USFS Logo Administering the National Forests of Colorado:
An Assessment of the Architectural and Cultural Significance of Historical Administrative Properties
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In the summer of 1993 the U.S. Forest Service Region 2 (Rocky Mountain Region) entered into an Interagency Agreement (#1102-0002-93-023) with the Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service, to document and evaluate for eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places Forest Service-owned administrative, recreational, and other buildings constructed in Colorado prior to 1950. An initial listing of 289 buildings in all Colorado National Forests was compiled by the Regional Office from existing facility records. During the course of field documentation seven were deleted from this list due to their having been torn down or removed, or because they are situated on property no longer owned or administered by the Forest Service. In addition, four were not evaluated, since their eligibility status had been previously established. Ten sites containing eleven buildings were added to the inventory at the request of Forest archeologists and Heritage Resource Specialists in the Forests. Twelve additional buildings were evaluated for their association with a site.

Colorado currently has eleven National Forests and two National Grasslands. A total of 128 sites were visited in these Forests and Grasslands during the summers of 1993 and 1994. Most of these buildings were constructed by personnel from or associated with the Forest Service. A few were acquired by the Service prior to 1950 for administrative use, and a few have no historical association with administrative activities in the Forests but are owned and maintained by the Service. This report summarizes the results of the building and site inventory undertaken by the National Park Service, and offers preliminary recommendations of eligibility within the context of the administration and architecture of the United States Forest Service.

This report is organized in such a way that it can be read as a complete document or used as a reference to obtain information about properties in a given Forest or at a specified site. The following section explains the procedures used to conduct the inventory and research and also makes explicit the methods used to establish recommendations regarding the architectural, cultural, and historical significance of these sites. An overview of the history of the Forest Service in Colorado is then provided to establish a context for the construction and activities that took place at these sites and to offer some quotable experiences of those who lived and worked at some of these sites. The third section of the report documents the history and development of the architecture of the Forest Service in Colorado. A discussion of the development of the function, style, and method of construction that defines these administrative sites and buildings is included. Lastly, a summarized catalogue of all evaluated sites is presented by Forest with emphasis on recommendations for eligibility status to the National Register of Historic Places. Detailed documentation of these sites and buildings with text specific to their history of construction can be found in the set of Colorado Cultural Resource Survey and Historic Building Inventory Record forms that accompany this report. Included in the tables in this section of the report are administrative sites previously determined eligible that were not visited as part of this project. These sites are included to make the document a more complete resource for facility and cultural resource managers.

Finally, three appendices provide detailed information not included in the body of the report. Appendix A outlines the chronological development of the current Forests in Colorado; Appendix B consists of an explanation of the attributes and variables by which each site was assessed; and Appendix C is a comprehensive list of historical building plans known to have been used in the Rocky Mountain Region of the Service. Many of these remain on file at the Rocky Mountain Regional office in Denver.

Since this report will be available to persons not familiar with Forest Service history and the Forests of Colorado, attempts have been made to explain the historical context in which these sites and buildings were evaluated while at the same time make it a report useful to a wide range of current and future managers.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2008