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117-year-old building in Yampa receives Colorado’s most prestigious award for historic preservation

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117-year-old building in Yampa receives Colorado’s most prestigious award for historic preservation

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Steamboat Pilot & Today - Derek Maiolo

The successful renovation of a once-derelict building in Yampa, about 30 miles south of Steamboat Springs, received the state’s most prestigious award for historic preservation projects during an award ceremony in Denver on Friday, Jan. 31.

Saving Crossan’s M&A Market, one of the oldest mercantile buildings in Colorado, took 12 years and cost about $1.2 million, according to officials involved in the project. 

State Sen. Bob Rankin and Rep. Dylan Roberts presented the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation to three groups involved in the project, including Friends of Crossan’s Market, Historic Routt County and the town of Yampa. 

History Colorado, the nonprofit behind the award, also produced a video documenting the preservation. 

Jeff Drust, president of Friends of Crossan’s, a local group that helped to raise more than $630,000 for the renovations through grassroots fundraising, attended the award ceremony. He considered the statewide recognition an incredible achievement for a humble town of 460 people with only one paved street.

Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan, a nearby resident of Yampa, who also attended the ceremony, said the preservation project has helped to revitalize the town. It has become a symbol of pride following the loss of Yampa’s historic Royal Hotel, which burned to the ground in 2015. 

“It was really a boost to the town’s morale to see something positive happen in the wake of that fire,” Corrigan said of the Crossan’s Market preservation project. 

The market, built in 1903 amid a boon brought on by the introduction of the railroad to the area, had fallen into disrepair prior to the renovations. Groundhogs dug under the foundation, according to Drust, and the building was sagging. 

The Friends of Crossan’s group formed in 2011 to save the market, and in 2013, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

The project has become a poster child for preservation projects in Colorado, according to Historic Routt County Executive Director Emily Katzman. Known as an adaptive reuse project, renovations preserved the building’s historic character while repurposing it for modern uses.

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