Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Vision #1: Structure Stabilization

Some of the buildings on the Ute Ulay mine site are in need of immediate protection and stabilization until funding can be secured. The team has identified key buildings and structures in need of care. These were chosen for their importance to the identity of the site, their potential importance to the future of the site, and their structural vulnerability.

The site is split into two areas; above the road (to the north) is the town site, and below the road (to the south) is the mill site.
  • At town site: the headframe, boardinghouse, two log cabins, and water tank.
  • At the mill site: the mill, assayer’s office, and flume head.
structures in need of immediate care
From left to right, top to bottom:
  • Redwood Water Tank
  • Eastern Log Cabin
  • Western Log Cabin
  • Flume Head
  • Miner's Boarding House
  • L-shaped Cabin
  • The Mill
  • Assayer's Office
  • Headframe
For information on how this fits the overall vision see our collaborative vision and three stage approach.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Three Stage Approach

There are many factors which affect the ordering of the different elements we are proposing for the Ute Ulay mine; legal, financial, physical etc. Many of these factors are as yet unknown, and so in the interests of clarity we decided to group our ideas into 3 stages. These stages are imperfect, but are flexible enough to respond to the creativity and resourcefulness of local Lake Citians, as well as external factors.  

Below is an outline of the stages.

Stage 1

STAGE 1: Immediate preservation & stabilization, art as community momentum

Identify key structures for stabilizing:
            2 cabins
            Water tank
            Assayer’s Office
            Flume Head  
Grading and stabilization of town site
            Gabion walls
Bio-remediation project instigated
            Outline function of website, webmaster etc.
Art Projects
            Roof Tarp art project
            Head frame clinic
            Shafts and adits before closure:
            Aeolian Harps 

Stage 2 

STAGE 2: Town site
Deep-energy retrofit hostel and cabins
            Winterized hostel
            Chickens or alpaca farm: producing on-site
Incinerating toilets
            Solar showers
            Interpretive resources and decoration
Development of head frame picnic area
Head frame restoration, picnic area, contemplation space
Water tank projects
Tramway and zip-line, re-establish flume as slide

Stage 3
STAGE 3: Mill site expansion

Access to mill and assayer’s office
            Tours and outside walkways
            Audio tours
Underground passage to river
Tailings pile mountain remediated as monument
Gathering spot in ruins with movies
Ice rink and expanded ice climbing
Alternative energy development in Henson Creek
Sheds as extra hostel space/residency/workshop
Web presence expands/continues
Pika research center

All these ideas will be detailed here on the Hardrock Revision blog in forthcoming weeks...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Collaborative Vision

It's been a month now since the Artposium, and it seems about time to let you all know what we came up with. The results will be posted roughly in the order they were presented, to give those of you who couldn't make it, the chance to see what happened. It will begin with the more general, and become more specific with each new post.

To begin, here are a series of overarching statements we jointly came up with:


The Ute Ulay will be a functional site.  It must be a habitable public space that is educational, environmentally conscious, and historically sensitive

Ute Ulay upper site

Project Summary

The Hardrock Revision team spent a month in Lake City, consulting with many scientists, mining historians, and an archaeologist to gain a fuller sense of the Ute Ulay site’s past functions and present conditions.  The group sought community involvement through formal and informal interviews, participation in local events, and regular consultations with a community advisory group.
The collaborative team included a poet, historian, sculptors, videographer, landscape architect, mixed-media artists, and two facilitators.  Working as a group, in smaller configurations, and independently, the team identified project priorities, a guiding approach to development, and a vision for the transformation of the site in three stages. 

Group meeting in 'The Moose' cabin. [image Bland Hoke]

The five priorities of the project are 1) sustainability, 2) community, 3) a balance of preservation and innovation, 4) feasibility and flexibility, and 5) public education.

Sustainability: The Ute Ulay mine site should be both environmentally and economically sustainable.  Construction materials should be reused from the site or locally sourced whenever possible, and power needs generated on site.  Repurposed buildings should undergo deep energy retrofits.  At least one part of the complex should generate revenue to finance the site’s upkeep, and other areas require minimal staffing and maintenance.

Community: The Ute Ulay mine site should reflect the desires, values, and spirit of the local, seasonal, and wider communities.  The site’s function should fill community needs, such as expanding the tourist season, and will not replicate local amenities or other attractions on the Alpine Loop.  Community ownership at every stage of development will ensure the project’s success.  The site should reflect Hinsdale County’s pride of place and bridge cultural and environmental issues.  
Balancing preservation and innovation: Maintaining the Ute Ulay’s historic character, and creating new uses for the site are not necessarily in conflict.  The spirit of the site’s mining use -- repurposing structures, exploration, and nearly constant change -- should be followed, rather than the letter of conforming to a replication of antique mining at every turn. Putting buildings into current use will discourage vandalism.

Feasibility and Flexibility: The vision has multiple stages and multiple options.  Ideas are on a spectrum from simple maintenance to much more ambitious projects.  The community need not follow the plan in a linear fashion, and parts of the vision can be implemented immediately. 

Public Education: The mine site should be a public space with an educational mission, as a platform for mine remediation, experiments in phyto-remediation, and a model for low-impact resourcefulness, as well as interpretation and access to a historic mining landscape.  

Lake City downtown
Keep checking back for more details of what we proposed....