Friday, September 22, 2000
Steamboat Springs Stone masons working on the restoration of the historic Routt National Bank building are proceeding with painstaking care this fall to match the original materials on the structure at Eighth and Lincoln in downtown Steamboat Springs.
The building is owned by a group of local investors and the Masonic Lodge. Historic Routt County is sponsoring the project, and a grant from the Colorado Historic Preservation Fund is making the restoration possible.
"The schedule has been continually extended because of the difficulty of matching historic materials," architect Jan Kaminski, of Mountain Architecture Design Group, said Friday.
The original building was built in 1919 out of materials including red brick and native sandstone. Tall, arched windows on Lincoln Avenue were its signature. The building then underwent renovations in 1948.
When the bank moved to Third and Lincoln in 1970, a group of bank executives, including Pat McClelland, Jack Sprengle, Irlan Neas and the late Del and Doris Scott, purchased the building. It was at that time the old exterior was covered with white stucco and a gray, shingle mansard roof was added.
When he learned of plans to remodel the exterior, City Council President Kevin Bennett urged McClelland to consider a historic renovation and he agreed. The work of removing the old stucco began in mid-April.
Kaminski said that when he performed an assessment of the building, he removed enough stucco to see some of the original sandstone blocks used on the building and found them to be in good shape. However, when all of the stucco was removed, more damage from the 1948 renovation was revealed.
Kaminski said the Historical Fund has been very particular about achieving the best match possible when replacing the original "Dakota" sandstone. The original source was a defunct quarry on Emerald Mountain. But Kaminski said quarrying the sandstone locally, sending it away for careful cutting and then shipping it back would have been prohibitively expensive.
Instead, it was determined that the sandstone used on a small addition to the Routt County Courthouse was a good match for the stones from Emerald Mountain. That supplier was relocated for the current job.
Kaminski said the stone mason is beginning to work on the portion of the Lincoln Avenue frontage that encompasses the Shirt Stop. Kaminski could not offer a timetable for the completion of the restoration work. McClelland and general contractor Tom Fox were not available for comment on Friday.
"I couldn't be more excited about a prime example of historic preservation," Kaminski said.
To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org