the Colaborative Inc

El Pueblo Museum Site Master Plan

Client: Colorado Historic Society

Site: Pueblo, Colorado

The Collaborative was retained to complete a site master plan, which would present the needs and concerns of the various entities with an interest in the development of this key site in the heart of Pueblo. The planning process was begun with extensive research to determine everything from opinions to infrastructure, historic resources available, and the urban design context. Concurrently, the firm undertook a series of interviews with individuals representing 38 different entities with an interest in the site. The interview process determined opportunities and constraints, previous attitudes towards the site, and likely program elements. A program was then drafted and a series of design workshops were held. The purpose of the first workshop was to gain an understanding of what programmatic elements people wanted to see within the overall site plan. Perhaps the greatest conflict came from the desire on the part of many in the Friends group to create a reconstruction of the historic El Pueblo fur trading post (1842-1854). Of primary importance to the next workshop, which dealt with design programming, was encouraging people to understand each others’ viewpoints. With this understanding, the final refinement of the design program was accomplished at a subsequent workshop, and design of the site plan could begin. A diverse group of people attended this workshop with participants divided into design groups, each representing a certain viewpoint. Each group received a “design tool box” with two scale drawings of the proposed design elements. A number of alternatives for design elements were handed out, presenting such ideas as full reconstruction of the fur trading post versus reproducing those portions about which the most accurate historical records existed as a representation of the whole. Following the workshop series, the professional design staff at the Collaborative, inc. refined the ideas into one overall plan that was adopted unanimously. Marketing concepts were developed to bring the site to the attention of the traveling public. A fundraising program was initiated and the City began the purchase of various parcels necessary to aggregate the entire site under single ownership. The site plan includes plans for archaeological pavilions over the areas of archaeological interest, an open grassy area for re-enactments and encampments, an evocation of the El Pueblo fur trading post, an expanded museum building, a scenic and historic byways information center as well as additional site elements.