in multiple phases and that the earliest section of the building is a kit home.

Kit homes were popular in the early to mid 1900s.  It is believed that the original section of the Caretaker’s Residence was a kit home from the Aladdin Company, which manufactured kit homes from 1906 through 1981.

Kit homes were originally shipped via train and later by truck, making them available across the country.   Some of the pieces for the kit home were typically stamped to indicate how the structure was to be assembled.  Looking at catalogs from various kit home manufacturers the Caretaker’s Residence matches a style in Aladdin catalogs from the early 1900s.  As no company name was found as part of the identification stamps, and the style matches the catalog, it is likely that the Aladdin Company was the manufacturer.

The stamped framing members in the Caretaker’s residence were observed during the process of completing a Historic Structure Assessment for the building in 2011.  Now that some of the interior finishes have been removed, the stamps are visible on roof framing members throughout the building.


The east and west wings of the building do not have similar stamps and are framed differently, indicating they were constructed at a later date as additions to the original kit home.

We are currently working with Hord Coplan Macht and JVA, Inc. to complete Phase 1 of the rehabilitation of the building.  Summit Construction Services and Sandcreek Construction are working together to serve as the general contractor for the project.  A second phase of work is anticipated, leading to re-use of the building as a community meeting space, support space for events at the Lakewood Heritage Center, and a home for a small research library and archive focusing on the May Bonfils estate.


A Look Inside the Paris Mill

Jessica Reske

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a historic gold mill high in the Rocky Mountains looks like?  I’ve been working on the Paris Mill for the last four years and the building never ceases to amaze me!  Keep reading for a glimpse inside this unique structure!

Paris Mill South Elevation

Constructed in multiple phases, the earliest section of the Paris Mill was built in 1895 to process gold being mined high on Mount Bross in Buckskin Gulch.  The Mill operated for over 40 years, shutting down operations in 1937.  From 1937 until 1977 the building sat vacant.  In 1977, the Mill was briefly re-opened to work a drilling operation in Buckskin Gulch.  The Mill closed permanently shortly thereafter.

In 2004 the Mill structure was listed on Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Most Endangered Places.  In 2013, I became involved in the project when Park County received a grant to begin rehabilitation of the building.  Since then, I have been part of the rehabilitation of two sections of the building, and completed a Master Plan for the site.  Currently Form+Works Design Group is working on a construction documents package for the next three phases of rehabilitation for the building.

As part of the current scope of work, the building was LiDAR scanned which resulted in a digital 3D model of the building.  Visual Globe completed this endeavor, and from their model, the design team has been able to produce accurate floor plans, elevations, and sections of this complex building.

In mid-April, Form+Works Design Group and JVA, Inc. completed a site visit to document the current conditions of the building and identify a schematic design level scope of work.  Our site visit included a top to bottom look of the inside of the Mill.

Throughout the Mill much of the original equipment remains in place.  One of the goals of the project is to allow visitors interior access throughout the building.  This will provide greater understanding of how the milling process works as well as insight into the lives of the miners who worked at mills such as the Paris.  The following photos were taken inside the Paris Mill earlier this Spring and provide just a glimpse of the amazing Mill structure and the equipment remaining inside.  Stay tuned for updates as we continue to work on this unique project!





Ten in Ten: Happy Preservation Month

May is Historic Preservation Month and to help raise awareness for the National Trust’s This Place Matters campaign we wanted to share our May adventures to date! With the thaw of winter, the bustle of site visits and kick-off meetings is upon us! Form+Works has spent the last 10 days visiting 10 great people and places around the state which help tell the story of our rich heritage.

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On May 1 we completed a window assessment for the gorgeous masonry buildings along Platte Street between 15th and 16th Streets in Denver.

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On May 2 we had the opportunity to travel to Crested Butte for the kick-off meeting for our project at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum.

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On May 3 we attended the construction meeting at Ponderosa Lodge on the La Foret Conference and Retreat Center in the Black Forest.  This phase of the project is nearly complete!

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May 4 we headed to Pueblo for field documentation work at the Hose Co. No. 3 building, the current home of the Pueblo Fire Museum.


On Cinco de Mayo we toured the Wagon Wheel Gap Fluorspar Mine in Creede, Colorado with our friends at Wattle and Daub Contractors to evaluate current conditions and determine emergency repairs required. The mine operated between 1911 and 1950 and the fluorite was sent to Pueblo to be used as a flux at the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.


We met with the Colorado Springs Historic Preservation Board on May 8 to discuss the Colorado Springs Depot Masonry Rehabilitation project.  Construction Documents to be completed soon with construction anticipated later this year!

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On May 9, we met with the City of Loveland and the Pulliam Community Foundation to discuss the upcoming rehabilitation of the Pulliam Community Building.

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While we were up in northern Colorado, we also dropped off the permit drawings for the Bessie Smith House.  Soon the house will be set on its new foundation!

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We also found time to head to Briggsdale with Colorado Preservation Inc. to check out the Land Utilization Headquarters buildings.  We’re looking forward to working together on a Historic Structure Assessment for the buildings.


Finally, on May 10 we checked out the City of Aurora’s WWI Memorial, located on the UCD Anschutz Campus.  The Memorial will be the subject of an assessment and documentation effort in preparation for cleaning and restoration.

We’ve already had a busy Historic Preservation Month – we are looking forward to continuing to work with great clients and their beautiful historic buildings and structures!

Hose Company No. 3

Jessica Reske

Hose Co. No. 3 was constructed in 1894 to house horses and horse-drawn fire-fighting apparatus.  The building was designed by John F. Bishop, a prominent Pueblo architect.   Constructed of brick and stone masonry, the building was designed in the 19th century commercial style, and includes elements of the Italianate style.  The front (northwest facade) is faced with grey sandstone while the side and rear facades are constructed of multi-wythe brick masonry.  At the rear of the building, a hose tower rises an additional story past the roof line of the two-story building.  The entire building was painted sometime prior to the 1960s based on available photographs of the building.

When constructed, the interior of the building was designed to accommodate one horse-cart, two stalls for horses, and the hose tower drain on the first floor.  The second floor included a sleeping room, sitting room with lockers, bathroom, and feed room with hay and a feed box for grain.  The feed room was converted to a kitchen in 1915 when the fire department ended the era of horse-drawn equipment.

The building actively used by the Pueblo Fire Department until 1979.  From 1979 to 1989, the fire department used the building for storage.  In 1989, the Pueblo Fire Museum first opened in the building.  The Museum operated until 1992, when it was closed for several years.  Following inventory of the collection, the Museum was re-opened and remains in use as the Pueblo Fire Museum.  The building is one of the oldest in Pueblo and is a City of Pueblo Historical Landmark.

Form+Works Design Group is working with Hord Coplan Macht to produce construction documents for the rehabilitation of the exterior of the building.  In addition, critical repair work will be completed this summer to re-anchor loose sandstone and remove failing stone on the front facade of the building.


For additional information about the history of the building and the Museum please visit http://www.hosecono3.com

April Grant Applications

Jessica Reske

Good luck to all our clients who submitted State Historical Fund grant applications in the April 1, 2017 grant round!

We were involved with submission of 15 applications this time (photos of some projects below!).  Our participation in these submissions ranged from providing a fee proposal letter to writing the application and providing attachments.  We look forward to the grant award announcement dates of June 1 and August 1!

If you are considering applying for a grant in the next State Historical Fund grant cycle, the next deadline is October 1, 2017.  If you would like assistance with your application, please contact us!


World’s Wonder View Tower

Jessica Reske

The World’s Wonder View Tower, also known as the Genoa Tower Museum, was constructed in 1926.  The tower occupies a site on Genoa Hill in Lincoln County, Colorado at an elevation of 5,600 feet above sea level.  With the top of the tower at an elevation of 5,751 feet above sea level, at the time of construction, the upper deck of the tower reached the highest elevation point between New York and Denver as confirmed by the US Geological Survey.  From this vantage point, on a clear day one could view six states: Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota.  The extent of this vista was noted in Ripley’s Believe It or Not column in 1933.

The original 1926 construction included the tower with a single-story room to either side.  Additional structures were gradually added to the site and ultimately connected in 1968 to form one building.  These structures included a gas station, trading post, café, and a small lodging facility.  This complex provided a resting point for travelers along Highway 24.  During World War II, the facility was open 24 hours a day, providing a rest stop for soldiers being bussed cross-country.  Following construction of Interstate 70 and the end of rail passenger traffic past the site in the 1970s, visitation to the tower declined.  The tower was closed to the public in 2013.  In 2017, the tower was added to Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Most Endangered Places.   

I recently had the opportunity to tour the facility with Colorado Preservation, Inc. and the new owners of the building.  The building is quite unique in form, having been constructed in multiple phases with sections of wood framing, concrete, and masonry.  The masonry walls feature large rocks and petrified wood set in mortar.  The owners of the building shared that the concrete roof reinforcement is accomplished with bed springs, lawn mower parts, and other miscellaneous metals.  Inside the café, the rock walls feature paintings by Princess Ravenwing, a Sioux Tribe artist.  A theatre area of the building includes a stage as well as an audience area with additional paintings.  A wide variety of detritus remains in the building from its era as a museum, including a large collection of glass bottles, books, and rocks. 

Form+Works Design Group is looking forward to working with Colorado Preservation, Inc. and the new owners of the building to update an Historic Structure Assessment previously completed in 2000 and to develop a rehabilitation plan for the building to ensure its preservation for future generations.