Saving Places, the 2010 conference organized by Colorado Preservation Inc., was titled “Preservation— the Foundation of Sustainability,” …
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Saving Places, the 2010 conference organized by Colorado
Preservation Inc., was titled “Preservation— the Foundation of
Sustainability,” indicating the focus on green techniques used
today to retrofit old buildings as well as design new ones.
Attendees heard a Thursday keynote speech by architect Carl
Elefante, who is credited with the oft-repeated quote, ”The
greenest building is… one that is already built.”
He began with a native American proverb: “The earth is not given
to us by our parents. It is lent to us by our children…” reminding
the audience of a responsibility to the built environment, which
was built for the ages.
“Sustainable stewardship,” indicates a need to value existing
buildings and retrofit them to LEED certification, with the
adoption of green tools such as energy modeling, a survey of the
entire building’s energy uses and losses. New windows and
insulation may only make 8 percent difference, if the roof is the
problem, for example, despite frequent ads to the contrary. The
wrong tools may be used in evaluation, ignoring built-in durability
He was one of several speakers to reference the Nov. 2009
Pocantico Proclamation, formatted by more than 20 experts with the
National Trust for Historic Preservation, which urges communities
to view re-use of buildings, as well as new buildings through a
A feature of the Feb. 4 luncheon for about 500 was the
announcement of the 2010 Most Endangered Places recognized by
Included was Willowcroft Farm at 3500 West Bowles in Columbine
Valley, which was built in the 1800s by Joseph Bowles, a rancher
and farmer who was important in local history. He homesteaded an
original 160 acres and eventually owned about 2,000 acres in the
South Platte Valley. Designed by prominent Denver architect Robert
Roeschlaub, the house was built in Queen Anne style of rose colored
Castle Rock stone. It is on the Colorado Register of Historic
Three other historic structures on the 9.6 remaining acres
include a barn, a bunk house where the Bowles family lived while
the house was built and the original smokehouse. Paul and Cynthia
(Cee) Wolf bought the property in 1946 and it remained in the
family until sold at auction in 2009 to settle an estate. (The new
owner is Lynn Paris, who lives nearby).
Board members of Historic Littleton Inc., a membership
organization, nominated the property for the Endangered Site list
because it needs maintenance and is probably slated for
redevelopment, which could eliminate a piece of Littleton
Other properties on the 2010 list include the dome of the
Colorado capitol building, which has deteriorating, rusting
underpinnings (CPI will lead a campaign for funds to restore it);
the 1905/06 Grand Junction Depot, which was abandoned by Amtrack
and is deteriorating badly; the 1874 Elkhorn Lodge in Estes Park,
which needs a buyer who will repair and restore it; Brown’s Sheep
Camp at Fort Carson, on land owned by the US. Army and outbuildings
in the Lake City Historic District (garages, carriage sheds,
outhouses, etc). A visit to the CPI website will locate nominated
sites from previous years and what has happened to them.
Among many sustainability-related topics on the conference
agenda was a session detailing the preparation to retrofit the
landmark Empire State Building in New York City, a project that has
received considerable attention.
The presentation was by Elaine Gallegher Adams and Caroline
Flubrer of the Rocky Mountain Institute, who were involved in
Included in an estimated 48 billion square feet of existing
pre-WWII building stock in the US, one of the mid-century buildings
now considered “historic,” the Empire State Building project offers
information valuable to individuals and governments contemplating
older buildings on a smaller scale.
Energy modeling (a mega energy audit recommended in several
seminars) led to repair rather than replacement of 6500 double hung
windows and retrofitting of the chilling mechanism; plus
interactive measures that saved 38 percent on energy use. Other
considerations: design development; modification of building owner
behavior; a whole system dynamic life cycle approach. The goal: a
75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas by 2050.
Other sessions focused on historic downtowns, funding, rehabs,
surveys, zoning, restoration of adobe, wood and cast iron,
politics, historic schools and interpretation. CPI operates year
round, aiding in restoration and education. Membership information
is available on its website.
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