CARBONDALE, Colorado - A new gallery space in the planned Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities Center for the Arts will honor longtime local resident and architect Ron Robertson, who passed away earlier this month.
The main gallery in the 2,100-square-foot portion of the new Third Street Center for area nonprofit organizations, located in the former elementary school building, will be known as the "R2 Gallery," CCAH Executive Director Ro Mead said.
"Ron put in many, many hours on the design of the gallery," Mead said. "It was a difficult space to work with, but he came up with a floor plan that we can all live with, and we love it."
Robertson, who served on the CCAH board for six years, died Jan. 10 during a lengthy hospitalization in Denver. He was 63. A complete obituary appears on page 8 of today's paper.
A graduate of California Polytechnic State University with a degree in architecture, Robertson moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1973. He worked for Glenwood Springs architect Dean Moffatt before starting his own firm, R.C. Robertson Architects, in downtown Carbondale in 1990.
He designed several buildings and other structures in Carbondale, including the "Welcome to Carbondale" sign at Highway 133 and Main Street, the gazebo in Sopris Park, the Crystal Glass Studio/Parkside Gallery on Weant Boulevard, the Cowen Center and adjacent Days Inn motel, and the commercial/residential building at 311 Main St.
He also designed the remodel of the Marble Charter School and Museum, which won an award from the Colorado Historical Society, and he co-designed the new Gathering Center and front entryway at the Church at Carbondale along with fellow local architect John Baker.
A memorial service and potluck will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Church at Carbondale.
"Ron was one of those persons who you wanted to know more about, because he was so easy to know," said friend Joe Scofield, who lives in the third-floor apartment at the 311 Main building. Robertson was also best man at Scofield's wedding recently.
"He cared deeply for his friends and community," Scofield said.
Robertson was co-chair of the Carbondale Downtown Preservation Association, and helped influence the downtown streetscape project that has been ongoing in recent years. He was also on the board of the Carbondale Rotary Club, and was an avid musician.
He prided himself in community volunteerism and challenged others to get involved, commenting in a 1999 Glenwood Independent article, "Carbondale needs to reawaken itself to the volunteerism of the past."
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robertson's memory to the CCAH Capital Campaign for the Center for the Arts, P.O. Box 175, Carbondale, CO 81623.
Mead said CCAH is about a third of the way toward its $150,000 goal to build the new gallery, classroom and office space, which will replace its current 800-square-foot Main Street location.
"We hope to start construction by the middle of March and have it done and ready to move into by May," she said. "The fundraising has gone well, and the community is supporting us. But we are going to be hitting it harder now."