Glenwood historic preservation plan adopted |

Glenwood historic preservation plan adopted

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” City Council unanimously adopted a Historic Preservation Plan Thursday night. The plan’s goal is to give the Historical Preservation Commission “focus and direction” as it works to preserve and interpret the city’s historical and architectural heritage, according to Glenwood Springs senior planner Gretchen Ricehill.

“The City of Glenwood Springs has a great history and the historical preservation commission’s mission is to promote that history and preserve and protect it,” Ricehill said. “That is what they are working toward.”

Adopting the plan allows the historic preservation commission to move forward with the actions detailed in the plan, Ricehill said.

Some of the commission’s goals for 2009 and 2010 include to:

– develop a coalition of preservation-related organizations within the community;

– work with the Glenwood Springs Historical Museum on its historic marker program to educate the community on the historical properties throughout town;

– raise more public awareness that there is a preservation commission; and,

– create and maintain a database for people who are interested in the history of their homes and other buildings in town.

“A lot of people don’t know that we have a preservation commission,” Ricehill said. “One of their goals has always been getting the word out that they are here to help with historical research and education on the history of the community.”

Ricehill said that Glenwood currently has eight buildings or sites that are listed on the National or State Register for Historic Places including the Citizens National Bank Building at 801 Grand Avenue. And, the city also has three other structures of landmark status, including the Cardiff Schoolhouse, the First Presbyterian Church and the Pioneer Cemetery.

Landmark status protects the original design of a building and also puts limits on physical alterations that can be done to the property.

The National Register is administered by the National Parks Service and is an official federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and cultures, according to the National Registers’ website. Properties listed have significance to the history of their community, state, or nation.

Glenwood first assembled its historic preservation commission in 1999, Ricehill said. Its mission is to identify, preserve, develop, and promote Glenwood Springs’ historical, architectural and cultural heritage.

However, Ricehill explained, the commission never had a long-range plan.

In 2007, the commission received a grant from the state historical society to work with consultants to devise a long range preservation plan. In doing so the plan that was created acts as both an educational tool for the commission and the community, while serving as an action plan for the commission to achieve its goals.

Plan highlights include preservation issues and challenges regarding rehabilitating downtown buildings, preserving the unique and varying styles of neighborhoods, and educating residents and visitors as to what the community has to offer, historically and architecturally.

Historical surveys are one step for the commission to define exactly what Glenwood has in the community.

Since 1998, Ricehill said that she’s performed about 133 property surveys, about 40 of which are believed to be eligible for the National Register for Historical Places, or could be part of a historic district. She added that many more properties qualify for local landmark status.

“The post World War II neighborhoods in the community were found as potentially significant,” she said.

New City Councilman Stephen Bershenyi agreed with Ricehill on the importance of preserving Glenwood’s history.

“It’s a good thing for this community to begin looking seriously at what has made this such a wonderful place to be and preserving those things that are landmarks, so that when we look forward we don’t lose the past,” Bershenyi said.

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