Colorado State Historical Fund Grant awarded to Glenwood Springs Historical Society

Two of the Cardiff Coke Ovens located in south Glenwood Springs near the Airport.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

The Glenwood Springs Historical Society has been awarded grant funding to work on the Cardiff Coke Ovens, a city news release states. 

“This site is a special part of Glenwood history, and we are grateful to receive this grant from the State Historic Fund,” Glenwood Springs Historical Society Executive Director Bill Kight said in the release 

The Colorado State Historic Fund awarded the historical society with $34,930 as a mini-grant for site stabilization, planning documents, erosion mitigation, interpretive signs and graffiti removal. Glenwood Springs will be matching the grant funds.

“The Historical Society will use this grant as Phase 1 and start the planning process immediately,” Kight said in the release

In 2023 the site will have vegetation, trash and graffiti removed to prevent further deterioration and vandalism, and might be temporarily closed during some of the construction. It is currently open to the public. 

Phase 2 of the project is not yet funded, but Garfield County has agreed to set aside matching funds through a letter of commitment for the larger stage of the project which will include masonry work to partially reconstruct, interpret missing sections and further stabilize the ovens. The Historical Society will apply for a separate grant from the State Historic Fund after Phase 1.

“Without the support of many individuals and businesses in the Glenwood community — too numerous to mention at this time—this project would not be possible,” Kight said in the release

Other future improvements will be built by the city and funded through a Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District grant for $140,000 on the city property adjacent to the actual coke ovens, the release states. 

The partnership will be to construct a display area for artifacts from coking operations, constructing a new Americans with Disabilities Act accessible path, along with reconstruction of the existing trail. 

The Cardiff Coke Ovens were created to cook impurities out of coal to make coke for steel production. 

Cardiff was named after Cardiff, Wales because the coke produced locally was only considered second in quality to Wales. At the height of operations in the late 1890s, there were 249 coke ovens used to burn and extract components from coal to produce coke. The coke ovens on Airport Road are owned by the Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the release states

For more information and historic photographs of the Cardiff Coke Ovens, visit

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