Architecture students help Hayden Granary’s future come into focus
October 1, 2012
Steamboat Springs — Namaste. Serenity now. Pieces and parts.
That last one is said aloud at two tables set in front of the Hayden Granary on Saturday morning.
"Isn't that a serenity chant?" Tammie Delaney laughs.
The group that sits around the tables is there to focus on the building Tammie and Patrick Delaney own just off the center of Hayden, but the discussion ebbs and flows along the ladder of abstraction from insulation in the wedge section off the coffee shop to a master plan for the building, the future of Hayden, community.
"We're like scatterguns," Patrick Delaney said about himself, Tammie and their plans to take the granary from a feed shop to a gathering place for Hayden and, hopefully, a catalyst for the town.
"The only thing we can control is the space right here," he said.
"Need that one little piece that will start the process," said Kat Vlahos, the director for CU Denver's Center of Preservation Research, who was in Hayden to talk about the work her architecture studio class will do using the granary as inspiration.
Vlahos, who was born in Craig and still has family in Northwest Colorado, said most of the 12 students in the class are focusing on the east warehouse, home to homecoming events, weddings and barn dances.
The students "really want to give them something they can use," Vlahos said.
The Delaneys are headed to Denver in mid-October for midterms, and the-end-of-the semester presentations might even be in Hayden, provided the building and the weather cooperate.
The hope is that the students' work can add another perspective and some fresh insight into the journey to bring the granary back to prominence in Hayden.
"There's wisdom in the buildings, and it brings that out of people when they're here," Tammie Delaney said about the nearly 100-year-old structures.
She said a man who came to weigh hay at the granary told the story of storing eggs for the winter — when the decreased daylight meant fewer fresh ones from hens — by lining barrels with straw and alternating layers of eggs and straw.
Tammie, who was the project director for the Yampa Valley's Vision 2030 project, said, "It's like I went from 2030 to 1930."
The Delaneys offer up the example of the men who used to gather at the building for coffee in the mornings back when it still was a working granary as evidence of its history as a gathering place and hub for Hayden.
They said that they've been busier now than before the feed store closed a couple of weeks ago. Without the need for an excuse to stop by — and an espresso machine on site — Hayden residents have just been popping in and out.
A truck with a trailer full of hay pulls in front of the granary to be weighed, and Tammie excuses herself from the discussion to check the scale.
"This is still seen as a functioning place," she said.
Vlahos said her architecture students are reading the book "Nothing Daunted," which is the story of two women from upstate New York making the journey to settle in Hayden in 1916, and the class toured the building earlier in the year.
"Students come in and have a gut reaction. It becomes a personal thing. It's not just a building in the middle of nowhere," Vlahos said.
Saturday morning, two students were in town again to take more photos and stayed for the barn dance and two-step lessons that evening.
As the music and light from the dance spilled out of the east warehouse, the kids danced in the gravel out front under the harvest moon, and the granary's future as a gathering place for Hayden seemed to come into focus.