Hot Sheet

Four historic sites added to list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Author: Ernest Luning - February 3, 2018 - Updated: February 3, 2018

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The Tarryall-Cline Ranch house in Park County, built in 1928, landed on Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, announced on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at the organization’s 21st annual Saving Places Conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. (Photo courtesy Colorado Preservation Inc.)

The mostly forgotten networks of tunnels beneath downtowns across Colorado are among the sites the state’s premiere historic preservation organization is adding this year to its list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, Colorado Preservation Inc. announced at its annual conference in Denver this week.

Two sites, including a stretch of railroad grade in Larimer County and the ornate gateway to a Denver park, are coming off the list because the organization no longer considers them to be endangered.

Jennifer Orrigo Charles, Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s executive director, announced the four new sites at the program’s annual luncheon on Thursday at the Colorado Convention Center, held in conjunction with the group’s Saving Places Conference, the largest gathering of its kind in the country.

The list, intended to draw attention to historically significant sites in Colorado in danger of disappearing, is in its 21st year. The project is funded in part by a History Colorado State Historical Fund grant.

The sites added this year are:

• The Tarryall-Cline Ranch house, off Highway 285 in Park County between Como and Jefferson, dating to 1928

An underground entrance to the lower levels of commercial buildings in Florence, Colorado, is representative of the historic downtown underground sites statewide added to Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, announced on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at the organization’s 21st annual Saving Places Conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. (Photo courtesy Colorado Preservation Inc.)

• The underground entrances and the tunnels beneath downtowns across Colorado cities, including Denver, Fort Collins, Durango and Grand Junction, particularly common in southern Colorado cities such as Trinidad, Pueblo, Salida, Florence and Cañon City

• The Doyle Settlement on the southern edge of Pueblo County, established in 1859 along the Huerfano River, with a school building and cemetery still standing

• The Elk Creek Barn and Octagon at Schaffer’s Crossing, where an old stagecoach route crossed the creek, near Highway 285 in Jefferson County

Charles also announced that two site are considered saved and will no longer be on the list: The Greeley, Salt Lake and Pacific Railroad line in Larimer County, first constructed in 1881 and finally abandoned in 1988; and the iconic Sullivan Memorial Gateway connecting the Esplanade in front of Denver’s East High School to Denver City Park, a feature of the “City Beautiful” era, which is nearly restored.

Since its inception in 1997, the Most Endangered Places program has featured 117 historic sites all over the state — including locations in 49 of Colorado’s 64 counties — and considers 43 of them as saved.

Seven of the sites listed over the decades have since been considered lost, organizers said — including the massive Great Western Sugar Factory in Adams County, which proved to be a safety and environmental hazard and was demolished last year.

Learn more about the sites on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places list at http://coloradopreservation.org/programs/endangeredplaces/ . Plan a self-guided road trip to endangered sites at http://coloradopreservation.org/programs/endangered-places/on-the-road-with-colorados-most-endangered-places/

The Elk Creek Octagon at Shaffer’s Crossing in Jefferson County is one of four new sites added to Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, announced on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, at the organization’s 21st annual Saving Places Conference at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. (Photo courtesy Colorado Preservation Inc.)

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.