Buildings Relocating to Holden Marolt
Aspen, Colorado – January 3, 2017 – As
the City of Aspen prepares the property at 540 E. Main Street for construction
for the new Aspen Police Department, three historic structures will be moved
from the site to the Aspen Historical Society’s Holden Marolt Mining and
Ranching Museum in order to keep these buildings accessible to the public. Using the house for museum purposes was
determined to be the best way to preserve the unique historic interior as
renovating the structure for current building code standards would not have
preserved its historic features.
On Wednesday, January 3, a cabin and shed will be
moved to their new home at approximately 10am.
The Zupancis addition will be moved the night of Thursday, January 5 and
early morning of Friday, January 6.
Expect wide loads on Main Street and Highway 82 during the moves.
The decision to move these structures was
reviewed and approved by HPC, P & Z, and City Council. The house and shed
date back to 1885 and the barn dates to 1938.
Once relocated, they will be protected and stored at the Museum and will
be placed on permanent foundations in the spring. The City and Historical Society are working
on restoration plans for the interior and exterior of all three buildings.
The City bought the lots and associated
structures from the Zupancis family in 2002 and is believed to be the fourth
owner of the property.
The home on this site was built in at
least three phases, beginning in approximately 1885. The original
structure was a log cabin, approximately 13’ wide and 16’ deep; 200 square
feet. The owner associated with the property through at least 1896 was
William McMurchy, described as a prospector in the book Aspen, The Quiet
Years. McMurchy owned several mining claims and an insurance
business. The size of the McMurchy property was substantial and it was
used for agriculture. An 1885 notice in the Aspen Times indicated that on
April 7th, 1885, “200,000 cabbage and 5,000 cauliflower plants will
be available at McMurchy’s place, at the foot of Hunter Street.”
By 1890, McMurchy expanded his home by
about 700 square feet, to the size that exists today (minus a small addition in
the northeast corner with an unknown date of construction.) The additions
to the house were frame construction and sided with clapboards. The house
featured a decorative front porch, detailed doors and screen doors, but was
otherwise very simple in character. The photo below is dated 1939.
During McMurchy’s ownership, there were outbuildings behind the house, one of
which is still standing.
At least two other owners are believed
to have been involved in the property before it was purchased by the Zupancis
family in 1930, according to title information. At some point, the
clapboards were removed from the log cabin and much of the house was re-sided
with board and batten.