Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List Announced – 5 Sites Listed, 2 SAVED

Iglesia de San Antonio/Tiffany Catholic Church
Dearfield Agricultural Colony
South Ute Boarding School Campus
Grocery store of Strangers
Union Pacific Pumping Station

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places, a flagship program of Colorado Preservation, Inc. that works with communities across the state to save threatened or endangered historic buildings and sites, turns 25 in 2022 and kicks off a celebration of ‘One Year With Breakfast Announcing 2022 Sites’, hosted by CBS4 meteorologist Dave Aguilera, during the annual Saving Places Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera Hosts 2022’s Most Endangered Places Announcement Breakfast

The Most Endangered Places Program provides assistance, outreach, and technical assistance to significant historic sites in Colorado that are in danger of disappearing. In 24 years, the program has brought to light 130 historic sites across the state; 54 sites have been SAVED and only seven have been lost, with 49 in progress and 20 still on alert. Rather than announcing new sites for the Endangered Places Program (EPP), Colorado Preservation, Inc. is pausing in 2022 to focus on five existing key sites listed that reflect BIPOC’s (Black, Indigenous, People color) and rural sites over the coming year.

These five important sites and their status include:

  1. Dearfield Agricultural Colony (listed 1999, County Weld) in rural Weld County is one of the largest in the early 20and century African-American agricultural colonies that sought to provide opportunity, self-sufficiency, and freedom to black citizens migrating to the western United States. Dearfield was inspired in part by Booker T. Washington and founded by pioneering entrepreneur OT Jackson on the eastern plains of Colorado. The colony thrived until climatic challenges and the ravages of the Great Depression led to its gradual demise. Today, only a handful of buildings remain on the site belonging to the Black American West Museum, but the museum and its Greeley-based partners, the Dearfield Preservation Committee, have fought diligently to document, interpret and save the site and several recent developments bode well. for his future. In 2021, Dearfield received a $498,000 National Park Service (NPS) African-American Civil Rights Program grant, to be administered by the University of Northern Colorado. Recent legislation has also been introduced by Senator Michael Bennett and Representative Joe Neguse to explore the possibility of designation as a National Historic Site. CPI supports these efforts and looks forward to working with project partners to continue this important progress in 2022.
  • Iglesia de San Antonio/Tiffany Catholic Church (listed 2019) located along the old Denver & Rio Grande railroad line in far southern La Plata County, represents the region’s first Hispanic settlement in the river valleys. Built in 1928, the small church was lovingly constructed by local labor using adobe and stucco materials that have deteriorated badly over time. However, the building has great historical integrity, including its beautiful interior, and is still used for an annual pilgrimage and mass every June. CPI helped facilitate the development of detailed construction plans and recommendations for foundation and wall stabilization, funded in part by a grant from the State Historical Fund, and will work with local custodians and site stewards to establish partnerships and raise matching funds for a complete rehabilitation of the building over the next few years.
  • the South Ute Boarding School Campus (SUBSC, listed 2020), located in Ignacio on the South Ute Reservation in far southwest Colorado, epitomizes the difficult judgment underway nationwide on the dark and traumatic era of schools in the council when native children were taken from their families and forcibly assimilated into Anglo-European culture. At the same time, the mostly intact campus of buildings provides opportunities for adaptive reuse while allowing tribal members to tell their own stories of perseverance and self-determination in the face of genocidal policies enacted by the United States government. . The Southern Ute Tribal Council surveyed tribal members and received positive feedback and support for preservation efforts and conducted an environmental assessment of the Brownfields program in the Head Start School building, gymnasium and dining hall . A study was also conducted by May & Burch Conservation, Inc. to determine options for preserving the culturally significant WPA-era murals in these buildings, which were completed by Tribal member Sam Ray in the 1930s. CPI will work with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe to support these efforts in 2022.
  • Grocery store of Strangers in Grand Junction (listed 2001) helps tell the story of a once thriving Italian-American community several blocks away that existed on the southern outskirts of downtown near the railroad depot. Today, early 20and century is almost all that remains of the “Little Italy” of Grand Junction. Listed in 2001, it was recently purchased by a new owner who plans to carry out a conservation-sensitive adaptive reuse project in an area that is experiencing rapid new development. Plans include retail and office uses and the rehabilitation of the fine masonry carried out by Italian stonemasons in 1909. CPI plans to support these efforts, as well as helping to mitigate the impacts of a construction project. widening of the CDOT highway in front of the depot and the former grocery store in 2022.
  • Union Pacific Pumping Station to Kit Carson was listed on the EPP in 2005 but remained in limbo due to Union Pacific Railroad liability issues and lack of rehabilitation funding. The pumphouse in the late 1870s supplied water for steam engines and today is the only stone railroad pumphouse in Colorado. The building was closed when UP stopped using steam engines through Kit Carson in 1956. The pumphouse was donated to the Kit Carson Historical Society by UP, but the railroad still retains ownership of the land and is concerned about the proximity of the building to the railway. tracks. CPI will work with UP, the Kit Carson Chamber of Commerce, Kit Carson Rural Development and the Kit Carson Historical Society to determine how these barriers can be overcome and how preservation of the historically significant pumping station can go from forward in 2022.

Additionally, CPI is proud to officially announce two new savings for 2022 at the Saving Places conference:

Denver Tramway .04 (listed 2015, Jefferson County)
Agitated Gold Dredge (registered 2015, Summit County).

When Denver Streetcar Company .04 streetcar completed its last run on June 3, 1950, the once glorious era of Denver’s streetcar system came to an end. The .04 streetcar was the last streetcar to operate in revenue service and is the only surviving converted narrow gauge car from a system that once included over 160 miles of track and 250 streetcars. Today, it has been beautifully restored from a near-ruined state that landed it on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2015, thanks to a partnership including the City of Arvada, the State Historical Fund, the ‘Arvada Urban Renewal Authority and Friends of the .04 Trolley.

Around the 20and century, nine gold dredging boats operated in the Breckenridge area, scouring ravines and river valleys to find every last morsel of gold. The Reiling Dredge, one of these floating, self-contained gold mines and processing plants, began operations in 1908 and quickly made record profits in a short time. Each of the Reiling’s 86 buckets could pick up five cubic meters of gravel from the stream bed. Once on board, the gravel flowed through separation screens, mercury-lined sluices and other equipment to recover the gold. The Reiling unexpectedly sank in its self-made pond in 1922. CPI added the dredge Reiling to the Endangered Places program in 2015 due to its deteriorated condition – in situ where it had disappeared nearly a century before. With support from the City of Breckenridge, Summit County Government, and the State Historical Fund, the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance has undertaken the unusual task of preserving a semi-submerged structure at 10,000 feet. Because a full restoration of the above and below ground barge-like structure was never truly contemplated, a saving for the project was defined as stabilizing existing historic materials and mitigating the threat of immediate continued deterioration. . Seven years after listing those goals have been achieved and now the Reiling Dredge is considered the most intact dredge landscape in the United States.

The 2022 Saving Places® Conference, also celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022, is one of the largest preservation conferences in the United States. At its grassroots, the Saving Places Conference provides essential training, networking, and educational opportunities to support historic preservation in the community, locally, and nationally. The 2022 conference theme, “Perspectives in Preservation”, features voices that have been lost, sidelined or overlooked within the preservation community and beyond and the announcement of the five most endangered places presents this perspective.

For more information on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places and the Saving Places Conference, visit

This project is funded in part by a grant from the History Colorado State Historical Fund. Colorado’s most endangered places are located throughout the state. The general public is invited to visit, learn and be inspired! For more information, please visit

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