Francisco Fort Rehabilitation Project Out for Bid

DSC_0452.JPGOur Francisco Fort Museum Adobe Project is officially released for bid. There is a Contractor Pre-bid walk through next Wednesday (8/29). For interested contractors please RSVP to Laurie Erwin and request the documents:
Phone: (719) 742-3631
Francisco Fort was a trading post founded by Colonel John Francisco in 1862 (Back when Colorado was still a Territory). It is the last surviving adobe fort in the State and now houses the Francisco Fort Museum.
The rehabilitation project is funded in part by a grant through State Historical Fund. The project includes adobe repairs, restoration of wood windows and doors, structural repairs, the reconstruction of missing chimneys and installation of new roofing. Here are some more before photos.

A Surprise Visitor

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots – Marcus Garvey

Yesterday started as just your typical sunny and beautiful Colorado day. I was doing a fieldwork double-stop to wrap up some drawings for our Metzger Farm and Braly Barn projects.

Metzger Farm, which sits just north of 120th Avenue between Lowell and Federal Blvd, was my first stop. As I started walking over to the site, via the remaining original driveway, I noticed a couple in front of me walking slowly with their elderly dog.

The husband turned right to get onto the walking path and said something to the effect of “catch you in a minute” as the woman kept walking straight towards the gate. I was only a few steps behind her and as I reached to unlock the gate, I said something to the effect of “hi there, how’s your day?”.

She informed me that she was the granddaughter of the Metzger family! I was so surprised and invited her to come walk around inside the fence with me to look at the buildings and talk about the project. Her husband and their dog walked back over to join us. They had come to take him on his final walk before heading to his vet appointment, which was very heartbreaking. But they told me that they brought him to the open space often and that it was one of his favorite places.

She pointed out where her grandmother had a huge rose garden and she was able to tell me exactly where the dinner bell once sat. We will be reinstalling it as part of the project and there was documentation of which side of the house it once sat, but she was able to point out the exact spot.

After a few minutes walking around, they continued on their walk on the open space trail, but knowing her grandparent’s home would be getting some much needed restoration seemed to brighten their day a little and it certainly brightened mine.

The Metzger family wanted the land to remain open space and the Broomfield-Westminster Open Space Foundation was formed to manage the property jointly between the two Cities. Looking past the open space on all sides and seeing new buildings definitely offers some levity to the importance of preserving historic views and contexts in addition to buildings. Knowing the surrounding fields with walking paths throughout will remain a public asset is uplifting as Colorado continues to change.

John Metzger purchased the 320 acre property in 1943, a year before marrying his wife Betty Amen Metzger. John had a multitude of interesting careers through his life. He was a successful lawyer, entrepreneur and politician. He operated a museum, owned a mine and during World War II, he worked in a munitions factory.

He started the farm to raise dairy cattle, but then began breeding registered Scotch Shorthorn cattle. John named it Loch-in-Vale Farm meaning “Lake in the Valley”. The lake, which sits on the south-side of the collection of farm buildings, was excavated when John worked with Colorado State University testing agricultural crops. The pond is stocked and each year the Foundation hosts a Kids’ Fishing Derby.

Our project includes an exterior restoration of the Metzger farmhouse and many of the out-buildings on-site. The Foundation hopes to have tours of the property and provide interpretation. We are excited to have made the connection with the Metzger’s granddaughter and will be keeping her informed about the project progress.

Exciting New Extracurriculars at Form+Works

Summer is quickly coming to a close and we’ve enjoyed a bustling schedule of fieldwork in some of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. Beyond work, the Form+Works Partners have all taken new volunteer positions:

Jessica was elected as the President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association of Preservation Technology (RMC-APT). RMC-APT is a regional chapter of the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) and is a non-profit organization that focuses on and promotes training and sharing of information related to preservation science and technology. The RMC-APT Chapter organizes and hosts social, educational and training events and the Chapter encompasses Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

Jane was elected to the Public School Capital Construction Assistance Board (CCAB). The CCAB was created within the Colorado Department of Education and is composed of nine members. The CCAB provides resources and programs for capital construction funding and technical assistance for school districts, traditional public schools, charter schools, BOCES, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

Natalie was elected to the Mapleton Public Schools Board of Education. The Mapleton Board is made up of five elected community volunteers who work to represent and lead the District. The board approves the district’s curriculum, instructional materials, and annual budget.

We will share more about our involvement as we settle into our new roles. We are very excited to serve each of these great organizations.

F+W Welcomes Teja

We have some exciting news here at Form+Works! At the beginning of May we welcomed a new member to our team, Teja Elam.


We thought a fun way for everyone to get to know Teja would be a Q&A:

  • How did you find your way to architecture?
    I have a deep rooted interest in art and design growing from a childhood surrounded by appreciation and experience of the arts. The idea of pursuing work in design and architecture began in high school. After completing my B.F.A. with an emphasis in industrial design, I moved to Colorado to continue my goal of a Master of Architecture. I began working in architecture in 2004. I have been fortunate to work in many project sectors including: historic, commercial, religious, multi-family, and custom home design.
  • What about historic preservation resonates with you?
    Preservation provides reflection of the past, wraps us in story and supplies a center to grow from. It is this warmth that sparks my passion for preservation. 
  • What kind of hobbies do you have?
    I enjoy spending time with my family, running and figure-drawing.
  • What type of architecture inspires you?
    I am inspired by National Park Service Rustic architecture or “Parkitecture” and mid-century design.
  • What is your favorite place in the world?
    My favorite place is anywhere with family and friends. 
  • What are some of your goals?
    I would like to serve others through assisting in the preservation of our shared story.Teja graduated with her Master of Architecture from the University of Colorado with her Certificate in Historic Preservation. In addition to having just entered her 14th year working in architecture, she worked for the Park Service providing historic research at Rocky Mountain National Park. She shares our love of Colorado and our deep passion for historic buildings. We are so fortunate that she has chosen to join us. Next time you are in the area, be sure to stop in to say hello!

Glasgow to Stirling

Travel Blog – Day 5

It was time to pack up and make my way to Stirling in anticipation of the start of the conference. I arrived around noon, dropped my bags off at the hotel and grabbed a baked potato for lunch. With Monday being a bank holiday, the Stirling center was bustling with shoppers and activity.

Not knowing exactly what there was to see, I just started heading upwards.

One of my first stops was the Church of the Holy Rude and what was the first thing I saw? Why none other than this sign advertising that the CSU Pueblo Concert and Chamber Choirs would be performing here the next weekend.

It is always fun to realize how small the world really is.

The Church of the Holy Rude is the only church in Scotland where a royal coronation was held. King James VI, the 13th month old son of Mary Queen of Scots, was crowned here. Later on our official tour of the City, we were told that there was a disparity at the Holy Rude between two of the priests. They decided to construct a wall across the center of the church, dividing into two.

It remained this way for over 300 years, when the feuds were resolved and the parishes rejoined into one. It makes for an interesting conservation discussion. Technically the building spent more time during its lifespan divided into two churches than it did as a single space. The decision to remove the wall and reopen the space is seen by some as less authentic than keeping the wall in place. In historic preservation we find ourselves thinking through some very interesting conundrums.

I walked through the graveyard and up onto a rock cropping where I could see up to Stirling Castle. There were fantastic views across the valley below. I knew we were touring Stirling Castle as part of the conference, so decided not to go inside.

The last stop for the day was a local pub that was hosting a fundraiser for child cancer. I could hear the live music from blocks away and made my way to check it out. Between the pubs and the streets there have been some seriously talented performers.

Clockwork Orange

Travel Blog – Day 4

Apologies for the hiatus, internet coverage has been a bit of a hassle and then my conservation conference began, dividing my attention. Let me finish off the last few days before the start of the conference:

The Glasgow Subway is the 3rd oldest in the world. It was completed in 1896. The book (and later the movie) “A Clockwork Orange” supposedly gave the subway system the nickname, due to the circular route of the system and that the cars and stations have plenty of orange.

For 1 ½ pounds, one can ride the system to the various sections of the City. I decided I needed to check it out. The unique aspect of the system is the height of the cars. I had to duck to get in, but after I sat down the dimensions were not an issue. Within a few minutes I was back on the west end. I wandered over to Glasgow University to check out the Campus.

I had to take a few close-up photos of the unique operable windows. I love metal windows.

I walked by the McMillan reading room, designed by T. Harold Hughes and David Stark Reid Waugh, was built in the 1930s.

Again more great metal windows.

Walking by the row homes adjacent to the campus, I was captivated by all the fantastic blossoming trees. It has been such a perfect time to be here.

My next stop was the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

The Kibble Palace was relocated to the grounds in 1872 from the home of John Kibble. John Kibble seems like a fantastically interesting character.

The son of a metal and wire merchant, Kibble was born into a great deal of wealth. However he was an inventor and entrepreneur. His first claim to fame was the retailing of zebra shawls for women. Queen Victoria wore a zebra shawl, making them all the rage.

Later Kibble invented one of the biggest cameras in the world; with a 13 inch diameter lens, it was so large it had to be transported on a horse-drawn cart. From the camera, negative plates measuring 44 x 36 inches could be created. After the Palace was relocated to the gardens, Kibble commissioned an adjacent building where he projected his large scale slides for the public.

Another of his unique sounding inventions was the aquatic velocipede, a bicycle fitted with flotation and paddle wheels. He apparently cycled across Loch Long. What an interesting fellow.

As a last stop of the day I popped in at Kelvin Hall to check out the National Library of Scotlands’ Moving Image Archive. It serves as a location for research, but there is a fun informational area with some history and examples of some of their collections.

This was the view down to the Kelvingrove Museum from Glasgow University.

The Glass of Glasgow

Travel Blog – Day 3

I made myself a long list of potential stops for my third day in Glasgow but I had no real idea how many I could get to. Turns out, almost all of them.

First I wanted to check out St. Mungo’s Cathedral, which is the oldest area of Glasgow. The stained glass windows of St. Mungo’s are gorgeous and there is so much detail! Photographing inside a dark cathedral proved to be quite challenging and the photos couldn’t really capture the beauty of the dark stone offset by the flood of colorful light. But the one thing I thought was very cool is that each of the windows that had been restored incorporated a description, artist name and date in the glass at the bottom of each panel, giving visitors more information about the timeline of the building.

I walked across to the Necropolis, the cemetery connected to St. Mungo’s by a stone bridge. From the top, you can get some wonderful views of the City.

One of the intricate mausoleum’s.

Just next door to the Necropolis is Tennent’s Brewing. Although they offer free tours, it was still considered breakfast-time, so I thought better of it.

I made my way back to the People’s Palace and Winter Garden, which the bus passed by on their route. On the way there I found a few buildings that would be really cool to buy and restore. This one is an old school.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens holds a history museum in the stone building and the glass greenhouse is of course, the Winter Garden portion.

As grey as it has been the last few days, I have to say the glass roofs around Glasgow make for really beautiful spaces to be inside.

Walking back to City Center I checked out the “Homes for the Future” buildings that were designed for Glasgow’s 1999 “UK City of Architecture and Design” festival.

Next up the top of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Lighthouse. The building was originally built for the Glasgow Herald and is now Scotland’s Center for Design and Architecture.

The hike up the spiral stair is rewarded with some great views around the City.

Then I hussled over to the City Chambers Building for their afternoon free tour. The architect, William Young, had spent a great deal of time in the Mediterranean, which was illustrated in the mosaic tile floors.

There were several species of wood throughout the rooms we toured, with connections to the countries of the British Empire. This one is of course mahogany coming from Africa.

So many beautiful skylights throughout the building.

This is the largest Carrera marble staircase in Europe (extending one story higher than that of the Vatican).

My last stop of the day was the Willow Tea Room on Buchanan Street, with recreated portions of details from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Tea Rooms that he originally designed for Catherine Cranston. The original tea rooms were updated over the years and then later were closed. It was bustling, so I decided not to stay for tea, but I was able to take a look.

After about 8 miles of walking I was quite knackered, as they say here. So I made my to the tallest movie theater in the world, Cineworld, to catch a movie. It was a nice way to end the day. FYI nachos at the movie theater are quite different in the UK and I found myself wishing I had just stuck with traditional popcorn. Live and learn!

Arts and Culture

Travel Blog – Day 2

With an entire city to digest I decided a good place to start would be to get on the “hop on, hop off” city tour bus. They circulate every 15 minutes and for one extra pound you can get a two day pass (so 16 pounds vs 15)….of course I then promptly dropped my ticket at my first hop-off spot…oops…likely it fell out of my pocket as I was digging for tissues to stop my seemingly perpetual runny nose.

So learn from me – keep your ticket and your tissues in separate pockets. Fortunately the next bus driver let me on but said other drivers would likely require me to purchase a new ticket. Oh well.

My first stop was the Riverside Museum by Zaha Hadid. Completed in 2011, the building pulls inspiration from the waves formed by the confluence of the Rivers Clyde and Kelvin. The museum is free and houses all manners of transportation mechanisms, from bicycles to caravans to models of ships. Glasgow was a ship building epicenter; at it’s peak it is estimated that they were producing 25% of the worlds ships, with launches occurring every two days.

The museum sits on the old shipyards, long since demolished. I may have been a little preoccupied with the building to really pay the attention that was due to the magnificent amount of exhibits. A model of a city block was complete with horse-drawn trolley and stores that you could explore and learn about saddlery, cobblery, photography (of the old time-y sorts) and a subway.

Mostly what I was thinking about was how simple Zaha’s interior finish schedule must have been. A brilliant move considering how complex every other detail of the building likely was.

The next stop was Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, also free to the public. They had a special exhibition on Charles Rennie Mackintosh on the ground level that has a small fee. By the time I got to it, it was getting a bit late, so I am keeping that on my potential to do list. I have a few other Mackintosh stops to make…so perhaps it calls for a dedicated Mackintosh day.

The galleries had a plethora of art and heritage objects. There were Scottish-specific rooms with gorgeous paintings, furniture and textiles; natural science rooms with things like stuffed elephants and pre-historic skeletons; a room full of armor from warriors all over the world; a French room with pieces by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and many others; and if you hate all of that, there is a giant pipe organ….really there has to be something for everyone in this building.

After leaving the Kelvingrove, I decided I would walk back to City Center. The day had been kind of choreographed that far and I had lost my bus ticket after all. I, of course, chose the drizzly part of the day to walk around, but contrary to what my Grandpa used to tell me, I am not made of sugar, so I was fine. I picked interesting steeples and towers in the distance and found out if I could get to them.

After a while I realized I was unable to see the skyline through the gray skies. At that point I was pretty sure I had gotten myself good and lost. But then I ended up stumbling upon the Speirs Wharf and canal trail.

What you can’t tell from the photos is that the canal is actually about 20-30 feet above the ground just to the left of these photos. And the path was labeled with plenty of signage leading me back to the City Center. If you go the other way the canal connects to the Falkirk Wheel and there was signage about the canal being a Glasgow to Edinburgh canoe trail. That would be fun!

After dropping things back at my hotel I decided to squeeze in one last museum, the Gallery of Modern Art, which I passed yesterday. There were some interesting pieces…but I found I was mostly interested in the building.

The statue out front of the GoMA is the Duke of Wellington on his horse, Copenhagen. You may notice the traffic cone on his head. Apparently the police have stopped trying to remove it as each time they did, it reappeared. It has now become an icon of its own in Glasgow. The GoMA was originally the site of William Cunninghame’s 1777 home; he was a tobacco baron. He had plantations in America until the Revolutionary War. It was sold to John Stirling in 1789. In 1817 it became a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland and then in 1827 it housed the Glasgow Royal Exchange. The signage in the building indicates that they aren’t 100% sure if the original Cunninghame home was incorporated into the later additions/alterations, but just from a walk around the outside, it appears to me that the original window pediments match the drawings of Cunninghame’s home. I ended the day with a hearty meat pie and chips at “The Citizen”, a restaurant named and sited inside the first Glasgow daily newspaper.

Reykjavik and Glasgow

Travel Blog – Day 1

The last 20 hours have been a sleep deprived whirl, but exciting none-the-less. I failed to get sleep on the flights which made for a lot of walking around Glasgow to stay awake until check-in time. But that turned out to be the perfect way to spend the day getting to know my surroundings. Without time or the mental power to research the city before or during my walk, I discovered places the old-fashioned way – by stumbling upon them.

But let’s back up. Icelandair flies direct from Denver to Reykjavik. So in less than 7 hours you can leave the middle of the United States and arrive on a snow-covered airfield that reminded me of landing in Alaska. We arrived at 5am in Iceland, but you wouldn’t have known it was the crack of dawn with the soothing yet bustling terminal building. One could tell it is predominantly a stopover location due to the vast differences in passenger outfits. As snow fell outside, travelers in shorts paced the terminal along with those more appropriately dressed. They won me over immediately with their Scandinavian style and TLC’s “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” over the terminal speakers.

The only design flaw a few fellow passengers and I discovered was in the bathroom when the combination of shallow sinks with Dyson’s Airblade Tap (which integrates the powerful Dyson airblade with the sink faucet) results in blowing the foamy soap off your hands and all over the room. We all laughed together, but my former life in Airport design made me think the maintenance staff are likely not so tickled by this reality.

We deplaned and boarded on the airfield. I found this thoroughly enjoyable (I felt like a Beatle), although a few of my fellow passengers were less sure footed on the stairs. Fortunately my winter walking skills are still fresh since Colorado hasn’t quite decided if it is ready to fully embrace spring. It seems Reykjavik is having similar thoughts. It was beautiful though and I am looking forward to my stopover on the way back. Icelandair has a finely tuned marketing game. They make it less expensive to have a one-night stopover than to keep on going, to encourage you to keep more of your tourist dollars there. I can’t wait!

Glasgow was just a two and a half hour flight from Iceland. After a nice quick pass through customs, I was on the curbside waiting to jump on the airport express to downtown Glasgow. For 12 pounds you can get an open-ended round trip ticket on the bus (8 pounds one way) and not have to concern yourself with navigating the opposite side of the car/road or figure out where to park it. In my sleep deprived state, when the bus driver started off, it did take some effort to not yell out “wait wrong way!”. Silly American!

Fortunately my hotel took my bags off my hands as I arrived in downtown around noon. Glasgow was bustling and it seems the George Square area is their shopping district…pre-trip research likely would have told me this, but I find this way more fun. I stumbled upon two different multi-story malls (at first I wasn’t sure if it was just one mall that I found from different sides) with some of the typical stores found in US malls. But I also found a couple very cool historic arcades. Like this one that appeared to be their jewelry district. I saw signs for fully furnished apartments above, but I promised my family and partners that I would return from this trip.

True to my characteristics I took many a picture of old buildings. From an uninformed look at Glasgow, they appear to be facing similar deterioration struggles that we see in Colorado, only with significantly more moisture and vegetation growth. They also seem to have a fair amount of demolition occurring, which surprised me, and it looks like there is clean-up underway from a recent fire.

I scouted out some future stops, but decided I just had to keep moving to make it to nap time. I walked into the hotel at 2:56pm (I may have been circling the blocks nearby at the end there). As much as I was hoping to just sleep until tomorrow, I read several jet lag articles that recommended the best way to adjust to a new time zone is to take a short nap if absolutely needed and then get back up to finish out the daylight (a better way would have been to sleep on the flights…don’t do what I do!). I hope you enjoy the photos – now off to plan my adventures for tomorrow!

By Natalie Lord

Scotland Travel Adventure – APTI Stone Conservation Workshop

Travel Blog – Day 0

With packed bags and a couple of masonry samples in hand, I am headed to Scotland this evening. The Association for Preservation Technology International is hosting a Stone Conservation Workshop in Stirling, Scotland where I hope to steal any and all Scottish secrets for stone preservation techniques that may vary from what we are doing here in the US. Since I haven’t traveled internationally for quite some time and having never been to the UK  (layovers don’t really count) I decided to spend a few days on either end of the conference exploring. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity for a little travel blog. Follow along!

by Natalie Lord