Two civic projects have earned special recognition by Downtown Colorado Inc. as winners of the Governor’s Award for Best Use of Public Space in the small community category.
“It is amazing to work in these small mountain communities and see the immense impact of these kinds of projects on their sense of pride and place,” said Walker Christensen, DHM Design Principal on both projects. “Through sheer will and a vision toward the future, these two towns are making their communities a better place to live and attract visitors from around the region.”
With its population steadily increasing through the years, a need developed to improve town infrastructure without sacrificing its strong historic western flavor. The downtown corridor has always been a place of gathering, connecting, parading and eating. Through a robust community process, the endeavor to improve Ridgway’s streetscape needed to protect its character as a safe, creative, energetic driver of activity.
“The Town of Ridgway is an excellent example of a small town accomplishing big projects. The community has long been known for the creative industry and creative people that drive their initiatives. The latest efforts to redevelop the streetscape to allow for greater mobility show some great cross functional partnerships. The streetscape redevelopment is a huge undertaking and the community was involved every step of the way. This public space overhaul will further efforts to create a vibrant downtown and enable Ridgway to thrive in the future.“ – Juror
Victor Pinnacle Plaza
Over the past six years, The City of Victor, the DREAM Commission (Victor’s Main Street Board), with funding assistance from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company have teamed up to create a functional and very beautiful public space. The revamped plaza hosts several community events including the Victor Christmas Bonfire. DREAM/Mainstreet utilized several years of mini grants to construct fencing around the area, repair the historic rock retaining wall, and construct a staircase which utilized the timbers from a historic mining operation, creating walking access to downtown.
DHM is thankful to Downtown Colorado Inc., an organization that provides a strategic methodology for revitalizing the local economy in Colorado’s communities, focusing on education, economic and design strategies to improve the downtown core.
Photography by Kathryn Lair.