Preservation awareness seems to be growing steadily after Gov. John Hickenlooper made a proclamation on Feb. 6 as Colorado Preservation Day.
“We’re really excited about the proclamation for historic preservation day, I think it’s a great …
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“We’re really excited about the proclamation for historic preservation day, I think it’s a great step in moving preservation forward throughout Colorado,” said Rachel Parris, program manager for the Endangered Places Program under Colorado Preservation,Inc.
This year marks the preservation’s 30th anniversary after its founding in 1984. An annual national conference was held that coincided with its celebration at the Colorado Conservation Center on Feb. 6 where the 2014 Endangered Places list was released.
“We will focus on not only those sites that are listed, but as well as the other sites that need to be saved on the list,” Parris said. “We react pretty nimbly to preservation threats that happen throughout the state for properties that are endangered.”
The list, which is managed by the Endangered Places Program, nominated 30 sites this year but picked five sites to focus on throughout the state. Today, a total of 101 sites are on the program’s radar, with 33 sites classified as “Saved!” with the remaining 62 sites undergoing progress. In 30 years, the preservation has lost a total of six sites to demolition.
But for this year’s list, a different kind of preservation effort is unfolding that is tinted with a neon glow and flashing lights - Colfax’s “Save the Signs” campaign by Neon Signs of Colfax Avenue. The campaign aims to protect the corridor’s iconic neon signs that face endangerment as continued re-urbanization unfolds along US 40.
“Colfax is the mecca for neon signs, it was a thriving commercial corridor mid-century and is the longest commercial corridor in the United States,” said Corky Scholl, founder of Neon Signs of Colfax Avenue.
Colorado US 40 runs for 26.5 miles from Aurora to Golden and along the route, there are 12 neon signs listed on the 2014 Endangered Places list with three located on properties that are for sale, Scholl said. Among those three is the Scatterday’s Lumber Yard sign in Lakewood.
“The big thing is to raise awareness,” Scholl said. “To let these sign owners know that what they have is of value. It’s just not an old rusting metal sign that they can get scrap metal money for; it’s something with history and something that great artistry went into for producing and it would be a shame to throw that away.”
Jefferson County has not been immune to threats of historical losses, but to date the preservation has worked to save the Bradford Perley House in Ken-Caryl Ranch, with other sites still in progress like the Ralston Cemetery in Arvada, and the Foxton Post Office located in the North Folk National Historic District in unincorporated Jeffco.
To view the complete list provided by the Colorado Preservation, Inc., visit www.coloradopreservation.org. Information about “Save the Signs” can found on the advocacy groups Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SaveTheSignsOnColfax.
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