By Kathleen Spring
At the annual Boulder Heritage Roundtable 24th annual awards ceremony, multiple projects were recognized and honored. The Lyons Depot building was honored, with the project director, Christina Wells receiving the Heritage Roundtable Local History and Preservation Honor Award. Present at the ceremony were LaVern Johnson and Kathleen Spring, Lyons Historical Society, and Estella Cole, historic specialist for the State Historic Fund. 

Four historian authors received honors. The book on irrigation ditches affects all residents of Colorado. Lyons has its own ditch riders, inspecting, opening and closing them. Colorado's methods set precedents in the American West, developing a plan to appropriate and develop water and riparian resources that changed the face of the Front Range. The book is called "A Land Made from Water: Appropriation and the Evolution of Colorado's Landscape, Ditches, and Water." Boulder County and Saint Vrain Creek Coalition have had several annual free educational bus trips to various ditch sites. Watch their web site for more information.
With Lyons being an artistic community, residents may be interested in "Celebration! A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder." It commemorates the lively history of the visual arts in Boulder, listing 300 city-wide exhibitions over the decades.

The award program is broken down into (1) Authors (2) Projects (3) Landmarks, Boulder County (4) Landmarks, City of Boulder, and (5) Heritage Roundtable Local History Preservation. The multi-year project of the Museum of Boulder, the Hannah Baker house restoration, was honored again, with the current owner calling the work "a wonderful community event and with Boulder residents support." 

Some of the restored homes being honored for restoration included the removal of additions made in the 1970s, like the Youman House at Highland Avenue and Sixth Street. The old Boulder Daily Tribune building was brought back to its traditional storefront that met the sidewalk, instead of stairs leading downstairs. The small lovely Wagon Wheel Lodge on Four Mile Canyon would be appreciated by Lyons residents as it has sandstone walls. It was built in the 1940s. The owner said they had to brace the stone walls first because there were no beams.  Other homes represented classic designs with colorful names, including Edwardian Vernacular and Western Prairie Barn. 

Honored buildings that many of us have passed by include the Armory Mess Hall on Broadway in North Boulder, and the gorgeous Shambhala building on Pearl Street. At one time the Armory was the third largest National Guard site in the U.S. Then they moved to NBS and Buckley Field in the 1950s. Another is the Boulder Shambhala Center, a Renaissance Revival style building, that used to be the Physician's Building.

Next time you walk down Pearl Street Mall, look for the large clock on a pedestal, near Wells Fargo Bank. It is fixed and now works and chimes. It was built around 1919, and became part of the mall in 1977.  It tells the time on four sides and lights up at night. A combination of volunteers from the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC) and several grants got it restored. Wouldn't it have been great to have them come to Lyons and repair the large Main Street clock in front of the old bank building?

The prestigious Square Nail Award was not given out this year. Lyons historians LaVern Johnson and Kathleen Spring were given the honor in years past. Also, given honors in the past were three authors of Lyons history books, Diane Benedict, Denise Berg, and Al Pace.

Attending the ceremony gives history preservationists joy in their heart. There were 70 awards given to books over the years. And, this year alone, there were 150 history preservation permits applied for, with three top projects receiving an award. Boulder County has specialists, including a Historic Preservation Advisory Board, who can help walk you through historical renovation of your home, including researching the property's history to determine what can be done. The Historic Landmark Rehabilitation Grant Program seeks to increase the quality of county historic landmarks by helping to restore, stabilize, and preserve landmark buildings. Go to for more information. The sponsor of the awards program, Boulder Heritage Roundtable meets monthly to keep locals informed about history events, and is attended by Lyons representative Kathleen Spring.

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