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Merging past with present

Guidebook celebrates 122 years of downtown architecture

The building that is home to the Depot Art Center is the first stop on the city's downtown architectural walking tour.
Matt Stensland

— A new book published by the city of Steamboat Springs commemorates the city’s ability to couple boom periods with a respect of its past.

Copies of “Steam Rails to Ski Trails: An Architectural Walking Tour of Downtown Steamboat Springs” will be available for free from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at Off the Beaten Path bookstore at 68 Ninth St., during the Merry Mainstreet holiday celebration. Starting Monday, the book will be available for free at City Hall, Depot Art Center, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Tread of Pioneers Museum, Epilogue Book Co. and Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Alexis Casale, city historic preservation planner, described the book as a “celebration of Steamboat’s architecture.” The book also includes a short introductory history of Steamboat Springs, with stories behind the buildings that provide in-depth information about the city’s past.



The book features 27 buildings in 48 pages. Many of the buildings feature the 20th century commercial style defined by lot-line-to-lot-line construction with no setbacks. A variety of other architectural styles also are featured in the book, including Victorian, contemporary, Italianate and neotraditional.

The oldest building in the book is the Harwig’s Saddlery building at 911 Lincoln Ave. Built in 1886 in the 19th century commercial style, the building originally housed a drugstore and is now the home of Harwigs Grill. It is thought to be the oldest building in Steamboat Springs.



Half a block away is the newest building featured in the book. The Victoria, 941 Lincoln Ave., was built this year, in the neotraditional style. The city’s Historic Preservation Advisory Commission praised developers Denise and Steve Peterson earlier this year for exemplifying the ways in which new construction can be compatible with a historic setting.

Ginger Scott, city historic preservation staff assistant, said “Steam Rails to Ski Trails” partially was paid for by Preserve America grants the city received to promote cultural heritage tourism. For more information about the book, contact Casale at 871-8202.


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