Glenwood landmark Tamarack building gets face-lift
A landmark downtown Glenwood Springs building that hearkens back to an era of main street car dealerships with big showroom windows is getting a face-lift that will both modernize what’s now a bustling office building and restore some of its historic vibe.
Scott and Christine Key of Glenwood Springs purchased the Tamarack Building at 1001 Grand Ave. two years ago, and are underway with a major renovation that will spruce up the front facade and bring much-needed upgrades to the interior office spaces and common areas.
The Keys have partnered with Brian Beazley of David Johnston Architects, DM Neuman Construction and other local contractors including Oddo Engineering to complete the renovation, which is expected to take about eight weeks to complete.
”We have a strong belief in the future of Glenwood and want to be part of shaping this future in a positive way,” Scott Key said. “This building is a Glenwood Springs icon, and we are excited to invest in regaining its prominence on Grand Avenue and as a premier business address.”
The Tamarack was built in 1947 by Louis and Arlene Berthod, who opened the first Berthod Motors at the downtown location, selling Hudson automobiles before eventually becoming Glenwood’s American Motors dealership. The building served as an auto sales center until Berthod moved to its South Grand Avenue location in 1960.
Over the years, the storied downtown building with its unique curved front facing the street at an angle served a variety of uses, from a gas station, restaurants and a pub, to a health food store, one of the first locations for Summit Canyon Mountaineering and a variety of business offices.
A predecessor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Glenwood Independent, had its offices in the upper south corner of the building from its start in 1998 until it merged with the Glenwood Post in 2001.
Today, the Tamarack houses several local businesses, including core tenants Blizzard Internet Marketing, Got You Covered, Lewan and Superior Drywall, the Noone Law Firm and Integrated Mountain Group Properties.
Key and his wife began making several investments in Glenwood after he retired from a Fortune 500 company 18 months ago.
The Tamarack renovation involves a complete upgrade and refinish of the exterior and courtyard, which will have free wi-fi with outdoor seating areas for building employees to be able to step out on a nice day and get some work done.
The main interior atrium is being upgraded with new floors and railings, and office spaces are also being upgraded with newer technology, “to bring them into the modern era,” Key said.
“People started calling it the ‘rabbit hutch’ over the years, because the office areas kept getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “We did a poll of the tenants to see what we could do to make it more business friendly, and got some good ideas.”
Architect Beazley said the Tamarack has been an interesting design palette to work with.
“We have created the façade design by honoring the renaissance that is occurring in Glenwood Springs,” he said. “Architecturally, we are proposing a facade adaptation that pulls this art deco building into the current architectural movement occurring in Colorado.”
The new design also updates the building entry and window glazing, and the windows themselves will be longer top to bottom than the current windows. Highlights are also being added to the historic brick facade.
“The building has been pretty much the way it is now since the early 1990s,” Key said. “Our motivation here is to elevate Grand Avenue and try to create something positive for the downtown.”
Key said he’s not sure how the name “Tamarack” came about, other than it’s a rather “ratty looking” tree native to Canada, he noted, and a name tied to some other properties upvalley in Aspen and Snowmass. In any case, he said he’s also toying with the idea of a name change, but hasn’t gotten that far yet.