Community Ag Alliance: Cloverdale Restaurant to receive Historic Routt County’s Preservation Leadership Award |

Community Ag Alliance: Cloverdale Restaurant to receive Historic Routt County’s Preservation Leadership Award

Emily Katzman For Steamboat Today

Every year Historic Routt County recognizes an outstanding preservation leader or preservation project in Routt County. The recipients are projects and people familiar to you, efforts that have enriched our community, enhanced our awareness and appreciation of Routt County’s history and shown us that historic preservation spans the generations to create a rich future for all of us. This year our recipients continue that tradition.

We are proud to honor Patrick Ayres and Jeremy MacGray of Cloverdale Restaurant with Historic Routt County's 2017 Preservation Leadership Award. Cloverdale is an inspired project, not only for its farm-to-table dining experience, but for the owners' vision to preserve and enhance the house at 207 Ninth St., a historic treasure in downtown Steamboat Springs.

The Cloverdale House was built circa 1918 and tells the story of prosperous times in Steamboat.  The town, population 400, was officially incorporated in 1900. Two years later, the power plant on 10th Street was in operation. By the time the railroad reached Steamboat in 1908, the town was in full boom.

An expression of prosperity, the architectural style of the town changed at this time; most homes built before the railroad were simple front gable vernacular style. During the boom, there was an emphasis on larger, more elaborate bungalow-style homes. With its location near the center of town, the Cloverdale House, a substantial craftsman bungalow, had access to both telephone and electricity before many other households.

Art Gumprecht, a prominent local carpenter dubbed Steamboat's "master builder," built the Cloverdale House. He collaborated with Swedish stonemason Joel Anderson, whose specialty was the use of local river cobbles for foundations. When you walk into Cloverdale Restaurant today, the first thing you'll notice is the charming river cobble wall.

Cloverdale Restaurant, which opened summer 2017, has been a project four years in the making. MacGray, Ayres and their team dedicated more than a year to rehabilitating and transforming the house for commercial use.  "We wanted to breathe life back into a property that had essentially died, but had such a prominent place in our community's landscape," MacGray describes.

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"We wanted to update the home to our modern standards to ensure its longevity and guard against future deterioration." Highlights of the rehabilitation include removing the original coal furnace from the basement to transform the space into a wine and root cellar; reinforcing walls and ceilings and adding new bathrooms to meet code; refinishing the original hardwood floors; repairing the original multi-paned windows; retaining the original front door; reincorporating pieces of the built-ins; and repairing and rebuilding the unique river cobble wall around the property.  Work by local artists and craftsmen grace the interior of the restaurant and garden. Attention to detail is evident everywhere.

Jeremy MacGray summarizes their vision for Cloverdale Restaurant, "We wanted to tell the stories of both the Bartholomew Ranch [the restaurant's farm] and the Cloverdale House by tying them together through the mutual purpose of farm-to-table fine dining. We believe the presence of so many people in the Cloverdale House on a regular basis, working, dining, laughing, and relating, has a visible and prolonging effect on its existence."

Emily Katzman is the Executive Director at Historic Routt County.