Renovations are underway at the historic Harris Street building in Breckenridge, but a few neighboring trees having overstayed their welcome.
The more than 100-year-old foundation is showing signs of damage from overgrown tree roots encroaching on the building. Approximately eight to 10 trees directly adjacent to the structure will be removed this week through next week.
Breckenridge communications director Kim Dykstra-DiLallo said last month the town planners assessed the trees and landscaping around the building with the help of public works and the project management team. It is mostly newer trees challenging the structure, she said.
“The ones we aren’t taking out are some of the more signature trees in that area,” she said. “There were newer trees growing too big, too close to the building.”
Trees in planters are also scheduled for removal, because those trees were getting too big and causing the planters to fall apart, Dykstra-DiLallo said.
“The planters themselves aren’t really historical,” she said. “We want to restore it back to as close as possible to the historical nature of how it was built.”
In a prepared statement, Breckenridge public works director and town engineer Tom Daugherty said they will keep as many trees as possible.
“Those that are affecting the foundation of this iconic building need to be removed to sustain this community center for the next 100 years,” he said.
Built in 1909 as a schoolhouse, the town purchased the landmark building from Colorado Mountain College in 2010. Most of the space in the Harris Street building will be dedicated to a new library branch.
The basement will house a movie theater, conference and multi-purpose rooms and a coffee kiosk. Past community surveys indicated a strong desire for a movie theater in town. Proper historic renovation is a driving force behind the town’s vision plan.
The town recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Department of Local Affairs to use in the renovation.
Dykstra-DiLallo said it is unlikely the trees will be replanted somewhere else after they are removed.