Colorado Preservation, Inc. announces Colorado's most endangered places

Mancos elevator makes the list

The Kennedy/Mancos grain elevator is owned by Dary Kennedy, who bought it in 1960. He said it was built in 1935 and used for five years. Linda Towle, president of the cortez Historic Preservation board, has been working on getting the property on this list. Kennedy said he hopes the designation will help to receive funds for its restoration. Enlargephoto

Special to the Times

The Kennedy/Mancos grain elevator is owned by Dary Kennedy, who bought it in 1960. He said it was built in 1935 and used for five years. Linda Towle, president of the cortez Historic Preservation board, has been working on getting the property on this list. Kennedy said he hopes the designation will help to receive funds for its restoration.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. announced at the Saving Places Conference opening luncheon, held at the Colorado Convention Center, that five sites have been selected for Colorado's 2013 Most Endangered Places list.

One of those sites is the Kennedy/Mancos Grain Elevator.

During the luncheon, emceed by CBS4 Anchor Tom Mustin, Colorado Preservation, Inc. announced that more than 30 historic sites were nominated for the 2013 list of Colorado's Most Endangered Places and of those, five sites were chosen including the Cranmer Park/Sundial Plaza in Denver; Fort Lyon in Las Animas in Bent County, Homesteading Sites of Escalante Canyon in Delta County; the Hotchkiss Barn in Delta County and the Kennedy/Mancos Grain Elevator in Montezuma County.

The Mancos Grain Elevator was built in 1934 by Grady Clampitt. Clampitt and Mr. Luellen, a bordering farmer, grew dryland wheat in fields bordering Mesa Verde National Park on the southeast side. Those same fields are used to grow dryland wheat today, and it is the only wheat grown in the Valley at this time.

The elevator was put in use upon completion and remained in use for an indeterminate number of years following Clampitt's retirement. With the farm no longer in use, the Kennedy/Mancos Grain Elevator is currently being used as a storage unit for family belongings. The elevator is in a prominent location highly visible from Highway 160, and is considered a landmark. Although agriculture still plays a large role in the economy of the Mancos Valley, there are few structures evidencing the historic heritage of farming that once made the Valley famous. Today ranching and irrigated hay production have replaced dryland grain crop. The elevator is a statement of the determination of the agricultural community in place at the time it was built. Few examples of this particular unique workmanship are in place anywhere in Montezuma County today. The Kennedy/Mancos Grain Elevator exemplifies some of the issues facing grain elevators across the State, in particular, those located in the Western region where grain production and farming resources are rarer. Unfortunately, the Grain Elevator is deteriorating, due to a lacking roof and drainage issues, causing portions of the iconic stacked plank construction to fail.

"We have selected five diverse but very significant sites this year that need special help," Rachel Parris, Director of the Endangered Places Program, said. "Demolition, neglect, natural forces, land value fluctuation, and unsympathetic owners are the forces that typically threaten historic buildings and significantly increase the danger to the unique places that link us to Colorado's past. These are the special places that define our communities and form the foundation for our collective identity as Coloradans in the future. Colorado Preservation, Inc. devotes staff time and resources to raise funds and rally concerned citizens so that listed sites can be saved."

Colorado's Most Endangered Places Program involves, to date, 96 historic resources across the state. The Program has a wide reach, with sites located in 47 of the 64 counties. For the 2013 List there are properties located in Denver, Denver County; Hotchkiss, Delta County; Delta, Delta County; Las Animas, Bent County; Mancos, Montezuma County. Of the 96 sites that have been named to the list since its inception, 32 have been designated as saved, 41 are in progress, 18 remain in alert and five sites have been lost.

Colorado Preservation, Inc., founded in 1984, is dedicated to promoting and advancing historic preservation in the State of Colorado. Colorado's Most Endangered Places list is announced each year at the organization's Saving Places Conference which is the largest statewide historic preservation conference in the country. This year, the list was announced at the 16th Annual Saving Places Conference, in Denver Feb. 6-8, 2013. For more information, please call 303-893-4260 or visit www.coloradopreservation.org.