Old Town project chugs ahead as historic building craned into place
January 17, 2015
A project continues to chug ahead in Old Town.
The Rio Grande developer on Wednesday moved a historic building back to the site eight months after it was removed to allow work to proceed. It was a delicate operation, as was the case when the building was moved in early May. The building had been stored on a piece of ground on the 1000 block of Park Avenue.
The Wednesday work required a specialized crane to lift the building off the back of the truck that brought it from the location where it was stored to the project site. As workers scurried about, the crane slowly lifted the Rio Grande building high enough to clear a construction walkway along Park Avenue. The crane operator directed the building to a cement pad and then lowered it to the cement. The developer has estimated the building weighs between 30 and 40 tons.
A few onlookers braved frigid temperatures to watch while others observed from inside nearby businesses or homes. Robert E. Wells House Movers brought the building to the site and a firm called Wagstaff Crane Service lifted it into place.
Rory Murphy, the lead Rio Grande developer, said crews removed soils containing mining-era contaminants, excavated, built the footings and foundations and constructed a 26-spot underground garage while the building was away from the site.
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The Rio Grande building will eventually be put on a new foundation at the northwest corner of the project, where it is now located. The crews on Wednesday put the building on wooden blocks approximately two feet off the ground.
It is positioned approximately 40 feet north and approximately 10 feet west from where it was before it was moved from the parcel. Murphy intends to renovate the two-story, approximately 1,576-square-foot building into an unspecified commercial space.
The Rio Grande building is part of Park City’s railroad heritage. A century ago, the building housed the baggage station of the Denver & Rio Grande Western train depot. It has been abandoned for years, though. A historic plaque attached to the building indicates it dates to 1899 and was part of a larger building. The plaque says railroad service at the site ended in the 1940s.
The developer plans to start construction in earnest in early February, immediately after the closing of the Sundance Film Festival. The project involves a new building with 10 condominiums and three commercial spaces. The Rio Grande building will be renovated into a single commercial space as part of the overall project.
The development is one of a series of construction sites on or just off Main Street as Park City enjoys an extraordinary round of private sector investment. The Rio Grande project developers tout the site’s location steps from Main Street and close to the Town Lift.