Caring for our history is lauded

Posted 9/17/09

In 2008, members of the Littleton Historic Preservation Board and the Historic Littleton Inc. Board met and heard a suggestion from HPB member Margi …

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Caring for our history is lauded


In 2008, members of the Littleton Historic Preservation Board and the Historic Littleton Inc. Board met and heard a suggestion from HPB member Margi Clute. Other communities across the nation recognize owners of historic buildings with preservation awards, she said. Why not in Littleton?

Community members, including owners of historically designated properties, were invited to submit nominations via a form available in hard copies and on the city’s Web site and the first awards were given during Preservation Week in May 2008.

Four 2009 awards were presented on Sept. 10 at a Historic Littleton Inc. annual membership meeting at Town Hall Arts Center.

Richard “Rick” Cronenberger, a historic architect with the National Park Service by profession, received a standing ovation for Preservation Advocacy. He has devoted untold hours to preserving the history and stories of his adopted home town, starting in 1982, when he volunteered for the Town Hall Arts Center public relations committee, as the group worked to convert the former city hall to a performing arts center. Participation in the Downtown Action Plan led to promotion of National Historic Register designation for Downtown’s Main Street with management of the contract that led to designation, requiring a Historic Building Survey.

Interest continued with membership in the Second Century Fund and establishment of the Historic Preservation Board, on which he served 1997-2003. He worked additional hours crafting a preliminary Local District for Downtown Littleton and advised in many ways with individual building owners. He promoted interest in modern architecture in the city, particularly the Eugene Sternberg buildings.

Susan Thornton, who nominated him, wrote; “While many others have been involved in preserving Littleton’s history, Rick Cronenberger’s tireless efforts have certainly led the way.”

The City of Littleton and the Town Hall Board of Directors were both recognized for their ongoing stewardship of the Italianate building designed by internationally recognized architect Jules Jacques Benois Benedict, who lived in Littleton. It was constructed in 1920 as a seat of local government and converted to a performing arts center in 1983. (The city offices had been moved to 2255 W. Berry Ave.) It is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Lola Salazar, owner of the recently renovated Crawford’s Saloon building at 2490 W. Main St. in Downtown Littleton, received the Award of Merit for her nostalgic Lola’s Sugar Rush, the ultimate vintage candy store. She spoke happily of fulfilling a dream she has carried with her for many years of an old fashioned candy store on a downtown corner.

Mitch Cowley and Partricia Sommers received the Outstanding Achievement Award for the 1967 house at 3650 Chimayo Road in Arapahoe Hills. Original details have been preserved inside and outside the home, which is the first model build by Clyde Mannon and Bruce Sutherland in the modern development. Arapahoe Hills is currently on the city’s List of Merit and in the process of obtaining local and national historic designation. Cowley credited the original owners, from whom they bought the property, with caring for it correctly.


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