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....

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