Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose has been selected by the Colorado State Historical Fund to receive $250,000 to support rehabilitation of the 1908 Montrose Potato Growers Association building located at 39 West Main Street.
In July, the City Council approved a request to file a grant application with History Colorado State Historical Fund on behalf of High Oasis, LLC for the proposed work. High Oasis, LLC was required to have a fiscal sponsor to apply.
According to Community Program Manager Kendall Cramer, the city will serve as a pass-through entity for the grant award and as the grant administrator, but will not provide any direct cash for the project.
The city’s application was one of only 41 applications that were funded among the 79 that were received by the State Historical Fund during the August 2021 round, according to Cramer.
Grant funds will be used for stabilization and rehabilitation of the historic decks around the building, window and door restoration, and exterior masonry repointing.
High Oasis, LLC must provide at least a 1:1 match or 50% of the total $550,381 estimated project cost.
“Securing this award is an example of the benefits of collaboration between the public and private sector," Cramer said. "Rehabilitation of the historic Montrose Potato Growers Building is important not only for the city’s historic preservation efforts, but also for the economic vitality of Main Street and our community."
The building is one of the most iconic structures in Montrose, having served a vital role in making Montrose a regional hub for agriculture. It was completed in 1908, but remained underutilized since the 1960s and fell into disrepair.
High Oasis, LLC represented by David and Greg Fishering, invested heavily in the building to stabilize it prior to the submission of the grant application. They have replaced the roof, the floor, and the associated structural supports. Their plans are to use the renovated building to create a public tasting room for their spirits, produced at Storm King Distilling Co., and retail space for their business and local entrepreneurs.
"The grant is an enabling force that will allow us to move forward with rehabilitating the building in a fashion that maintains its historic integrity while also making it a viable commercial space. We can’t wait to get started and get this building back into use for the community," David Fishering said.
Local construction company Stryker & Company, Inc. was selected to complete the project in accordance with the city’s procurement policy.
High Oasis will enter into a contract with the city for the completion of the project and s will be required to provide invoices and copies of paid receipts in order to be reimbursed by the State Historical Fund.
The Potato Growers Association building was added to the city's register of historic places in October 2019. The Historic Preservation Commission approved the proposed rehabilitative work in March 2020. All work will be completed to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties: Standards for Rehabilitation.
"We are super excited that History Colorado has awarded the city the grant to begin the historic rehabilitation project on the Montrose Potato Growers building. We are grateful to the city for being a supportive partner in our project and submitting the grant on our behalf and look forward to working with them to see this phase of the project through," Fishering said.
The historic brick structure was built in 1908 after the original wooden structure burned earlier that same year. The building was a warehouse for the Montrose Fruit Growers Association, the Montrose Fruit and Produce Association, and later on for the Montrose Potato Growers Association.
The building is significant for its association with the agricultural history of Montrose and the Western Slope. Historical records indicate that wool was stored in the warehouse throughout the 1940s and potatoes were stored in the building in the 1950s, according to David Fishering, a co-owner of the building. He said additional documents show the building was used for cold storage for local restaurants in the 1960s.
In 2020 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.