Reske, AIA, LEED AP
Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist
Adaptive reuse is a common strategy for preserving historic buildings. This strategy allows building owners to adapt their building to suit changing needs, frequently, allowing the building to serve its community for many generations.
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, located in the original El Paso County Courthouse, is an excellent example of an adaptively re-used building. Following threat of demolition, the building was acquired by the City of Colorado Springs in 1973. The Pioneers Museum opened in the building in 1979. The building is not only home to the Museum, but also the Museum’s largest artifact. SLATERPAULL has been working with the City to preserve this valuable artifact since 2008.
The Flagler Municipal Building, located in Flagler, Colorado is another excellent example of adaptive re-use of a historic building. Originally constructed in 1908 as a hotel to accommodate homesteaders and cowboys in the area, the building was purchased by Dr. William McBride in 1937 and adapted for use as a hospital. Serving the area as a hospital through the Flagler Air Show Disaster of 1951, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 for its association with Dr. McBride and its importance in the areas of health and medicine in Eastern Colorado. The building currently serves as home to the Flagler Town offices, library, and museum.
Emerson School, located in Denver, Colorado was recently adapted for use as offices for the Mountains and Plains Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Colorado Preservation, Inc., and Historic Denver. Originally constructed in 1885, the building served as a Denver Public School building for 94 years. Following its use as a school, it was renovated to meet a variety of needs including offices for non-profit organizations and space for a theatre company.
Our own office is a prime example of an adaptive reuse project. Originally constructed in 1922 as an Engine House for the Denver Fire Department, the building was converted to our corporate office in 2010. The building embodies SLATERPAULL’s areas of expertise, including technical preservation work, energy efficient and sustainable design, and recognition of the importance of historic buildings.