Tuesday, January 31, 2006
On the eve of Hayden's centennial birthday, historians and architects are taking a serious look at downtown buildings.
Officials with Historic Routt County and the town of Hayden want to know the history and condition of the buildings and what, if anything, should be done with them.
"Hayden is celebrating its centennial this year, and people are really excited about their history, and the people want to do something to preserve their commercial buildings," said Arianthe Stettner, executive director of Historic Routt County.
Stettner has been working with Hayden residents and historians Donna Hellyer and Pat Holderness to obtain grant money so the initial building research can be done.
They were awarded a $10,700 grant to survey the buildings. The town of Hayden and Historic Routt County are contributing $3,600, Stettner said.
It could take as long as 18 months to complete the survey of 40 commercial buildings.
"Each property owner will then have some info about their property that they didn't have before," Stettner said. Included in the survey are site maps, photos, building records and details about the historical significance. The survey is done to Colorado State Historical Society standards so some of the work already will be complete should a property owner decide to pursue local, state or federal historic designation, Stettner said.
"Who knows what will come of it," she said.
When the survey is complete, building owners will have some of the basic information required to apply for grants or tax incentives to improve the buildings, Stettner said.
"The next step is to get on a local registry if they are eligible," Stettner said.
Although it is in the early stages, Holderness, a local historian, sees the survey as an exciting step forward in marketing and improving the historic downtown.
"It would be good for the economy of Hayden; it would be good for the look of Hayden," Holderness said. "The whole thing is a win-win situation," she said.
For Town Manager Russ Martin, it is an opportunity for Hayden to figure out how it can distinguish itself from the other towns along U.S. Highway 40.
"It's nice to say you have a historic downtown. It's another thing to actually know what that means," Martin said.
Hellyer has been working on downtown historic designation for almost five years.
"I live here and I care, and it's one of the 50 things I want to do before I die," she said.
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