Archive for December, 2008

Rejected by Denver, “negotiated” away from City Park, and all but absent from the internet. Our bitchen 1936 WPA fountain deserves better. Lostfortcollins dedicates a whole page to it here.

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Fort Collins City Council member Diggs Brown is spearheading a campaign to build a new monument,  Veteran’s Plaza, in Fort Collins. He says:

This is a worthy project that will be here long after we are dead and gone.  This will be here for generations. -Coloradoan, Nov. 8, 2008

But if history is any indicator, you probably will outlive this memorial. And the one after that:  Our last two military monuments lasted 45 and 20 years, respectively. 

Honor Roll Memorial stood at the corner of LaPorte and College from 1944 to 1993. We decommissioned it in 1989 because we built one we liked better at Edora Park.

Honor Roll Memorial decomissioning, 1989. Photo from Ft.C. Museum Archives.

Honor Roll Memorial decommissioning, 1989. (Photo FTC Museum Archives.)

Preservationists tried to save Honor Roll, but veterans complained that it was shabby and disrespectful.  Besides, they argued, it is inappropriate to have two memorials.

Edora Memorial is our current and official monument to war dead. Did you even know we had a current and official memorial? It’s so out of the way– sometimes I think we’re buying  the new memorial because we forgot where we left the the old one.

If veterans find the Edora memorial redundant after Veteran’s Plaza is built, Edora will have had a life span of ~20 years.


Edora Veteran's Memorial

Edora memorial


Veteran’s Plaza. At this rate, I give the new Veteran’s Plaza 9 years.


You can still visit the original Honor Roll Memorial, in a way.  After it was dismantled, parts of it found a new home in front of the VFW on Lesser Drive.


Flagpole and base at VFW

Flagpole and base at VFW

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I have worked places that gave us nice amenities on the grounds: Volleyball nets,  jogging tracks, etc. 

But nobody does grottos anymore.

People used to get them; for example, if you worked at Fort Collins municipal power plant (420 N. College) around 1930-something, you had one.

Complete with a pool, streambed, and stone gardens. It must have felt like taking every cigarette break right in the middle of a Maxfield Parrish painting. 

Here’s a picture of the power plant today (sans smoke stacks):

Powerplant photo by PlasticDollHouse (see her Flickr stream at right)

Photo by PlasticDollHouse (see her Flickr stream at right)

The building is leased from the city by CSU (here’s a pdf of the 1999 application for historic designation, includes a few more factoids on the site)

And here’s the grotto today.  

Grotto stream bed

Grotto stream bed

My photo misses its beauty and scale. All the more reason for you to veer off the Poudre River Trail some warm afternoon, sit under one of its trees,  and pretend you’re taking a break from a hard day at work.

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Some folks sing songs. Odetta testified.–Time magazine

In the early 1990s, I rented cheap office space at the Northern Hotel. That’s how I saw the single flyer at Bar Bazarre announcing Odetta in concert. It was the only public notice for the show.

 The Northern’s owner, Bill Stark, said the singer was in town for a wedding, and her friends wanted a place to hear her play. They put a few tickets on sale, but the crowd was mostly wedding party.

Iconic folk singer singing to a room full of friends. I can tell you now, that’s the best kind of show there is.

Odetta died on Tuesday.
(Update: Obituaries reveal that Odetta’s son resides in Fort Collins. Thanks to 3DSound at Dragging the Line for the tip!)

(Update2: Jan 28, 2009 Article in Fort Collins Now interviews Odetta’s “son,”  Boots Jaffree, )

Photo by Burnt Pixel on Flickr (click for photostream)

(Photo by Burnt Pixel on Flickr)

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