Architect relocating office downvalley
November 9, 2005
One of Aspen’s most highly acclaimed architects will relocate his office to Basalt next year.Harry Teague said he plans to make the switch because seven of the eight people working in his office live downvalley but commute to Aspen.”It’s just convenience. Your entire staff is going up and down – taking an hour each way,” Teague said. He and his wife, Karin, who also works in the office, are among the contingent that lives downvalley. Their family lives in Basalt.The Teagues won approval Tuesday night from the Basalt Town Council for a new building that mixes office and residential space. They will build along a frontage road between Highway 82 and the Roaring Fork River to the east, or upvalley, side of the building that houses Bristlecone Sports and Stubbies in Basalt.
Karin Teague said they hope to break ground in the next few months and finish in about a year. The building has 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground level, 4,000 square feet of residential on the second story and a loft on the third floor.The Teagues said they will use 3,000 square feet of the commercial space and rent or lease the remaining 1,000 square feet. The building will have three free-market residential units and one affordable unit that will house an employee of the architecture firm.Harry Teague said it hasn’t been determined yet if his office space in Aspen will be rented or sold. He said he probably won’t keep an office in Aspen but he still plans to be very involved with the town.Teague has made his mark in Aspen since 1972 with residential projects as well as the Music Tent and numerous other facilities for nonprofit organizations. He said he does have a concern about keeping the connection with Aspen after moving to Basalt.
“I don’t want to lose that. I want to stay in touch. I love Aspen,” he said.Teague noted that several of his competitors have maintained those ties after moving downvalley. Cottle Car Yaw Architects, Lipkin Warner Design and Planning, Doug Graybeal Architects and Michael Fuller Architects are peers he cited who’ve successfully made the switch.Teague said he didn’t expect exposure for his firm to suffer from the switch. The firm’s work is visible throughout the West and doesn’t depend on exposure from an Aspen office. The firm is currently working on houses in Crested Butte and Wyoming.”Most of our clients don’t walk in off the streets and hire us,” he said.
But even if the move doesn’t hurt business, it could pare down his skiing. Teague said he hits the cross-country trails almost every day he’s working in Aspen and he also downhill skis. He guaranteed he will find a way to make it to the slopes after relocating to Basalt.The Teagues’ application sailed through the review process after they submitted their application Aug. 30. Both Teagues credited the town staff for flagging issues early in the process and helping resolve them in a timely manner before the application went to the planning commission and council.Teague hopes to move his business into the building by this time next year but said it will depend on pre-sales of the residential units.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org