Courtesy photo

Lost Steamboat exhibit opens in May at Tread of Pioneers


— Sometime in the 1920s there was a Texaco station built from river rock where The Victoria building now sits at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 10th Street. The exact dates for its construction and eventual demolition remain somewhat mysterious, but there’s a photo to confirm it was there.

That photo was on display Friday night at the Chief Theater as part of a larger exhibit: Lost Steamboat.

Lost Steamboat buildings

Listed from east to west

• The A-Frame Warming Hut at the ski area base, original Christie Lift Base

• Congregational Mission Church, Fifth and Pine streets

• Good News Building, Fifth Street and Lincoln Avenue

• Wither Mercantile Building, Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street

• Fish Hatchery, Yampa and Eighth streets

• The Union School (first elementary school), Pine Street between Seventh and Eighth streets

• Second elementary school, Pine Street between Seventh and Eighth streets

• The Harbor Hotel, Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street

• Emmett Crosswhite Livery, Ninth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Yampa Street

• Texaco Gas Station, corner of Lincoln Avenue and 10th Street

• The Cabin Hotel, Lincoln Avenue and 13th Street

• Yampa Valley College Campus in 1969, 1330 Bob Adams Drive

Lost Steamboat shows glimpses of the town as it once was through 12 photographs of buildings that are no longer standing. The exhibit initially was organized as part of Architecture Month and is a partnership between the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Historic Routt County and the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

“AIA tries to promote architecture by doing free events that are open to community,” said Adam Wright, director of the local AIA chapter, and the exhibit is among the ideas that came out of the brainstorming for April events with other members, such as City Planning Director Tyler Gibbs.

But Lost Steamboat will outlive Architecture Month.

The exhibit will open May 1 at the Tread of Pioneers Museum and run through Dec. 1.

Wright said the exhibit also could move to other institutions in town after its run at the museum.

“What we’re excited about is this legacy component,” he said. “We hope it survives for awhile.”

A list of potential buildings was winnowed down to the 12 included in the exhibit with the help of Arianthe Stettner, who has been involved with historic preservation in Steamboat for some time. Stettner also researched the buildings and went through the Tread of Pioneers’ catalog to single out the best photos.

“When this came to my attention, I said ‘What a great idea,’” Stettner said. “So many people are new to the community, and they don't know what came before.”

“The goal was to find a handful of buildings that were somewhat recognizable in their not-so-distant past of form or just a location of town,” Wright said. “We have some old ones that people wouldn't recognize, but they would recognize the location and know what’s there now.”

Getting the exhibit ready for the Chief Theater was a quick turnaround, Stettner said, and there is a chance to do more research before it debuts at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

Members of the community also could contribute to the knowledge about some of the buildings, she said.

Some buildings that were considered for the exhibit were ruled out because the photos weren’t available.

There were octagonal buildings near the Clock Tower at the ski area that didn’t have an appropriate photo, Stettner said, and a couple geodesic domes off Pine Grove Road where nothing was available, as well.

In addition to having more time for the exhibit at the Tread, there will be more space, she said, opening up the possibility to include other buildings.

“We can see what buildings are missing,” she said, while also soliciting input from the community about which buildings they’re curious about.

In the immediate future, Stettner has a couple leads she plans on exploring to find out more about the Texaco station.

Lost Steamboat

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz


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