New leader for Historic Routt County’s preservation efforts
Katzman sees historic perspective
Steamboat Springs — As the new executive director of Historic Routt County, Emily Katzman will play an important role in the protection of some of Routt County’s most prized early 20th century buildings. But some of Katzman’s favorite historic Colorado structures are more than 800 years old and don’t call for further restoration.
“I’ve always loved visiting Mesa Verde (National Park) and try to do that every few years,” Katzman said March 16. “I think it’s fascinating how it shows the connection between humans and the natural environment. They’re historic structures, in a way, but expand the idea of historic buildings. It’s pretty striking to see apartments built into the cliff side. I’ve always found that place to be very special.”
Katzman succeeds Meg Tully as the group’s leader, though Tully intends to remain active in Historic Routt County. The new executive director comes on board at a time when the local nonprofit and its preservation partners are in mid-stream, with several restoration projects, including Crossans’ M&A Market in Yampa. Historic Routt County is also looking forward to seeing the finishing touches completed on the restoration of the fire lookout on Hahn’s Peak early in the summer.
Katzman said she got to visit Crossans’, a grocery store that was built in the early 20th century, this week, and was impressed.
“They’re hoping to close out Phase 2 — finishing the interior of the first floor,” allowing the town of Yampa to move its offices there in April, she said. “That was an exciting development that I learned yesterday. It looks so good.”
Katzman was excited to see the original ice chest from the store still remains in place.
Historic Routt County board member Todd Hagenbuch said Thursday that Katzman will get her chance to lead a new restoration project.
“The last few years, I feel good about the number of visible projects we’ve completed,” Hagenbuch said, adding, “We will continue to champion projects that need our advocacy whenever the need arises.”
He said that Historic Routt County is currently considering a number of preservation projects, but the group is not yet prepared to make them public.
Hagenbuch said Katzmann’s abundant people skills will be an asset in those efforts.
“She’s a good listener, and that’s part of her role: listening to different partners and funders and figuring out how to keep everybody moving forward in the same direction,” he said. “Emily seems to have a natural ability to do that. She’s pretty intuitive and picks up on cues.”
Katz, who grew up in Evergreen, earned a degree in history with honors from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, in 2012, and wrote an honors thesis on the history of the civil rights movement in Australia, exploring its connections to the black power movement of the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. and Africa.
Her fascination with Australia also surfaced in her role as an assistant leader for 14 college students from Lewis & Clark studying down under in 2014. The same year, she served as night manager for a combined hostel and scuba diving center on an island off the coast of Queensland.
Most recently, Katzman was assistant manager of Off the Beaten Path Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Steamboat, where she had a wide range of responsibilities.
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