places

San Luis Valley - chapels

Chapels of the San Luis Valley

For many years, I have been taking trips to the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. This area feels very different from either the Front Range or the Western Slope and is marked by tiny settlements and the vase expanse of the wide valley. Of particular interest to me are the simple chapels and churches, dotted across the landscape, some lovingly cared for, others abandoned.

Sunshine Canyon A-frames

I am working on a remodel and addition to an odd A-frame hybrid house at the base of Sunshine Canyon, just west of Boulder.  The original house, built in 1964, was designed by architect Richard Brown.  Brown designed a number of these modified A-frame houses, mostly around Boulder, before he later took that form and proceeded to design churches.

Midwestern churches

MIDWESTERN CHURCHES

As I have talked about in a couple of recent posts on the flatness of the Midwest, a simple building standing in that relentlessly horizontal landscape is a powerful, singular moment.  This is even more apparent when it is a church, rising upward to heaven, a determinedly vertical building contrasting the vast horizon.

Colfax Avenue, signs of western journey

Colfax Avenue, signs of western journey

Each year Colorado Preservation Inc identifies a number of interesting and threatened buildings across the state. This year, prominent on the list, was a collective entry - the older advertising signs along Denver's Colfax Avenue.

The cost of building in Boulder

RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COST

Housing construction costs have risen sharply in the last few years.  This means that not only the large, market developer home builder prices are up, but so are those of the small general contractors and all the associated trades - plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc.  

That is very apparent especially in Boulder.