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R+B’s Mesa Store Project Recognized With a Historic Preservation Award by the Aspen Historic Preservation Commission

Complete restoration and repurposing of the Mesa Store as R+B’s new Aspen studio and firm headquarters aimed to preserve the historic 1889 building’s heritage, while updating it to present-day standards and needs


ASPEN, CO — June 13, 2019 — Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design is proud to announce that our Mesa Store project has been honored with a Historic Preservation Award by Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). The restored and repurposed Mesa Store Building is the new home of our Aspen studio and firm headquarters. The award, one of only two given this year, was presented on Monday, June 10, during Aspen’s weekly City Council meeting. R+B Principals John Rowland, AIA, and Sarah Broughton, AIA, NCIDQ, along with Project Manager Dana Ellis, AIA, accepted the award.


For over 25 years, Historic Preservation Awards have been given in recognition of projects that have made an outstanding contribution to historic preservation in Aspen and to thank those responsible. “Aspen HPC values the high-quality restoration of these projects,” shares Amy Simon, City of Aspen historic preservation officer. “The awards recognize a significant financial commitment and stewardship by the owners of these important and prominent historic resources, and the excellent work completed by local designers and contractors.”


“Rowland+Broughton, as new owners of 500 W. Main, went far beyond the minimum City of Aspen requirements to restore the Mesa Store, built in 1890,” Simon adds. “Beautiful Victorian details which were removed decades ago, including windows, chimneys and the decorative front porch, have been carefully recreated so that this building, the largest false front structure remaining in Aspen, is once again an architectural icon on Main Street.”


Upon accepting the award, Rowland+Broughton Principal John Rowland, AIA, commented, “When we bought the (Mesa Store) building 3 to 5 years ago, we looked at it as a stewardship project not a personal project. Giving back to the community through rigorous preservation was really important to us. We’d like to thank City Council and especially HPC for all the support and numerous discussions we’ve had. We couldn’t have done it without you. We’d also like to commend the City for having such a long vision with their TDR (Transfer Development Right) program to encourage preservation, without which this project would not have been possible.”


About the Mesa Store project, Rowland shares, “The Mesa Store has been our favorite Main Street building since the day Sarah (Broughton) and I first came into town nearly 20 years ago and shepherding it into the future is something we don’t take lightly. Building on the legacy of our firm while acting as faithful stewards of this important property is humbling. As we embrace the opportunity to control our own destiny, this location accommodates continued team growth and the expansion of the firm’s national body of work. It’s an honor and a privilege to call the Mesa Store R+B’s new home.”


Contractor Schlumberger Scherer Construction, structural engineer KL&A, Inc., mechanical engineer BG Buildingworks, and civil engineer High Country Engineering, Inc., were also rewarded for their work on the Mesa Store project.


About Mesa Store – Located at the corner of Fourth and Main Street at the entrance to Aspen’s downtown core, the Mesa Store is a historic and iconic Old West structure built in 1889. Originally used as a general store, then a bakery, with a shopkeeper residence above, the significant features of the lap-wood-sided structure include a two-story, false-front façade with large storefront windows at street level, double-hung windows along the upper floor, and a hidden gable roof beyond. The signature covered front was originally designed to protect a typical western wood boardwalk.


The interiors of the studio spaces include reclaimed wood floors with clean white walls and white oak millwork. Collaborative, ergonomic work areas feature natural light and are adaptable to required usage. New landscaping and gardens complement the historic yard and open space patterns of Main Street, while providing a modern aesthetic.