New organization to preserve Larimer County history


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Libby James

Thanks to the efforts of historians and preservation advocates Meg Dunn and Ron Sladek, the Larimer County Historic Alliance (LCHA) has taken on a new name and new life. The activities of LCHA, founded in 1988, had declined over time, though a few concerned members had seen to it that its non-profit status remained.

At a meeting in early 2017, the LCHA was renamed Historic Larimer County. The new organization has a countywide focus and is dedicated to the promotion and support of historic preservation through advocacy and education. It will also provide technical support for projects needing assistance. They hope to soon become involved with restoration of the Great Western Sugar building in Loveland.

Spearheading a group that has now grown to 60 members, Dunn and Sladek are excited about the reinvigoration of the organization. Dunn first became interested in historic preservation when an old home in her neighborhood in Old Town Fort Collins was demolished. “The building was replaced with one that was not suitable for the area,” Dunn said. She didn’t want that to happen again. In 2014, she joined the Fort Collins Landmark Commission and is currently its chair.

Sladek, former chair of the Landmark Commission, is a historic preservation consultant with his own business and has been involved in projects across the country. He recently completed a survey of historic buildings in Wellington.

During 2017, Historic Larimer County has been guided by a board of directors from across the county. Monthly board meetings are held in different locations to celebrate sites of historic interest and to forge regional relationships. Meetings include a social lunch followed by a tour. Sites visited include the Avery House in Fort Collins, Old Colorado Brewing Company in Wellington, the Milner-Schwartz House in Loveland, Virginia Dale Stage Station, Roberts Ranch in Livermore, the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne and downtown Estes Park. Members receive a monthly historic preservation newsletter and are invited to attend tours at no cost.

Planning for the 2018 meetings and tours is underway. Anyone interested in the organization is encouraged to call Meg Dunn at (970) 412-1950, Ron Sladek at (970) 689-4855, or visit