In the rural mountain town of Ohio City, Colorado at the corner of Miners Avenue and Main Street you will discover the Ohio City Town Hall.
Ohio City was established on the original site of Eagle City previously settled by miners in the latter part of 1879. Ohio City is located in the beautiful Quartz Creek Valley of Gunnison County and incorporated on June 24, 1907. The Ohio City Town Hall was constructed in 1906, during the second period of three distinct mining periods of boom and bust. During the second period, the town supported approximately 250 people, a newspaper, theater, several civic organizations, baseball teams, a brass band and even an orchestra. [1. 1906 - ca. 1910 Mercantile Building (area of significance: commerce); 2. 1910 - ca. 1913 Restaurant (area of significance: commerce); 3. 1914 - ca. 1955 Town Hall (area of significance: government); 4. 1964 - ca. 1976 Community Center (area of significance: social history).]
The Ohio City Town Hall was originally constructed as the Baer Boss Mercantile. Thereafter the building was used for a short time as a restaurant owned by the Tarkington Family. In 1914 the Tarkingtons sold the restaurant to the Town of Ohio City for use as a town hall. In 1974 Gunnison County acquired the Town Hall when the Secretary of the State of Colorado determined Ohio City to be an abandoned town site pursuant to C.R.S. 139-19-101, et. seq. By virtue of Resolution 1996-25, Gunnison County designated the Ohio City Town Hall as a historic county landmark.
The Ohio City Town Hall represents a significant type of architectural style predominant around the turn of the century. The wood framed building is a Vernacular Victorian style characterized by the false front and store front glazing. The building is unique with its corner entrance. The exterior walls are sheathed with a combination of unpainted vertical wood board and batten siding on the north and south sides. The east and west sides are covered with a pressed metal shingle that appears to be terne metal and predominately has a pattern that mimics the appearance of stone. For areas around the entrance and the corners of the building a small metal tile with a medallion pattern is used as an accent with the stone pattern.
The interior is an open one room undivided space. Interior walls are covered with varnished wood bead board paneling from floor to ceiling.
The high ceiling is finished with an unpainted pressed metal tile with a decorative quatrefoil pattern. This pattern is commonly associated with the Gothic and renaissance Revival periods of architecture in the United States. The symbol is considered a representation of a flower with four petals, or a leaf with four leaflets (such as a four leaf clover symbolizing good luck). A decorative border with a covered cornice adds additional formality to the design.
The Ohio City Town Hall is not only historically significant but significant to the community as it represents simplicities of times past. Not only does the Ohio City Town Hall provide a community center for its residents, it also represents the perseverance of its ancestors who established this mining town and is a significant and beloved historical landmark of the community and a treasure to leave for children and children’s children.
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In 2010, it was discovered that there was movement of the north wall of the Ohio City Town Hall. Out of concern for the structural integrity of the building, Gunnison County applied for and received grant funds from the Colorado State Historical Fund for a historic structure assessment which was completed in 2011. In 2012, Gunnison County hired Ben White Architecture, L.L.C. of Crested Butte, Colorado to draft construction plans and provide methodologies consistent with The Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for rehabilitation of the building.
In October 2013, Gunnison County applied to the Colorado State Historical Fund for an acquisition and development grant for Phase I of a two phased project for the rehabilitation of the Ohio City Town Hall. Gunnison County was successful in being awarded those funds and along with members of the Quartz Creek Valley are incredibly grateful and very appreciative of having the opportunity of preserving this historic building. For further information regarding historic preservation projects, educational opportunities, and the wealth of information provided by the Colorado State Historical Fund please see http://www.historycolorado.org.
Rehabilitation of the Ohio City Town Hall; Foundation Stabilization and Electrical Upgrades, Phase 1
Phase I addresses the immediate concern of stabilizing and preserving the building structure to be accomplished by lifting the structure and rebuilding the foundation, replacement of the electrical distribution system, installation of light fixtures, ceiling fans and safety devices, removal of non-historic interior columns and reinforcement of the interior ceiling, reconstruction of the front deck, construction of the ADA ramp, parking space, loading zone and western door landing and exterior lighting.
The design plans and methodologies for Phase 1 drafted by Ben White Architecture, L.L.C., of Crested Butte, Colorado may be viewed below:
- Foundation Stabilization and Electric Upgrades, Ohio City Town Hall Design Plans by Ben White Architecture, L.L.C.
- Foundation Stabilization and Electric Upgrades, Ohio City Town Hall Project Manual drafted by Ben White Architecture, L.L.C.
- TerraVision Contracting Group of Montrose, Colorado to serve as the general contractor.
- Vogy’s House Moving, LLC, Montrose, Colorado selected for moving the structure.
- Legacy Electric of Gunnison, Colorado for installation of the electrical upgrades.
- Hearne Excavation, Inc. of Ohio City, Colorado was retained for excavation work.
- Alpine Archaeological Consultants, Inc. of Montrose, Colorado to provide archaeological monitoring.
On August 24, 2014, construction activities began for Phase 1. A tentative construction schedule may be reviewed below.
- June 1, 2014: Progress Report
- August 1, 2014: Progress Report
- August 26, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5
- September 2, 2014: Architect Report, Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5
- September 8, 2014 (photos courtesy of Peg Falasca): Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4
- September 11, 2014 (photos courtesy of Peg Falasca) : Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, Photo 8, Photo 9, Photo 10, Photo 11, Photo 12, Photo 13
- September 16, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4
- September 18, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4
- October 1, 2014: Progress Report
- October 2, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3
- October 16, 2014: Video (building moved back)
- October 27, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4
- November 2014: Alpine Archaeological Report, Alpine Archaeological Monitoring Forms
- November 25, 2014: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3
- December 1, 2014: Progress Report
- February 1, 2015: Progress Report
- March 30, 2015: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, Photo 8, Photo 9, Photo 10, Photo 11, Photo 12, Photo 13, Photo 14, Photo 15, Photo 16
- April 1, 2015: Progress Report
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