The Peak Magazine 2013, Crested Butte News, Colorado

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Peak t

a home magazine for the east river valley

for the

generations creating the perfect place in paradise carolina’s kitchen

modern mountain



Little changes big impacts A special publication of the Crested Butte News

Looking to Remodel Your Kitchen? The nationally renowned designers at Thurston Kitchen + Bath bring together the elements to create that one kitchen environment that is uniquely yours, uniquely you. So whether you are remodeling or building new, let the inspiration begin.



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ta b l e o f contents

redefining western chic: the dunbar ranch

page 8

creating the perfect place in paradise: for the generations

page 14

Carolina’s kitchen: modern mountain style

page 20

return to glory: the depot

page 28

artist profile: shaun horne

page 30

love of the wildflower: the origins of local flora

page 36

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insp iratio n I have to admit there are days that I am running around town in such a hurry – to pick up my daughter, or to make the post office before the window closes – that I forget to do something important. I forget to look up, look around and remember to take in the beauty of this place we call home. The mountains inspire us in everything we do. In this issue of the Peak, we meet homeowners, builders, designers and artists who are inspired by our surroundings to create works of art. Alissa Johnson had the chance to tour the Dunbar Ranch up Ohio Creek, where homeowners Margo and Kent Dunbar built their second home to create a modern mountain ranch. They come to the valley from Oklahoma to relax at their retreat, and take in the views and wildlife. It was all about being close to the mountains for Casey Moran. Some of you may remember him from his days owning the Manor Lodge and his namesake, Casey’s. He recently remodeled two condos in the Whetstone Building in Mt. Crested Butte to create one amazing place for the younger generations of his family to gather… and ski in the mountains.

I had the pleasure of learning how to make tiramisu with local interior designer Carolina Fechino-Alling. She creates amazing interiors for her clients with her signature style. The thing that resonated with me after our interview in her amazing kitchen, was that all home design tells a story, and it’s important that the story reflects where you are. In our case, it’s paradise. Aimee Brown profiled local artist Shaun Horne, who almost everyday you can see on Elk Avenue, or out the Slate River in his signature one-piece ski suit plein air painting. He captures this paradise on canvas. As Aimee writes, his paintings beckon you home. We are all fortunate souls to call Crested Butte home. As I remind myself, don’t forget to stop and look up, inspiration surrounds us. Enjoy this issue of the Peak.

–Melissa Ruch fenlon publisher

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Writers Dawne Belloise Aimee Brown Alissa Johnson Seth Mensing Melissa Ruch Fenlon

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The Dunbar Ranch By Alissa Johnson | photos by Bob Brazell

On summer mornings Margo and Kent Dunbar like to look out across the hay meadow in front of their home and watch for elk. The Dunbar Ranch sits in the heart of the Ohio Creek Valley, views of Flat Top Mountain, Red Mountain, and Carbon Peak all around, but it is looking for elk that has become something of a morning ritual for the Dunbars. A small herd likes to spend time down by Ohio Creek, just half a mile away from the house. “It’s so fun in the morning to see if we can find the elk. We never tire of it,” Margo says. That proximity to nature is part of what drew the Dunbars to the Gunnison-Crested Butte area, but it was also their love for Colorado that brought them here. The ranch is their second home, built just in time for retirement after raising their family in Tulsa, Okla. Over the years, the Dunbars had vacationed in Colorado and visited two of their three daughters who studied in Boulder. Kent had always wanted a home in Colorado, and his search for the perfect retirement property led him to Eagle Ridge Ranch—part homestead and part working ranch. In 1994, two brothers, Lee and Jerry Dusa, developed a vision of shared ownership of a Rocky Mountain ranch; Eagle Ridge Ranch is divided into 15 homesteads, each 35 acres, and the remaining 4,900 acres of hay meadows, ranch land, and forest are protected by a conservation covenant. A ranch manager oversees grazing and hay production, and homeowners get perks like shared private hunting rights while also enjoying a neighborhood feel.

“The homeowners have all become friends, so when we come up we can have friends over for dinner and get caught up with what’s going on. Everybody is really in tune and committed to this property,” Margo says. That’s a relief for the Dunbars, whose property includes a functioning barn, complete with hay doors on the second floor, two horses, and barn cats. On a recent Sunday, when the Dunbars were traveling in North Carolina, their horses got loose and ranch manager Al Sanderson was right there to corral them back home. The Dunbar Ranch sits at the end of the road in Eagle Ridge, where the main house and guesthouse lie just beyond the barn. Built out of stone and reclaimed timber, the buildings feel like part of the landscape, built to accentuate their surroundings rather than stand in contrast to them. Architect Dan Murphy designed the buildings, and Margo worked on the interior with Tulsa interior designer Carolyn Nierenberg and Margo’s own daughter, Denver interior designer Anne Marie Dunbar. Holdbrook & Smith General Contractors brought their visions to life, and the result is a family home that blends mountain ranch style with modern simplicity. There are no deer heads on the wall or antlers on the chandelier or other elements commonly used to create a western motif. “I call it western chic,” Margo says. “I really wanted an open air family room, dining room, and kitchen, and I wanted it to have a warm feel with earth tones, where you didn’t have to worry about spilling red wine. I just wanted people to feel comfortable.” Outside, tapered stonework and reclaimed timber give the home a natural yet styled feel (the wider base on the stonework required an extra foundation to support the weight). Inside, the rich, dark hues of arched trusses, antique timbers and reclaimed floors give the home a rich mountain feel. But it’s also kept decidedly modern through Margo’s attention to detail. American clay lines the walls. In the powder room, real aspen leaves line the wallpaper. The wood and steel bar that separates the living room from the dining room is accentuated by a countertop embedded with pieces of broken glass bottles. And the TV sits in the wall between the living room and the master bedroom, hidden behind paintings. The coffee table in the living room is made of two antique wooden doors from France, complete with their original hardware. In the master bath, the clay tiles on the floor are also from France. In fact, the bathrooms throughout the house—one for each guest room—are each unique. Their poured concrete sinks give them a modern feel, and floors that range from real pebbles to stone tiles make them distinct. Even in the guesthouse—in many ways a smaller, mirror image of the main house—each guest room has its own bathroom. It’s that building where the Dunbar daughters typically stay.

I just wanted people to feel comfortable

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“It’s really convenient. Our daughters are in their 20s, so they can stay up until midnight, and we can go to bed at 9:30,” Margo laughs. Throughout the house, Margo has complemented the western chic style with art hand-picked by the Dunbars. Margo sits on the board of directors for Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, and every fall she and Kent visit an art sale at the University of Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum. They’ve furnished the ranch with art from the Gilcrease and their travels to Santa Fe, N.M.

Of course, some of the furnishings, like a beautiful woven basket, have a southwestern influence. But just as Margo’s western chic style avoids any clichés, that southwestern feel never becomes so pronounced that it dominates the home’s classic lines. No room speaks to the family feel more than the screen porch overlooking the hay meadow. On the porch, built with rough reclaimed lumber, Margo can serve 16 people at a time, taking in views of the entire valley. “We eat out there all summer long. That’s been a real treat,” she says. The porch is perhaps the simplest room in the house, yet it embodies the comfortable, lived-in feel Margo sought. It’s similar to the way the barn creates the authentic feel of a ranch. Horses eat grass in the corral, and a lithe, white cat darts out from the barn to weave between guests’ legs. She defies the reputation of a barn cat, purring and rolling on the piles of hay and following guests around the property. How fitting for a home that defies any preconceived ideas you might hold about mountain ranch retreats. As general contractor Fred Holbrook has said, “There is nothing faux about this house.”


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So m e peo ple

Create ... It’s i n th ei r D NA

by Seth Mensing | photos by James Ray Spahn


ome people create. It’s in their DNA. More than just being creative, they can see need or opportunity where others fail to, and have the willingness to step up and say, “I will do something.” That’s Casey Moran. He creates. Long before he ever created anything in Crested Butte, Casey was a tradesman, making things with his mind and his hands. With his father, he started a piping and plumbing business in 1956 that grew to become The Moran Group, the largest mechanical contractor in Chicago. Over the years he and his company have piped, plumbed or otherwise worked on nearly every high-rise in the city and now do work in 15 states.

At one point he was involved in building the Caribbean’s largest marina and a resort at Emerald Bay in the Bahamas. He creates. Around 1984, Casey saw an opportunity to create something out of an old hotel at the base of Crested Butte Mountain. “It was terrible. It was really, really awful,” Casey says. “I bought it primarily for the location and it was a mess inside.” His son, Brian, had just graduated from college and, with a little help from some friends, started tearing the place apart, 16 hours a day, seven days a week. When they had put everything back together, they had Manor Lodge (named by scrambling the letters in Moran) and Casey’s Bar. The actual bar at Casey’s was a work of fine art made from solid oak, 25 feet long with a curve at the end that was made by a craftsman back in Chicago. With the restaurant and 60 rooms upstairs, it was a business and a gathering place at a time when there weren’t many on the mountain. It was the place where ski instructors and patrollers at the young resort cashed their checks and had a beer on payday. But the building around the bar was more than the sum of its parts. As a gathering place, Casey’s held a special status as an incubator for a budding ski culture born on the mountain.

“When we did the Manor Lodge, we were probably about the fourth commercial building in Mt. Crested Butte. So we were sort of pioneers there. We never made a lot of money, but we made a whole lot of friends and had a whole lot of fun there,” Casey says. “We had a sign on the bar that said, ‘No dancing on the bar … in high heels.’” Casey’s was a cultural institution in Mt. Crested Butte that lived at the base area for 20 years. “We sold it about nine years ago,” Casey says. “I didn’t know what they wanted it for, but they really wanted it for the land. So we sold it to them. They tore it down and it’s now a parking lot.” And some would say that the base area never fully recovered. But Casey wasn’t done. Over time, his family grew and three generations of Morans began skiing together, first around Michigan and Wisconsin, then to Aspen and Vail. When they found Crested Butte they put down roots, of a sort, buying two neighboring condos in the Whetstone Building. It wasn’t where they lived, but it was one of the places they most enjoyed. The Whetstone Building was outdated, but the family couldn’t beat the location. The condos were directly above Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Ski and Ride School and their hot tub was 150 feet from the Silver Queen lift. The potential was there, but the execution left a lot to be desired. Inside there was a lot of varnished oak and gold trim. The décor and furnishings tended toward the garish and the layout … well, there was work to be done.

We had a sign that said, ‘No dancing on the bar…in high heels.’

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The dÊcor and furnishings tended toward the garish and the layout ‌ well, there was work to be done.


With the careful eye of designer Kristine Pivarnik and the able hands of general contractor Johnny Biggers, Casey again started to create something functional that would last, but that would also be a comfortable space where people would want to spend time. “I basically was thinking about selling the condos. But they were so old and so ancient … I figured I couldn’t sell them so I might as well do something else,” Casey says. Pretty soon, the gloves came off and Casey was pouring himself into his latest project, creating something familiar, but different from anything else on the mountain. Old finishes were replaced with handcrafted furnishings and a new take on the style that had come to define Crested Butte vacation homes, with the ubiquitous rusted iron and antler chandeliers. A tall, featureless atrium was replaced with a peaked ceiling and custom beams Biggers crafted by hand. The ironwork was clean, bringing a classic, but refined, look to the condos. As a vacation home, Casey’s condo has a carefully designed layout that makes the most of every inch of space, packing in five bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms and a living room for the kids and another downstairs, complete with an exquisite stone mantle. But it is the giant copper sheet straddling the two columns of the mantle that sets the space apart from its neighbors. It is the comfortable seating area by the fire, the giant fridge and the wet bar, the comfortable bedrooms that mirror each other right down to the steam shower. And the sitting rooms and skylights that give the condo an expansive feel where there might have been confinement. It’s a place with enough space for everyone, without being so big everyone gets lost. “I told my son Brian, ‘You know I’m going to get this thing done … and I think I can sell it for a lot of money,’” Casey says. “He said, ‘Dad, that’s great. But you know, we all ski.’” It was the truth. They all skied and they all love Crested Butte. The family’s patriarch was a legend in town and couldn’t walk down the street or go out to eat without running into someone who remembered him and his bar from the old days. After closing the bar, they had an auction and people from town came to buy bar chairs and bits of memorabilia. “My life in Crested Butte has been absolutely a dream,” Casey says. Closing the condo for all but a few weekends every year wasn’t what Casey wanted. He wanted his creation to be open for people to enjoy. So he’s made it available to rent, with enough space to sleep 16 people, so no one gets left behind. “People who are looking for a rental are attracted to the mountain look when they come to town,” Pivarnik says. “It’s not so different, just a little bit of a play on something familiar, incorporating the same materials that we would use in Crested Butte and in the mountains and arranging them just a little bit differently. When you walk in, there are gold chandeliers, but they’re a hammered and weathered gold. So there are elements that incorporate the environment around us, with more of the hand-hewn and hand-made look.” In the end, Casey is glad he didn’t sell his condo and decided to pass it on instead. He wanted his latest creation—like Casey’s Bar itself—to be an enduring part of the community and a place where memories could be made. “It was a fun bar. We always had a gang in there. It was a place where you could lounge and people would just start dancing in front of the fireplace,” Casey says. “I love Crested Butte. It’s one of my favorite places in the world.”

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Carolina’s Kitchen

by Melissa Ruch Fenlon photos by Alex Fenlon

From a very young age Carolina FechinoAlling loved being in the kitchen. Growing up in an Italian family in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she frequently found herself helping her grandmothers cook. “It was my own choice,” she says. “No one told me I had to be in there helping. I put myself there; it was and still is my happy place.” Now as an interior designer, she creates happy places for her clients—the kitchens of their dreams. Carolina and her husband, Mark, work as a designer/builder team. They finished their third home this past fall and moved right in. And, unsurprisingly, the kitchen is exquisite, a perfect blend of texture, color and style. And style is something that Carolina is not short on. The kitchen reflects her ability to create a one-of-a-kind mountain look. Her unique sense of style comes from growing

up in a South American city, studying industrial design, becoming a makeup artist, and then moving to Crested Butte. Carolina oozes style—she’s one of those people who pulls it off with ease. You could call it graceful modern style. From her personal style to her interior design work, she does it with passion. “Everything I look at, I want to be beautiful,” she says. “I learned this from growing up in a city, from having a very creative mother, and always, always wanting to create.” But it’s not just her style; it’s her talent in the kitchen, and designing them. It makes total sense that she runs a successful architectural interior design studio, Interni. The mixture of passion for beauty and idiosyncratic style with a lifetime in the kitchen makes her work at Interni seem effortless.

you should alway s have a connection to where you live

So much time around the kitchen has made Carolina, who once worked as the pastry chef for Soupçon, an accomplished cook. In her own kitchen she’s at home, making her famous recipe for tiramisu (find it on page 25), the one she used to make for the Bacchanale Italian Restaurant. As she whisks together the egg yolks and sugar, the first step in her dessert, she explains an important task of designing a kitchen—the layout. “Layout is key,” she says. “You don’t want any wasted space.” Along with that, the flow is critical. Think about having a dinner party, she explains. If you are cooking in the kitchen, you want to be a part of the scene, but you still want to move around your workspace efficiently. For instance, in her latest home, Carolina moved the dining room table as close to the kitchen as possible. “I wanted it to be part of the story. I wanted it to be used,” she explains.

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When Carolina approaches a design of any kind, achieving balance is paramount. In her house now, the coolness of steel balances the warmth of the clay walls, as do the opposing textures of the rough-hewn wood floors and the smooth marble counters. Carolina is always working to marry contemporary and traditional design elements, while keeping the mountain feel first and foremost. “You should always have a connection to where you live. Whether it’s mountain contemporary or mountain traditional, we live in the mountains and the design needs to reflect where we are.” In this kitchen, the rustic-grade new white oak floors with skipsaw marks and the reclaimed wood on the island tell the story of a mountain home. But Carolina brings up the style a notch with her dark blue painted cabinets, steel beams and Calcutta-gold marble cabinets. Carolina continues the story through pops of color and charm. Above her dining room table hangs a piece of art, the Zettel’z light fixture by Ingo Maurer that she saw years ago and knew she had to get for a future project. Handwritten notes, poems and drawings jut out from a center light, creating a cascading sphere of sorts. Pops of color bloom from bright purple blossoms in a vase, limes, green apples and avocados in a rustic wood bowl, and a simple pink orchid on the kitchen counter. “Everything I see with my eyes has to look good. Inexpensive, expensive—it’s not what you spend, it’s how you place things,” she says. Carolina agrees that the kitchen is the heart of the home. As she whips the heavy cream for her tiramisu with the help of her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Serafina, her older son, Marko, comes in the kitchen with the dog, and her husband clears the table for dinner, there’s an effortless flow in the room. This is where the family gathers with ease. It’s their happy place.

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Carolina’s Tiramisu 1 ½ cups sugar 12 egg yolks 1 quart heavy cream 16 ounces mascarpone cheese ½ cup espresso, chilled ½ cup Kahlua 2 boxes lady fingers Cocoa powder for dusting In a large mixing bowl, mix on medium speed the egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Bring the egg and sugar mixture over a double boiler and whisk constantly for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves entirely. In a separate bowl, mix Kahlua and espresso. Mix mascarpone and heavy cream with mixer on medium until it has the consistency of hard peaks. Pour egg mixture into cream mixture and mix together until combined. Layout lady finger cookies in a single layer in baking dish, then pour some espresso and Kahlua mixture over them. Spread evenly half of cream mixture over lady fingers. Then repeat layers, ending with cream mixture. Top with sifted cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.


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Little changes BIG impacts Update Your Lighting You can completely change the look and feel of a room with lighting. Kim urges people to think outside the box when dreaming up lighting fixtures. “There are so many cool things you can do with lighting. Get a socket kit, then add your own unique element like an old wire trashcan and you’ve got a new one-of-a-kind lighting fixture,” she says. “Electricity can seem so daunting, but it’s not.” Kim has obviously learned a lot about lighting since buying Mountain Colors in 2006, and she also has a good eye for ontrend fixtures. Right now, she says, fixtures are more industrial feeling, using filament bulbs. Kim’s last piece of advice is to really look at where you want the light to go. “You may have art that you want to showcase and there are certain types of lights that can do that for you.”

by Melissa Ruch Fenlon | photos by Alex Fenlon Kim Raines sat down with The Peak to share some of her design secrets. These tips will help you add a new wow factor to your home without the cost of a complete makeover. And most important, Kim picked out ideas you can do yourself.

Switch Out Your Cabinet Hardware If you’re stuck with generic builder-grade cabinets, don’t fret. It’s as simple as switching out your hardware. “By picking out pulls with more style, you can make your cabinets shine,” Kim says. Don’t forget to bring in your existing hardware when choosing your new ones. This way, you’ll be sure to pick something that fits your current hole pattern so you don’t have to re-drill. And if you are ready to give the actual cabinets a facelift, Kim recommends applying a glaze stain to them or repainting. If you choose the latter, she explains, it’s becoming a less daunting task with new products like Insl-x CabinetCoat.

“I love to see people realize that the little things can really make a big change.” -Kim Raines

add some Easy Accents Kim loves a monochromatic color scheme with pops of color from simple items like pillows. For instance, she recently put a yellow industrial pendant over her dining room table. To bring that yellow into the adjoining living room, she found affordable handmade pillowcases in a bright yellow chevron on Etsy.

try A New Piece of Furniture We’re not talking about a new, expensive couch—we’re talking about the power of a new side table or barstools. “Don’t be afraid to change out an end table to match your new lighting. It’s an easy step to complete the look.” Or if you’re going industrial with a new kitchen pendant, upgrade your barstools to tie in the look.

Change Up Your Paint Color “It’s the easiest and fastest thing to do for a big change in your home,” says Kim. “You can make a big impact in one day.” Pick one accent wall, or do every wall in a room. Kim says grays are on trend for this year—they match the overall design aesthetic people are moving toward, a modern rustic feel. She’s picked out some of her favorite go-to grays. “These have a nice, warm feel to them,” she explains.

Kim Raines is the owner of Mountain Colors Paint and Design in Crested Butte.

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RETURN TO GLORY: THE HISTORIC Train Depot story by Aimee Brown | courtesy photo

In biting cold temperatures, under gray skies threatening snow the first train to enter Crested Butte steamed to town at noon on November 21,1881. Few people were present to see the cars roll in on the narrow gauge, hastily placed tracks, but even deep in the region’s mines everyone heard the conductor blow the train’s whistle. The Denver Rio Grande railway moving north from Gunnison had made it to town one year and five months after incorporation.

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The speed with which the rails were placed, and infrastructure built, was almost unprecedented and easily explained: Crested Butte and surrounding areas were exploding with minerals including precious metals, and more importantly, coal. By November 30, 1881, barely a week after that first train made it to the upper Gunnison Valley, more than eighty tons of coal per day were being moved by rail from Crested Butte east back toward Gunnison then on to Denver. The railway legitimized Crested Butte as a central hub for surrounding mining camps like those in Irwin, Elkton, Gothic and Ruby, and allowed the town to move beyond a simple tent city dominated by single, often transient men, into something more. With coal traveling out of the valley and freight and passengers traveling in, Crested Butte became a bustling center for commerce, the heart of which was the railroad station and train Depot. “Without the Depot Crested Butte would not have survived; it would have become a ghost town like Elkton,” says Molly Minneman, Crested Butte’s Historic Preservation Officer. “The tracks were important, but this could have been just a stop on the line. The Depot created a center for the community from the very beginning.

The ability to both send and receive goods, to be part of the larger world and get what you needed to make your family run, brought stability and continuity to the community that allowed people to hang on even when times were hard.” Constructed by the Denver Rio Grande railroad company shortly after the first train came to town, the Depot was situated so that incoming train cars would unload their cargo through freight doors on the east side of the building and community members would load their wagons, and later their automobiles, using similar doors located on the west side. It was like a hallway for goods and freight to be exchanged, says Minneman. From the Depot a long boardwalk ran along Elk Avenue toward the downtown area, and while the Crested Butte railway was predominantly a freight run, a passenger car was often added to the train. For years this served as the primary means of transportation into and out of town and people arriving and leaving from the Depot would walk the boardwalk in every season. “The road from Gunnison was terrible by our standards, and for many people the railroad was the best way both to travel through the valley and to transport goods,” says Minneman. That began to change in the 1930s and 1940s as automobiles became more common for private owners, the nation experienced the first oil and gas boom and the coal industry experienced massive declines in sales and productivity. “Railroads throughout the country were in trouble as the market for coal decreased,” says Minneman. “The last mines closed in 1952, and the trains quit running not long after. The only thing left was the Depot.” Stationmaster C.T. “Ralph” McCandless purchased the structure from the railroad and turned it into a private residence. He lived there with his family until 1972 when he sold the building to Ralph and Billie Clark in an effort to save it from being turned into condominiums. After working to rehabilitate the building, the Clark’s gifted the Depot to an organization wanting to use it as a center for performing arts. In 2001, the Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2005 it officially became property of the town. Today work is underway to once again rehabilitate the Depot, and return it to its original construction. The threephase project began last summer with the replacement of the building’s roof shingles and the shingles in the second floor gables, and with the shoring up of the buildings support columns. Phase two and three will begin concurrently this summer and will include repairs and replacements to parts of the foundation, and refinishing of the interior floors. The exterior of the building will also be scraped and repainted to historical accuracy. “We’re using the original material wherever possible, and replacing it with historically accurate materials when necessary,” says Minneman. “Our goal is to restore the Depot to what it once was, while also creating a space for the community to gather. For years the Depot was the only building in town, besides the churches, where people could hold events and come together as a community, and it is still one of the most important buildings in town.” The rehabilitation of the 130-year-old Depot, which in total will cost approximately $650,000, is being paid for primarily through grant money. Construction is slated to be completed by the end of 2013, and at that time the building will reopen to the community for events. For more information about the project, contact the Crested Butte Town Hall.

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2013 | | 29

Finding the

Cathedral by Aimee Brown

Local artist Shaun Horne leads Plein Air Movement

photo by Alex Fenlon


he painting hanging in the Oh Be Joyful gallery in downtown Crested Butte is large, three by four feet, taking up most of the wall. It’s late spring. The Slate River is full and swirls with rising fish, the grass and aspens are lush with the bright green growth, and in the background all the mountains of Paradise Divide stand tall and white with the last of winter’s snow. The painting asks you to step into the frame, take off your shoes and put your feet in the icy waters. It beckons you home. Landscape painter Shaun Horne first came to Crested Butte in 1989 as a fifth-year student at Western State College of Colorado, studying evolutionary biology and studio art. He stayed in the valley for a year, then returned to his home state of New York, where he graduated from Syracuse University. A job in the biotech industry awaited him on Colorado’s Front Range, but it wasn’t to last.

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“I was in the city going to work, and I would remember the views from Crested Butte,” says Horne, who with his wife, the painter Dawn Cohen, owns the Oh Be Joyful Gallery. “They just kind of blew my mind. I kept thinking that I had to be exaggerating the memory, that a place couldn’t be that beautiful.” While working on the Front Range, Horne also enrolled at Colorado State University, where he earned a second bachelor’s degree and 99 percent of a master’s degree in painting. “I was nearly done with my master’s when my mom died,” says Horne. “It wasn’t long after that that my wife told me she was pregnant, and I realized I’d better get on my horse and go for it. I thought, ‘I better become a painter.’”

Horne moved his growing family back to Crested Butte, where he gave everything over to his painting, delving deep into the plein air style—literally, painting in the open air. Donning an ugly old one-piece Obermeyer ski suit for warmth, Horne proceeded to set up his easel on the streets and hills of town. There he would stand for hours, seemingly days at a time working to capture the light and beauty of his adopted landscape. “My concept is pretty straightforward,” says Horne. “I’m just trying to capture as much beauty as I can.” On average, Horne paints 50 largescale landscapes per year, spending between 20 and 40 hours on each one, in all elements and at all times of the year.

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“The dork suits are a big piece of how I am able to paint year-round in Crested Butte,” says Horne of the one-piece snowsuits that have become part of his painting persona. “That and the big paratrooper boots that keep you well off the ground and your feet warm. Stylish technology has not quite met the needs of painting outdoors during a Crested Butte winter.” It’s been 11 years since Horne made the decision to move to the upper valley to become a painter. In that time he and Dawn have opened two galleries, Oh Be Joyful and a new gallery in Telluride, and have led a movement for plein air painting in the West. Horne has also created thousands of paintings of Crested Butte and its iconic views. Within this body of work are images that he repeats time and time again—Camp Four coffee, the 30-year poppy garden on Elk and Fifth, Elk Avenue, the Peak—and others that will be captured only once.

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“What you’re painting is different every time, you see new things every time,” says Horne. “It’s not necessarily about the novelty of the subject, but the enjoyment I get out of looking and painting. For me to look at a mountain repeatedly is exactly what I want to do. Monet would paint a cathedral 30 or 40 times, each time in a different way, seeing different things, finding different colors.” The market for Horne’s work has grown steadily, and over the years his paintings have graced many of the valley’s homes and offices. His iconic paintings often sell before they’re complete, prompting him to return to a familiar spot to see the world anew. “For those views that are Crested Butte there is an almost infinite market—I sell every one I make. But there are others that I paint because of how they resonate with me,” says Horne. “Right now I’m working on another painting of the Slate River, looking out from where it goes under the highway between Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. I consider that view my cathedral painting. I don’t sell all of those, but I just keep making them. For a long time I thought that was the best painting spot on earth, then I realized it was the second best, because the first best would be standing right in the middle of the bridge.” Horne and Dawn live in Crested Butte with their two daughters and another child on the way. They continue to be strong advocates for plein air painting, and both strive to paint every day in all conditions.

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Fairy Slipper

of the

Wildflower story by Dawne Belloise / photos by Melissa Ruch Fenlon

“It is better to be wild than good”


here’s a reason Crested Butte is the designated wildflower capital of the entire state of Colorado. Look around our valley and mountains and you’ll see a profusion of colors throughout the summer, especially during the peak season in July. Whether you’re out there hiking in high alpine splendor or the magnificent Upper or Lower Loop trails at town’s edge, it’s fun to know some of the origins and lore of the local flora. Long before the area was settled as a mining town, and now a resort destination, the Ute tribe considered Crested Butte’s mountains and valley to be sacred for all its bounty. Marcie Telander is a long-time local storyteller, writer and poet who also hosts the “Fairy Houses, Flower Lore and the Native Spirit of Plants” event during the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. She explains the special and spiritual connection of the Ute to these mountains. “The Utes were very nomadic, coming from a more arid ecosystem. They would come to the place of the pavant (the Ute word for “where the sacred waters come together”) where they would have ceremonies with other tribes. It was considered a place of healing and treating. It was a place that herbs were gathered, treaties were made, children were named, marriages were arranged, and ceremonies were celebrated.” With the abundance of water and wetlands in this valley, Marcie imagines, the Utes would gather those plants that were not available in their own tribal lands, like mint and various healing roots, wild onions and berries. But how did they know which plants and flowers were beneficial and which were poisonous? Marcie reveals, “The ancient ethno-botanists, and the very first integrative healers, essentially experimented on themselves with these plant medicines. They were shamans in their communities. This is the way the first herbalists learned, by taking little tastes of each... it was not a ‘go to’ plant if you keeled over!” The knowledge was then handed down from generation to generation, across cultures and countries. Much of Europe has similar plants and flowers that grow in our area and whose lore was passed down to the New World. Kathy Darrow, (ecologist and author of the book, Wild About Wildflowers: Extreme Botanizing in Crested Butte, says, “I think every plant has its own lore. In history, most of the plants have lore that goes back to Europe…for instance, Monkshood is a species that occurs in Europe (as well as Crested Butte) and has a lot of medicinal properties and poisonous properties and fun lore. Aconitum is the genus that the name comes from. In the Greek legend, Hercules fought Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell. The location where they were fighting was a hill in Greece named Aconitus so the lore says the plant grew from the spit of the dog.”

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Another of Kathy’s favorite Greek legends concerns the flower Parnassia, named after Mount Parnassus, the sacred home of the Greek god Apollo and the nine Muses. “The grass of Parnassus is named after the mountain because it was such a beautiful plant and a gift from the Muses. It’s a subtle plant, and there are a couple different kinds in the Crested Butte area,” Kathy says. Fringe Parnassia has fringes on its five white petals and grows in wetlands on mounds of ruffled green leaves. Kathy says, “They grow in places where you could imagine fairies and Muses.” The first doctors were actually ancient herbalists and much of today’s lore comes from their ideas about medicines. A plant’s use to treat an ailment or illness might have been based on the shape of the leaves, or the shape of the roots. “Orchids come from the Latin ‘orchis, which means testicles,” Kathy explains. “Because of the shape of some of the roots, early herbalists suggested that if a pregnant women ate orchid root she would be more likely to have a boy.” There are at least a dozen different kinds of orchids in the mountains surrounding Crested Butte, including the beautiful Fairy Slipper, Coral Root, Ladies Tresses and Bog Orchid, but be sure to ask which ones are edible if you’re planning on having a boy baby. Want a girl baby? The Harebell is our Rocky Mountain equivalent to the European flower named Rapunzel—yes, the very same girl in the fairytale. In the story, the greedy witch demanded the baby (who she named Rapunzel) as payment from the father-to-be when he stole the nutritious Rapunzel flower from the witch’s garden. The poor father had taken the plant only to satisfy his pregnant wife’s craving for it. In Navajo culture it’s believed that eating Harebells, aka Rapunzel, during your pregnancy will lead to birthing a girl. Some wildflowers such as Penstemons, for example, are native to North America and have no corresponding ancient lore. However, the Indian Paintbrush—in hues of brilliant reds, oranges, fuchsia and purples—is also endemic to the Western Hemisphere but has a Cherokee story about its origins. The flowers were derived from the Great Spirit as a gift to a young Native American boy who wanted to paint the sunset. The boy was finally rewarded by the Great Spirit for his dedication with the gift of brushes of every color of the sunset. As he painted his masterpiece he discarded each of the brushes, which then were transformed into flowers. From Persia comes the folktale of the Forget-me-nots, the dainty purple flowers that dot our mountain landscapes. Legend says that an angel and her human lover planted the flowers so they could enter the kingdom of paradise together as immortals (and everyone knows we live in a Neverland paradise here...). Kathy likes the Latin names used for flowers because “They’re very descriptive of the plant family or plant itself. Sometimes they’re just names of botanists and their friends and lovers,” she laughs. “One of my favorite plant family names is the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, which comes from the Latin root rana, which means frog, and a lot of buttercups grow in wetlands where there are frogs.... hence the name.” (Check out the Marsh Marigolds and Monkshood in the wetland areas).

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In the original Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is driven out of a manicured garden by an entire plot of high-bred, snooty flowers because they determine she is but a weed. Alas, a lot of the plants we call weeds, and those we consider to be invasive, are plants that were brought to North America because of their medicinal or edible properties. Kathy relates, “For instance, the Ox-eye Daisy is edible and has medicinal properties and was brought over from Europe in the early 1700s for those reasons but is now considered invasive. It was one of those ‘cure everything’ plants, from headaches to painful childbirths to asthma, and a mineral tonic tea. People planted them on the graves of loved ones. Or dandelions, another classic that was introduced from Europe as an edible plant. “Anybody can make up their own wildflower lore and stories because that’s how we learn about plants when we pass down stories about them,” Kathy says. “Your story is just as relevant as a one-thousand year old story.” So go ahead, take a hike among the wildflowers and create some lore of your own to pass down to your kids. You could wind up a legend.

Red Paintbrush For more local wildflower lore and identification get yourself a copy of Wild About Wildflowers: Extreme Botanizing in Crested Butte, by Kathy Darrow, available at Townie Books (online as well), and the Crested Butte Heritage Museum and the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival office. For more information about Marcie Telander and her work, visit her online at For information on the Wildflower Festival go to

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Andrew Hadley Architect PC 970.349.0806 302 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte www.andrewhadleyarchitect .com Freestyle Architects, PC Jim Barney, Architect, LEED AP Karen Barney, Architect, LEED AP 970.596.8126 736 Riverland Drive, Unit B, Crested Butte kPd Studios|Kristine Pivarnik Design NCIDQ Cert #24384 970.349.2453 Laggis Architecture & Construction Chris Laggis 970.209.0485/970.349.6201 P.O. Box 2739, Crested Butte

ARTISTS & ART GALLERIES Art on the Rocks | Mary Tuck Enterprises 970.901.6348 Crested Butte John Ingham Fine Art Gallery 970.349.5174 403 Third Street, Crested Butte John Ingham Fine Art Oils: Susan Marrion Fine Art Oils: Raynor Czerwinski Fine Art Photography: The Alpenglow Gallery, a Fine Art Gallery 781.690.8246 Mt. Crested Butte, Lodge in Mountaineer Square

BUILDERS & ENGINEERS Beckwith Brick | Paul Barney 970.209.8605 736 Riverland Drive, Crested Butte Burnett Construction, Inc. 970.596.2197 P.O. Box 712, Crested Butte 44 | | 2013

Copper Creek Homes, LLC 970.349.5462 PO Box 1116, Crested Butte Crested Butte Builders, Inc Johnny Biggers 970.349.5990 405 3rd Street, Suite E, Crested Butte End Of The Road Construction, Inc 970.275.1120 17 Elk Ave/PO Box 233, Crested Butte Green Robin Builders & Design, Inc. 970.275.3462 P.O. Box 1481, Crested Butte J Olsen Construction, Inc. | Joey Olsen 970.349.1582 P.O. Box 5091, Mt. Crested Butte Miller Custom Homes, LLC 970.209.4392 P.O. Box 1944, Crested Butte Mollison Homes LTD 970.209.2943 Crested Butte, CO Austin, TX Office for Resource Efficiency (ORE) 970.641.7682 202 E. Georgia Ave., Gunnison Sleightholm Workshop Design + Build 970.590.1185 909 Seneca Drive, Gunnison Sopris Builders | Todd Carrol 970.209.9253 Wright Angle Construction, Inc. 970.349.5478 P.O. Box 1637, Crested Butte

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Alfred Eames Cellars 970.527.3269 11931 4050 Road, Paonia 2013 | | 45

this place we call


How did you find Crested Butte? My brother was living in Aspen when I was graduating from architecture school in New Orleans. He was building houses and I was designing them. He had just bought some property in CB South and told me to come on out and we could build houses together and learn to ski. When did Crested Butte first feel like home? I got that funny feeling of “wow, I could call this place home” when I was hanging out at the Grubstake deck on a random off season day about a week after I moved here. The Space Janitors were playing some music and it was just a bunch of locals hanging out and “groovin’ on a sunny afternoon.” I had just come from New Orleans so that music scene was fresh in my mind and the Janitors bust out Sissy Strut for their first song. I just smiled and said “yeah you right!, this place is cool. Later that week I decided to walk over to the radio station. I had done some radio in New Orleans (shared a blues show with Ernie K Doe), so I thought I would see what the local radio scene was like. Lynda Jackson was there and she and I started talking as we walked in to town from the bus barn where KBUT used to be located. After a few blocks I was blown away by how incredible this lady was and I guess you could say it was at that moment that I realized that I would truly be blessed if I could call CB my home.

46 | | 2013

Name: Andrew Hadley Occupation: Architect Years in Crested Butte: 20

Why are you proud to call this place home? The people really take ownership in this town. They have a true passion for making this the best place on the planet. We are like family, we look out for each other, when someone dies we all grieve, and we all have an outrageous ability to live life to its fullest. I am really happy my two kids are getting the chance to begin their lives in a place like this. I have had more fun in the last 20 years than I thought was humanly possible. I can’t wait for the next 20. What sets Crested Butte apart from other communities? We dance to the beat of our own drum. We don’t let trends in other places determine how we do things here. This is our town and we are going to make up the rules dammit!



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