School restoration featured

Perry-Mansfield wins state award for preservation achievements

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— The ongoing historical restoration work at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp in Strawberry Park has won a state award.

The longest continually operating performing arts camp in the nation will receive a State Honor Award from Colorado Preservation on Tuesday in Denver.

Perry-Mansfield was founded in 1914 by friends Portia Mansfield and Charlotte Perry. It had one structure at the time, the "Cabeen" cabin. Since that era, the campus of Perry-Mansfield has grown, but many of its buildings were in relative disrepair when it was purchased from Stephens College in 1992 by the Friends of Perry-Mansfield.

"Fifty-three of the 70 buildings located on the campus are deemed historic in the National Register of Historic Places listing," said Mark Rodman, executive director of Colorado Preservation. "Many of these share the same rustic architecture -- log siding, small paned windows, overhanging roofs, rock chimneys and natural foundations of rocks, logs and stumps."

Perry-Mansfield Director of Marketing Janice Vierke said the renovations to buildings such as the main lodge and the Cabeen and Foothills cabins won't change their historical qualities.

"They are still going to have that rustic flavor, but they had foundation and structural work that needed to be done," she said.

The architect for the restoration project is Jan Kaminski of Mountain Architecture. Type Pierce is the general contractor. Two other contractors, Gary Cogswell and Mark Halvorson, who are either past or present members of the camp's board of directors, are acting as advisers.

The historical significance of Perry-Mansfield is enriched by former campers who went on to distinguished acting careers. They include Julie Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Lee Horsley, Lee Remick and Joan Van Ark.

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