Page 27 - CrestedButteNews

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2014
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27
Like today, the economy of the community in the late 1800s
and early 1900s sprung from the earth. While mining was
the main industry, there were people even 120 years ago in
our history who recognized the unique beauty surrounding
Crested Butte and the potential of its allure for tourism. In
his book,
Crested Butte: From Coal Camp to Ski Town
, Duane
Smith notes that author Helen Hunt Jackson featured the
valley in an issue of the
Atlantic Monthly
. Even in 1883 she
“questioned the compatibility of a field of purple asters with
the site of men digging, coking and selling coal across the
stream, men who were blind to the beauty at their feet.”
During that decades-long mining heyday, one of the places
to stay when visiting Crested Butte was right on Elk Avenue
in the old City Hotel (later the Western Hotel), located next
to the Masonic Hall in the 300 block of Elk.
The building is a reflection of the original Crested Butte and
the values that emanate from a coal mining history, as op-
posed to a town like Aspen that grew from gold and silver
mining. It’s not flashy, but it is stalwart and still pretty cool.
Built in the 1890s, it was originally set up as a millinery shop
selling woman’s hats popular in the day. The wooden frame
structure was typical of the late 19th-century buildings con-
structed in town. Its architecture is comprised of simple
rectangular forms with a steeply pitched gable roof that is
hidden by the false front representative of the period. It’s
decorated with the projecting cornice and decorative dentils,
and the trim work now is brightly painted.
According to Molly Minneman, preservation coordinator
for the town of Crested Butte, “One of the unique features
of this building is the covered outdoor staircase on the east
side that leads to the little hotel rooms on the second floor. It
is the only remaining feature like it in town.”
Today there are inviting benches on the sidewalk in front of
the building, where people can take a moment in the high-al-
titude sun and look up Gibson’s Ridge at the southern end of
town. The narrow glass windows show off the wares of the
current occupant, Dragonfly Anglers. Flies and reels, jackets
and books advertise the goods inside the old hotel.
HEATHER WOODWARD
Team Leader | Listing Agent
970.596.1394
• Completely renovated in 2014
• Hand peeled and reclaimed hardwood floors
• Five bedrooms including opulent master suite,
and a total of four full baths
• Custom bathroom finishes featuring commissioned
iron vanities, honed granite and slate cabinets
• Stunning hand hewn timbers in the kitchen
and living spaces
• Elegant kitchen for the family chef or private parties
• Open floor plan for entertaining with access
to the patio and outdoor living
• Extra privacy in the bedrooms with upgraded
sound insulation in the walls and floor
Selling Crested Butte and Gunnison’s Finest Properties
Consistent Communication | Expert Negotiations | High Level of Customer Service
Cal l me today for your private consultation.
707 Elk Avenue
- Modern Mountain Luxury in the Heart of Downtown Crested Butte