Glenwood Springs is historic – just check the sign
October 20, 2006
Glenwood Springs is a historical town. People know that when they come here, but now it will be easy for them to see.”The historic preservation commission felt a need to replace the old wooden signs with something that reflected more of what the community represented,” said senior planner in the Community Development Department Gretchen Ricehill.Three large signs will welcome visitors to this bustling little village on the three main entrances proclaiming the historic downtown. Two on I-70 at either end of town as well as one on Highway 82 coming in from Aspen. The first one was erected Friday in the south roundabout at the I-70 eastbound entrance to West Glenwood.Marice Doll, representative for the Glenwood Springs Historical Preservation Commission, Dick Helmke, Doll’s husband, and City Development Director Andrew MacGreagor, came up with the idea for the new signs.”I just wanted a sign pointing out the historic downtown,” Doll said. “Instead we got these. The whole process went through really slick.”Made from two slabs of Colorado rose sandstone, each slab weighs between 1,300 and 1,800 pounds. The signs will stand eight feet high by 11 feet wide and were carved to resemble the entrance to Glenwood Canyon. The sandstone was excavated from a quarry outside of Lyons. Mexi Corry designed the signs, and Martin Cooney of Woody Creek carved the final slabs.”It was difficult forcing the project in Colorado rose,” Cooney said. “I had to reject about nine slabs before I finally had the right ones.”Finding a piece of stone large enough for the project was a hassle, Cooney noted.”It’s all from Colorado,” he said.Cooney, an architectural stone carver by trade, has been working with stone for the past eight years, but this was his biggest job. He added a unique touch to the historical preservation of the town: The lettering is carved in a classic V-cut instead of using the more common sandblasting method .”It’s sort of a nod to the stonemasons who built the Hotel Colorado,” he said. “Glenwood Springs really has some great stone architecture.”Cooney noted the overall slope and dimensions of the canyon, and tried to make the signs proportional to the canyon’s entrance.”They’re symbolic,” he said. “It represents that coming in or going out of Glenwood is through a canyon.”The westbound exit 116 sign will incorporate a time capsule holding trinkets that represent the city. That sign will be built Friday, Oct. 27.Doll said several entities are placing items into the capsule, ranging from a medallion from the Glenwood Springs Railroad Museum that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the railroad station to a cell phone and its charger to show how we communicated.