horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

Preserve America Community:
Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Steamboat Springs, Colorado (population 6,700), was first settled in 1874. Settlers were drawn by more than 150 thermal mineral springs in the vicinity, and by the early 1900s the town also become a center for winter sports.

Tread of the Pioneers museum, Steamboat Springs, ColoradoToday the Tread of the Pioneers museum educates visitors and residents about the local history of Native American Utes, explorers, traders, prospectors, and pioneers, as well as the development of the ranching, mining and skiing industries.

This community museum receives approximately 20 percent of its budget from the city through a line budget item, and an additional 50 percent of its funding from dedicated property tax revenue within the city. The museum hosts educational programs throughout the year, focused on school children as well as the public.

Steamboat Springs has been very active in preserving and restoring important historic buildings through public/private partnerships. An outstanding example is the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Carver Power Plant, an empty industrial building, as the focal point of the city's Centennial Hall, a new community facility in the heart of the historic downtown.

A conference room in Steamboat Springs, Colorado's, former power plantThis project created needed community office and meeting space, provided space for a new café, and enabled the city to visibly promote historic preservation in the community. Partners included the city and county governments, non-profit organizations, the Colorado Historical Society, the Orton Family Foundation, and many citizen volunteers.

The Rock Creek Stage Stop, once listed on Colorado Preservation, Inc.'s most-endangered places list, is another local asset that has recently been saved through concerted action.

The city has collected survey information on approximately 256 buildings in the core commercial and residential area of historic Old Town, as well as many surrounding ranches and their historic structures. This data is integrated into the city's Geographic Information System database, enabling cost-effective information access for planning and educational purposes.

Each of the city's master planning documents includes a section on historic preservation, illustrating the city's commitment to preserving its cultural, historic, and architectural heritage as a source of civic pride and an essential component of encouraging tourism and economic development.

Updated April 13, 2009

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