Places are powerful.
Places will take front stage at the four-day Saving Places conference that kicks off Jan. 31 at the Colorado Convention Center.
Last year, the Saving Places conference, sponsored by the nonprofit Colorado Preservation Inc., drew about 750 people.
Architects, developers, planners, preservationists and others came from 40 Colorado counties and 17 states.
This year’s event could draw even more.
Places highlighted at the event range from the new Punch Bowl Social in the former air traffic control tower that looms over Stapleton to a tour of Colfax Avenue, the “longest, wickedest street in America.”
And since powerful places aren’t just some parochial phenomena, two of the more than 75 speakers will discuss the journey of Alcatraz from prison to park.
Gov. John Hickenlooper will kick off the places event. Speakers will include archeologists, architects, developers, preservationists, and civic and government leaders.
Following is a snapshot of some of the events at the places conference:
- A Day at the Capitol.
For an additional $15 fee, including lunch, a day will be spent at the state Capitol, where the focus will be on the 2018 reauthorization of the state historic preservation tax credit.
- Preserving Places that Matter – Breathing New Life into Old Buildings in Denver.
In the 1960s and 1970s, historic places often were bulldozed to make way for modern steel and glass architecture. In Denver, new uses range from the Punch Bowl’s Stapleton restaurant in the iconic traffic tower to historic buildings in LoDo and the former gritty industrial area ofRiNo.
Speakers: Joe Buerge, Rebecca Stone and Kyle Zeppelin
- Project Archaeology Curriculum Workshop
Many do not know that Colorado is home to more than 100,000 documented archaeological sites. This workshop provides an opportunity to learn about these places.
- State Historical Fund Grant Workshop
The State Historical Fund assists in a wide variety of preservation projects, including restoration and rehabilitation of historic buildings, architectural assessments, archaeological excavations, designation and interpretation of historic places, preservation planning studies, and education and training programs.
- When Historic Preservation Comes of Age: Can History be Found in a 1960s Resort Community?
The “Snowmass-at-Aspen” Ski Resort opened Dec. 15, 1967. Is 40 or 50 years of history enough to begin taking up the baton for a “historic preservation” program? If so, what buildings should be designated? Baby steps are being taken at Snowmass Village to create a preservation program.
Speakers: Britta Anne Gustafson, Julie Ann Woods
- A tour of the McNichols Civic Center Building
The McNichols Civic Center Building opened its doors in 1910 as an Andrew Carnegie-funded Denver Public Library and later was converted into municipal office space. The municipal offices were relocated in the 1990s and the former Carnegie jewel remained dark in Denver’s most important civic space, Civic Center Park. The building was reopened in 2010 for the Biennial of the Americas art exhibit and has more recently undergone a series of rehabilitation projects.
Speaker: Kelly Wemple
- Unlocking the City’s Secrets: How Denver’s Citywide Building Survey is Opening Doors to the Past
Discover Denver is a citywide building survey focused on identifying buildings and stories that matter to the city’s history. The project is unique in its approach, using technology and volunteers to tackle this monumental effort.
Speakers: Beth Glandon, Kara Hahn
- Preserving the Places that Matter: A tour of the Stapleton Air Control Tower
As mentioned above, the Punch Bowl’s newest home is in Stapleton. This tour of the historic Stapleton Air Traffic Control tower will show the tower’s evolution into an “eatertainment” business that combines “old-school” games like bowling and darts with an intense focus on the culinary and craft beers.
Speakers: Megan Freckelton, Frank Mataipule
- Public History and Homesteads: A Case Study of Brighton’s Historic Farmstead Inventory
As agricultural properties face the development pressure, Brighton’s agricultural land and historic places are being surveyed and inventoried.
Speakers: Erin Drake, Margaret M. Tillman
- Tour of Colfax Avenue: The Longest, Wickedest Street in America
The Colfax Avenue Business Improvement District is hosting a tour of Colfax, from the main thoroughfare during the Gold Rush, to the stomping grounds of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, to its evolution into an eclectic main street.
- Alcatraz: Prison to Park
Using the Main Prison on Alcatraz Island as a case study, Kristen Craig and Rachel Koleski will present how traditional documentation techniques including historic accounts, photos, reports and drawings were used to retain existing knowledge and integrate new findings.
Other events at the places conference will include:
- A Colorado Main Street workshop;
- A behind-the-scenes tour of how the Governor’s Residence was preserved;
- A lesson on the Grand Junction Atomic Legacy Learning Center, which was part of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II; and
- Preservation 101, an examination of the differences and roles of many historic preservation organizations, including The National Park Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, History Colorado, Colorado Preservation Inc., Colorado Archaeological Society, Colorado Historical Foundation and Colorado’s Main Street Program;
- Putting the “historic” in the Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways and how the “wow” factor is provided, whether you are driving, walking or cycling on these routes;
- New Life for a Regional Legacy – The High Line Canal. The 71-mile canal, owned and operated by Denver Water, still serves more than 60 water customers. The future of the path along the canal, which draws more than 500,000 hikers, joggers, cyclists and bird watchers each year, will be explored;
- Fruitdale School: A Ten-Year Tale of Persistence and Partnership. The Fruitdale School is in the heart of Wheat Ridge. After facing possible demolition multiple times, the school, which initially was designed by Denver architect and developer Temple Buell, has been converted into a 16-unit mixed-income apartment community; and
- Foundations of Denver: Tour with HistoriCity, an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Denver’s founding citizens and along its oldest streets to experience the storied and complex connection between the people who formed this city and the place they came to call home.
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