Website details Aspen’s architectural history |

Website details Aspen’s architectural history

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times
Vacation cabins, located at 435 W. Main St., built circa 1930s. |

City planners have launched a website that details Aspen’s architectural history from the 1930s through the 1970s.

From the Paepcke Park Bell Tower built in the 1930s to the pedestrian malls built in 1976, tells the story of 76 structures around Aspen, as well as the men and women who designed them. Among the 31 architects storied on the website are Fritz Benedict, Herbert Bayer, Ellie Brickham, Robin Molny, Tom Benton, Selby Wheeler and Carol Lewis. Site visitors also can read about the six styles that have so heavily influenced Aspen: Bauhaus/International, Wrightian/Organic, Modern Chalet, Rustic, Pan Abode and Chalet.

“The research shown on the website has probably taken 10 years,” Historic Preservation senior planner Amy Simon said.

Along with three other cities — Los Angeles, Boston and Minnesota — Aspen was chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to be included in an informational booklet series. The Trust provided a $1,500 grant, which went toward the creation of the website along with $4,400 in city funds. Simon said the website is modeled after a similar one created by the town of New Canaan, Conn. Like Aspen, New Canaan is one of the wealthiest communities in the country and features modern architecture from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Aspen’s website, which went live in January, was designed in part by freelance Web designer Rachel Rippy, of Denver, who has worked with the Aspen Art Museum in the past. Much of the legwork went into the site in the summer and fall, and since January, the city has made minor tweaks.

Just after World War II, modern and resort-oriented architecture arrived in Aspen, according to a statement from the city. While Aspen is largely defined by Victorian buildings, the architecture on the site reflects the styles that dominated America for more than 30 years, as well as the transformation from the pre-war quiet years to international-ski-destination Aspen, according to the statement.

The city is planning to build another website,, which will detail every Victorian in town.