Preservation of one’s heritage plays an important role in environmental design, especially today. Architects, planners, and designers, in general, are strongly encouraged to incorporate the past, present, and future into their designs. Think about it, can you name a building or region that took into account none of its surroundings? (More than likely, no.) In Chaffee County, Colorado, residents are proud of their county's heritage.
The Chaffee County Area Heritage Advisory Board (CCAHAB) does just that – conserves the county’s heritage. Chaffee County is currently made up of over twenty cities and towns, as well as four ghost towns. Just because the individual populations are smaller than surrounding county’s cities and towns does not mean Chaffee County lacks heritage and history. Buena Vista, and many others in Chaffee County, were originally mining towns, hit hard when the majority of mines closed down. The local municipalities then looked elsewhere to draw attention and tourists: recreation. The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, (part of Colorado Parks and Wildlife,) the Rocky Mountains, and the Arkansas River are the major highlights of the county.
Chaffee County is filled with a rich history of valuable resources, scenic views, historic buildings, and much, much more. In my opinion, it emulates the western lifestyle: a laid-back attitude with a focus on outdoor, recreational activities. The Board strives to protect the county’s history, including historic structures, views, and culture. Designing future development and preserving current/past development is prominent on the Board’s agenda. As the county thrives on its environmental qualities, the CCAHAB protects Chaffee County’s greatest assets.
How much do you value environmental design and protecting heritage in your city?
Credits: Photographs by Katie Poppel. Data linked to sources.