March 04 2013

Preserving Chaffee County, Colorado Through Environmental Design

Downtown Leadville, Colorado (Lake County)

Preservation of one’s heritage plays an important role in environmental design, especially today. Architects, planners, and designers, in general, are strongly encouraged to incorporate the past, present, and future into their designs. Think about it, can you name a building or region that took into account none of its surroundings? (More than likely, no.) In Chaffee County, Colorado, residents are proud of their county’s heritage.

The Chaffee County Area Heritage Advisory Board (CCAHAB) does just that – conserves the county’s heritage. Chaffee County is currently made up of over twenty cities and towns, as well as four ghost towns. Just because the individual populations are smaller than surrounding county’s cities and towns does not mean Chaffee County lacks heritage and history. Buena Vista, and many others in Chaffee County, were originally mining towns, hit hard when the majority of mines closed down. The local municipalities then looked elsewhere to draw attention and tourists: recreation. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, (part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife,) the Rocky Mountains, and the Arkansas River are the major highlights of the county.

Looking west towards Mt. Princeton

Chaffee County is filled with a rich history of valuable resources, scenic views, historic buildings, and much, much more. In my opinion, it emulates the western lifestyle: a laid-back attitude with a focus on outdoor, recreational activities. The Board strives to protect the county’s history, including historic structures, views, and culture. Designing future development and preserving current/past development is prominent on the Board’s agenda. As the county thrives on its environmental qualities, the CCAHAB protects Chaffee County’s greatest assets.

How much do you value environmental design and protecting heritage in your city?

Credits: Photographs by Katie Poppel. Data linked to sources.

Katie Poppel

Katie Poppel comes to The Grid as a student constantly on the go. Set to graduate from the University of Cincinnati in 2014, she is studying for a bachelor of urban planning with focuses in urban design and sustainability. Her program has allowed her to work for the City of Chicago and the Congress for New Urbanism this past year, as well as study abroad at the University of Amsterdam, College of Social Sciences. In her free time, you can find her exploring cities, playing soccer, or skiing. She has a serious case of wanderlust and enjoys the rush of cities over the countryside. Katie writes from Colorado, as she interns for the small town of Buena Vista south of Denver.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 4th, 2013 at 9:17 am and is filed under Environment, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Land Use, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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