Have you ever wondered what the inside of a historic gold mill high in the Rocky Mountains looks like? I’ve been working on the Paris Mill for the last four years and the building never ceases to amaze me! Keep reading for a glimpse inside this unique structure!
Constructed in multiple phases, the earliest section of the Paris Mill was built in 1895 to process gold being mined high on Mount Bross in Buckskin Gulch. The Mill operated for over 40 years, shutting down operations in 1937. From 1937 until 1977 the building sat vacant. In 1977, the Mill was briefly re-opened to work a drilling operation in Buckskin Gulch. The Mill closed permanently shortly thereafter.
In 2004 the Mill structure was listed on Colorado Preservation Inc.’s list of Most Endangered Places. In 2013, I became involved in the project when Park County received a grant to begin rehabilitation of the building. Since then, I have been part of the rehabilitation of two sections of the building, and completed a Master Plan for the site. Currently Form+Works Design Group is working on a construction documents package for the next three phases of rehabilitation for the building.
As part of the current scope of work, the building was LiDAR scanned which resulted in a digital 3D model of the building. Visual Globe completed this endeavor, and from their model, the design team has been able to produce accurate floor plans, elevations, and sections of this complex building.
In mid-April, Form+Works Design Group and JVA, Inc. completed a site visit to document the current conditions of the building and identify a schematic design level scope of work. Our site visit included a top to bottom look of the inside of the Mill.
Throughout the Mill much of the original equipment remains in place. One of the goals of the project is to allow visitors interior access throughout the building. This will provide greater understanding of how the milling process works as well as insight into the lives of the miners who worked at mills such as the Paris. The following photos were taken inside the Paris Mill earlier this Spring and provide just a glimpse of the amazing Mill structure and the equipment remaining inside. Stay tuned for updates as we continue to work on this unique project!