Steamboat’s Arnold Barn one step closer to secure future
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The long-anticipated plans to rehabilitate the historic Arnold Barn and move it to a new location go to the city of Steamboat Springs Planning Commission for a recommendation March 22.
The barn, originally built in 1928, currently sits at the northeast corner of the Steamboat Ski Resort’s Meadow Parking Lot where its structural condition has declined. The new location would be less than a mile up the hill at the intersection of Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle.
Steamboat Today reporter Scott Franz unearthed the lost history of the barn in 2016.
The Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority, the Urban Renewal Authority Advisory Committee, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel Condo Association Inc., have all collaborated on the plan to return the barn to prominence while preserving it as an “iconic” structure signaling arrival at the base of the mountain resort. The Save the Arnold Barn community action group and Historic Routt County were also involved in the preservation efforts.
Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee Project Manager Ralph Walton said through the use of story-telling signs along an interpretive trail next to the barn, the rehabilitated barn will have a new life. The signs will describe the connection between resort pioneers and the original pioneers who established the region’s agricultural heritage.
“There was the Arnold family dairy operation, but we’re also talking about ranching in general, and its ties to skiing and the overall history of the valley,” Walton said. “It will have some flaws in it because it has flaws in it now. The barn is not a perfect structure, but we’re going to make it stand through time and give it a new purpose.”
The Steamboat Grand Homeowners Association owns the site, and the ski area now owns the barn.
According to the project application, the project will develop in two phases with the barn moved to the site sometime this summer, with installation of corral fencing, landscaping, a new sign for The Steamboat Grand and an interpretive sign on the south side of Mount Werner Road across from the barn.
Phase two would add more interpretive signs and period agricultural implements in the corral. Another goal of the second phase is to create three parking spaces across the road from the barn with a marked pedestrian crosswalk to make it convenient for visitors to spend time at the barn.
Because of the cost of maintenance to enable winter access, the intent is not planned to “invite” pedestrians to approach the barn on foot in those months. It will be unobtrusively lighted at night.
If the planning commission approves the application for the barn’s relocation, the plans will then go on to Steamboat Springs City Council for its approval April 3. Unless a council member calls the issue up, it will not be discussed at the meeting.
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