the Colaborative Inc

Tabor Grand Hotel

Client: Renovation Associates

Site: Leadville, Colorado

The Tabor Grand Hotel, located in Leadville, Colorado at an elevation of 10,200 feet, is situated in the highest city elevation in the continental United States. As a result, this structure has had to withstand major environmental forces such as heavy snows, extreme cold, and strong winds. The hotel has approximately 100 rooms, which include stores, banquet facilities, and restaurants. When our firm undertook an evaluation of this building, it had not been used for a number of years. The Collaborative evaluated the entire structure, from top to bottom, took existing fabric samples, performed materials, paint and mortar analyses, and developed adaptive reuse plans to utilize the building as an operating hotel once again. The restoration plans included an analysis to allow for the reproduction of lost details, materials conservation, and site evaluation. The original ornate color scheme for the building was particularly difficult to determine, due to the extreme ultraviolet degradation of yellow paints at this altitude. The historic structure analysis revealed a variety of problem areas, and it was important to evaluate the structural strength of the roofing system, since insulation was being added and the roof would be handling heavy snow loads, which lead to more weight than had previously been supported. The firm developed specific design parameters for new construction plans, noted the alterations to be made to the existing historic fabric without a loss of integrity, and itemized what missing elements should be reproduced, an example of which is the porticos on the two main facades. Our historic research revealed photographs taken during a visit by President Ulysses S. Grant, which showed the presence of these original porticos. Ghosts indicating the outline of the porticos were also found on the existing structure, and further research unearthed other photographs, which enabled the firm to detail the exact configuration for the missing porticos. Major structural concerns centered on the problem of rising damp, subsurface investigations revealed no problems associated with soil type and proper remedial measures were specified.