Breck 150: Fuqua stable fuses history, innovation, art
April 25, 2009
BRECKENRIDGE ” A stroll through the Fuqua Livery Stable in Breckenridge reveals the merging of an 1880s horse barn with 21st-century technology to create a present-day museum ” and art studio.
Its glass interior lining allows visitors to peek through old pine boards at other historic structures in the Breckenridge Arts District, but with the comfort of insulation, climate control and sturdy architecture.
The building was restored in about a year through a $610,000 town project that included $129,000 in grants from the State Historical Fund.
“It was falling into the ground,” town planner Jenn Cram said of the building’s condition before the project started in spring 2007.
The structure was taken apart in 12 pieces before being restored to within an inch of its historic configuration. The horses are long gone, but the stalls and artifacts, such as old horseshoes, found at the site remain.
The stable has been in use since August and hosts art events including textiles, oil painting and “life drawing” of nude models.
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Located at the southwest corner of the arts district, the stable is one of about 14 structures planned for restoration and construction in the next five to 25 years, depending on the budget, Cram said.
The intent is to provide residents and visitors with something similar to the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass.
She said the Fuqua stable is “one of the largest endeavors” and the “gem of the arts district.”
It will be one of many attractions in the town this year as the Breck 150 celebration ” marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of the town’s founding ” picks up steam.
Originally constructed in 1880 for $600, the 1,237 square-foot stable was soon rented to J.P. Fuqua, who used it to take care of horses, according to a report from town historian Rebecca Waugh.
The structure would change hands a few times over the next several years, to be used for storing mining and other equipment.
The town acquired the property in 2002 and adopted the Breckenridge Arts District Master Plan in 2004. The area includes several old buildings near the corner of Ridge Street and Washington Avenue.
The Quandary Antiques cabin, Robert H. Whyte House and Tin Shop are among some of the other historic structures in the district.
Cram said that as it develops, the district is to connect with the area near the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center across Main Street, luring visitors into discovering more of what the town’s art scene has to offer.
The Fuqua stable was recognized by the Colorado Historical Society in Denver earlier this year, when Colorado’s first lady Jeannie Ritter presented Cram and the town with one of eight Stephen H. Hart awards.
“This is a resource that is wonderful to see restored ” from the inside as well as the outside,” according to the historical society.
The project included the work of Jeff Herbertz of Quandary Carpentry and TCD, Inc.
Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or email@example.com.