Saguache Ranger Station Gets Help from HistoriCorps
It’s nice when the follow-up story reports more good news, and future efforts to restore a part of history in Saguache Today. This is that kind of story.
HistoriCorps, a Denver-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s historic structures, in collaboration with the Rio Grande National Forest, will restore several remaining components of the Saguache Ranger Station later this month from August 25 – 29. The station is located right in town at 400 5th Street and known for its emblematic southwestern architecture.
The Saguache Ranger Station was constructed in 1939 to serve as a ranger residence, office and garage. Assisted by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the United States Forest Service (USFS) designed and built this Pueblo-style complex. The complex is described as “the best-preserved representative of a Pueblo-style complex, as well as one of the best preserved CCC-era Region 2 urban ranger stations in Colorado,” according to the USFS. Currently, the Ranger’s residence and garage are still in use as constructed, while the office has been converted to a bunkhouse to serve seasonal USFS employees.
“What’s so great about this station is that it has continuously served the public for 79 years as an administrative site for the Rio Grande National Forest. Adaptive reuse is crucial to maintaining the lives of historic buildings, and I’m honored that we have been invited back to keep on breathing life into this one,” stated HistoriCorps Director of Operations Jonas Landes, expressing his enthusiasm about the group’s opportunity to return to this site. It is also duly noted that Landes led the 2009 work, so welcome back!
HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands. And the Saguache Ranger Station holds a special place with the group as it was the site of its first project in 2009. Now, almost a decade later, volunteers and experts from the community, state, and across the nation, will join HistoriCorps for the next part of this station’s story.
This month’s work will focus primarily on the severely deteriorated wooden vigas which will be replaced or restored, as well as caulked and re-painted. The bunkhouse’s vigas, or log beams, are an interesting and iconic element of southwestern architecture. The popular style has been imitated in modern architecture as well, primarily for decorative purposes.
“The vigas we will work on support the bunkhouse structurally, and over time have deteriorated. Help us repair them so this building can continue to serve the public!” Landes said.
For anyone who may be interested in volunteering to help on this project, register HERE.
About HistoriCorps: HistoriCorps, founded in 2009, is a 501(c)3 that provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures for public benefit across America. Volunteers work with HistoriCorps’ seasoned professionals to learn preservation skills and put those skills to work saving historic places. HistoriCorps works to ensure America’s cultural and historical resources will be enjoyed by generations to come.