Friends of Crossan’s begins work on stabilizing historic South Routt building
November 20, 2013
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Steamboat Springs — There aren't many renovations where an archaeologist is present on site, but you never know what could turn up when poking around the 110-year-old Crossan's M&A Market building on Main Street in Yampa.
Thursday was no exception when an interesting artifact was found while examining the area underneath the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building.
"We think it's the back of a buggy seat," said Jeff Drust, president of Friends of Crossan’s. "It's a pretty cool little piece of wood."
The building was purchased by the Montgomery family in the 1960s and was mainly used for storage.
"We found a lot of really interesting things, ledgers from the '30s, just oddball stuff," Drust said.
Friends of Crossan’s is dedicated to restoring the historic grocery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the Friends of Crossan’s webpage, the market operated as a mercantile store from 1903 to 1964 when it closed.
Work on stabilizing the building started Thursday.
The sidewalks around the building were removed to expose the foundation to further scrutiny.
The only problem, according to Drust, is that there isn't much of a foundation at all.
"The whole goal is to lift it up, get a real foundation and stabilize it," Drust said Tuesday.
Part of the building has sunk into the ground as the beams that held it gave way to weather, gravity and the pull of time.
"We are potentially changing our ideas of how to do this," Drust said.
The plan to lift the building might not be feasible with the extent of the damage, he said, and another solution would need to be engineered.
The goal for Friends of Crossan’s right now is to preserve the building as well as it can until enough funds are raised to completely restore the South Routt landmark.
The group has raised about $70,000 so far, according to Friends of Crossan’s member Noreen Moore, and $62,500 of that went to match the $200,000 State Historical Fund grant that is paying for the stabilization project.
Another $62,500 is needed to match a second State Historical Fund grant in April that will be used to complete the other needs of the building, Moore wrote in an email.
Finally, a Department of Local Affairs grant would allow the building to be brought up to code for public use.
To raise the matching funds, Friends of Crossan's have held bake sales, events and some inventive fundraising projects.
A remnant of an old staircase that was not going to be used in the restoration was made into frames to sell, Drust said, and historic photos of the market were placed inside. Johnson Glass, PostNet and Mona's Art to Go contributed to the effort, he said.
Other building projects, such as work on the front facade and changing the roof structure, will depend on grant monies and further fundraising.
"We have kind of narrowed down what we're going to do this phase," Drust said.
Drust said the Friends of Crossan’s has a great group working on the project, which includes Meg Tully, of Historic Routt County, Anne McCleave, of History Colorado, and Janet Ray, Cynthia Pougiales and John Dobell.
For his part, Drust didn't foresee how deep he'd be into the project when he first got involved.
"I volunteered to put tarps on the roof years ago," he said. "Now, here I am."