OURAY COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Client: Ouray County
Location: Ouray, Colorado
Construction Cost: $835,000
Project Status: Completed in 2020
Since its construction in 1888, the Ouray County Courthouse has undergone a series of renovations and building additions to meet the expanding needs of the County staff and personnel. Connect One Design was selected to join a team of consultants to examine the condition of the historic county courthouse in Ouray, Colorado, which in places had fallen into a state of uninhabitable disrepair.
By means of historic photographs and other archives, Connect One was able to identify how the exterior spaces were originally designed and intended to be used prior to an avalanche, after which the structure was altered and reformed into a state of architectural defense, with little regard to the free classic Queen Anne style of its foundations. Connect One examined all aspects of the site and made recommendations as to how the facilities could be brought up to code compliance and how features such as the retaining walls, plant material, railings, courtyards, irrigation systems, etc. could be restored to meet today’s needs, as well as be loyal to the historic intent. The State Historic Fund and the Ouray County Historical Society reviewed design iterations for compliance and accuracy.
Demolition and restoration work proved to be exciting, as the basement of the courthouse was unearthed, after long ago being filled and capped, to reveal stonework and barred windows. A long search ensued for the original courthouse’s cornerstone. A USGS marker was removed and gifted to the Courthouse to be displayed inside. The final implemented design included such historical detail as the four stately sugar maples at the front façade, a front and side lawn, a wrought-iron railing design, a bike rack “hitching post”, and hitching post parking signage.