Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Historic Preservation, Leadville, Colorado

You compose because you want to somehow summarize in some permanent form your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today.

Aaron Copland

Got back on Saturday, 10/22, from a 3 day class in Historic Building Structural Assessment at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. We crawled through 4 buildings in town, the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, St. George's Episcopal Church, the 6th Street Gym and the Horace and Augusta Tabor House, assessing the buildings for further preservation work. With this knowledge we are to complete a Historic Building Assessment, a document which is used in Colorado to get grants from the Colorado Historic Fund to preserve the building.

Horace and Augusta Tabor House, 1877

For those of you who don't know, Leadville was the "Silver Queen", millions of dollars in silver were pulled out from the veins underneath the town from 1877 until 1893 when the Sherman Act caused silver prices to crash. Horace Tabor made some of those millions through lucky acts, one was to grubstake to miners who struck a large vein and the other was purchasing the Matchless Mine. That mine was salted (high grade ore was put in the shaft to make it look like it had good ore) and Tabor quickly found that out, but had his crew continue the digging and 20 feet later struck one of the biggest veins in Leadville. His first wife, Augusta, was considered to be an austere woman, she did not allow Tabor to build her a big house. They lived in this until they moved to Denver in 1881. To find out what happened to HAW Tabor, visit the website on Baby Doe Tabor.

George King, Home

George King was an architect who lived in Leadville during its boom days and among others, designed this house, the Tabor Hotel and the Delaware Hotel in Leadville, plus houses in Boulder, Colorado.

National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum

The Mining Museum is housed in 3 buildings, the original Leadville High School, built in 1899, then another was added on to it in the 1940's and then in the 1950's and all of it was abandoned in the late 1960's. It is quite the site to explore, especially the attic of the original 1899 building. By the way, all the exterior trim that you see on the 1899 building, the Victorian part, is made from tin.

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