– This project is paid for in part by a History Colorado – State Historical Fund grant. –
PRESERVING OUR HISTORIC PAST
The Mancos Common Press’ mission to create a center for the graphic arts is singularly dependent on the preservation and restoration of The Mancos Times-Tribune building. A Historic Structure Assessment Report has been prepared, the building’s contents have been inventoried, and the Cranston Press has been reconditioned to working condition but still requiring some upgrades. Emergency stabilization work has recently occurred, including removal of the tree and stump on the rear and in-kind repair to the rear exterior wall and floor, in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. This involved in-kind repair to the concrete foundation and in-kind repair to the rotted portions of the wood sill, lower studs, and wall planking. Although the building is simple in construction and most of the work is straightforward, the high architectural integrity of the building demands the best documentation of the restoration process.
The building exterior retains all original features and elements; only the rear door is missing. The façade requires only minor repair. All sheet metal and wood joints will be inspected for loose fasteners and open seams although inspection showed few openings in the joints and no loose or rotten wood support beneath the metalwork. No replacement of pressed metal elements is needed. The exterior color scheme will match the original grey palette with gilded highlights and restored as per the recent MS thesis on the building including an exterior and interior paint analysis. The glazed front is intact with two broken glass panes. These will be replaced in-kind with ‘float glass’. The wooden window muntins and mullions of the glazed front are in good condition. All exterior woodwork will be cleaned, sanded and repainted its original grey finish with alkyd oil paints as per the recent paint analysis. The lower poured concrete base and cast cement quoins were originally unpainted. These will be poultice-stripped and cracks filled with a Type N lime-cement and sand mortar to match existing. The rear south elevation is an original wood stud wall with horizontal plank boards and heavy gauge corrugated iron cladding. It is in good condition and its undermining and rotted sections were repaired during recent emergency work. All original corrugated metal sheathing was numbered, removed, and stored for later reinstallation. As part of the proposed program, two rear windows removed during wall repair will be restored and the missing rear door rebuilt according to the historic photograph, suggesting it is similar in design to the front door. Because this door is missing and ADA access is required, this door will be made wider for ADA compliance.
Because the building’s interior is remarkably well preserved, little change is proposed other than preservation and repair and adjustments where code and reuse require it. Ceiling: The ornamental pressed galvanized sheet metal ceiling is a major character-defining element of the interior and will be repaired and retained. The ceiling retains its original pale ochre oil painted finish as determined by the recent paint analysis. This will be cleaned and retained and losses in-painted as needed. Plaster walls: The building retains its original plaster walls on the east and west. These retain their original finish and will be cleaned and repainted to the original flat light blue color. All woodwork will be cleaned, cracks and nail holes filled, sanded, and painted to the original grey color. Floor: The original concrete floor will be cleaned and protected with a breathable water-repellent siloxane for industrial use.
Installation of new mechanicals is critical to make the building suitable for renewed use. The building is special partly because no/few new modern systems were installed to damage interior fabric; however new mechanical systems need to be sensitively inserted for its intended use. This scope of work is required to make the building functional again to inaugurate phased programming and income.