Anderson tabbed for new role |

Anderson tabbed for new role

Former City Council member is leader of Historic Routt County

Kristi Mohrbacher

— The new executive director for Historic Routt County is counting on the past to promote growth in the future.

Towny Anderson, former Steamboat Springs City Councilman and a career historic preservationist, will take over as executive director for HRC effective July 1.

HRC was established in 1997 and is a nonprofit organization that works to document, preserve, restore and interpret historic buildings and structures throughout Routt County.

Anderson has 35 years of experience in the field.

From 1994 to 1997, Anderson was the historic preservation officer for the state of Vermont, where he was involved in restoring many projects around the state. Next, as Rocky Mountain program director for the Orton Family Foundation, he opened an office in Steamboat Springs and was involved in various community projects, including the development of Centennial Hall.

Anderson was elected to City Council in 2005. In August 2007, during the final months of his term, the City Council placed an emergency moratorium on demolitions and significant alterations to structures more than 50 years old because of the increase in requests for demolition permits for old buildings. Supporters of the moratorium said the halt in demolitions allowed for a more in-depth look at current policies regarding old buildings.

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A citizens committee took on that task and recommended to the City Council in April an ordinance that does not mandate the preservation of any of Steamboat’s historic structures.

Looking forward, Anderson said, he faces a challenge to “demonstrate the value of historic preservation to economic development,” to increase funding and form partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the community with similar interests.

His vision for HRC involves the “cultural landscape” of Routt County. He described cultural landscape as the history of an area – such as mining and agriculture in Routt County – and how structures tell the stories of that area.

These icons preserve the history of the area, revitalize communities and help distinguish Steamboat Springs from other cities, Anderson said.

He plans to renew efforts to raise money for the preservation of Diamond Window Cabin near Stagecoach Reservoir State Park.

He also plans to work closely with Colorado Mountain College to offer a course in historic preservation, so interested students will have the tools to learn more and HRC will have a resource to help pursue new projects.

“I think (Anderson) will find more ways to integrate with other nonprofits and there might be a little more of a public presence,” Board President Patrick Delaney said.

If you go

What: Historic Routt County annual meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Mesa Schoolhouse, 33985 S. U.S. Highway 40