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Campus Planner George Eckhardt Receives Historic Preservation Award

Campus Planner George Eckhardt Receives Historic Preservation Award

Colorado College Campus Planner George Eckhardt has been named a recipient of the 2013 Stephen H. Hart Award for 15 years of historic preservation work on the CC campus. The award, presented by History Colorado, formerly the Colorado Historical Society, specifically cites Eckhardt's "excellent preservation work at Colorado College." CC, founded two years before Colorado became a state, is the site of one of the largest repositories of historic buildings not only in southern Colorado, but also in the state.

The award is bestowed in honor of longtime board member Stephen H. Hart, a founding partner of the law firm Holland & Hart and Colorado's first State Historic Preservation Officer. Eckhardt will receive the award on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in Denver. Previous award recipients include Phillip Anschutz and former Denver Mayor Federico Pena.

Eckhardt has worked with History Colorado's State Historical Fund to secure more than $1,765,000 in grants to help preserve and restore buildings on the CC campus. The college has received19 grants between 1992 and 2012, making it the recipient of more SHF grants than other organization in the state.

Says Eckhardt, "One basic principle that I have applied is that we are not just 'restoring' buildings, but rather restoring and enhancing or improving the functions, purpose, and usefulness of our buildings. In the end, the true test is how much the occupants love their buildings."

The first grant, awarded in December 1992, allowed the college to undertake a survey and assess the needs of all the historic properties on campus, resulting in the Historic Survey and Preservation Plan. CC began its first major preservation project in 1997, when it replaced the roof and restored the cupola of Cutler Hall, the oldest building on campus.

Colorado College has put more than $1.6 million toward matching the state grants, bringing the total to more than $3.4 million worth of projects involving State Historical Fund grants. Other projects funded with the help of SHF grants include restoration work on Jackson House, Lennox House, Arthur House, and Bemis Hall, among others.

Eckhardt was a driving force behind CC's Historic Walking Tour, a self-guided tour featuring 13 Colorado College buildings currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places or the State Register of Historic Properties. The tour, developed in 2008, is aimed at educating the college and local community about CC's historic resources and preservation work.

Eckhardt also has worked on preservation and renovation projects without SHF grants. Such projects include the restoration of Cossitt Hall over the course of about six years, the complete restoration and renovation of the interior of Cutler Hall interior over two years, and historic landscape projects such as the Cutler seating wall and landscape, Cossitt Hall landscape, Palmer Hall south side landscape, the Shove Memorial Chapel landscape/drop-off area, and the Van Briggle art wall and landscape project.

In the fall of 2005 Eckhardt also received the Historical Preservation Alliance's award acknowledging an individual's efforts. The award noted Eckhardt's "enthusiastic and unwavering attention to detail in the many award-winning preservation and restoration projects at the Colorado College."

CC also has earned major recognition for its work, including awards from the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs, the American Society of Interior Designers, Colorado McGraw Hill Construction Publication, the Pikes Peak Chapter of International Facilities Management Association and the American Institute of Architects.

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