Riverside Preservation Presentation

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Myths and Facts about the Riverside Cemetery in Denver Colorado.

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Riverside Preservation Presentation

  1. 1. Official stewards for the preservation of Riverside and Fairmount Cemeteries. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  2. 2. History of Riverside MYTH: This was Riverside Cemetery in 1876. (ca. 1940) © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  3. 3. History of Riverside FACT: The first office was in the caretaker’s cottage (ca. 1895) The second office, and some time chapel, was the “old stone house”. •Unknown who designed/built it, the cost, exactly what type of stone was used, and when it was completed. •It also served as a holding tomb. (ca. 1990) © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  4. 4. History of Riverside Fact: After Riverside and Fairmount merged, renowned architect Frank Edbrooke, was commissioned to design an office, chapel and crematorium. Construction on the mission prairie style building began in 1903 and it became operational in 1904. Without electricity, heat or plumbing, the site was chosen to be near the existing green house built by Riverside Cemetery Association about 1893 (again no accurate records) which had a well. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation (ca. 1910)
  5. 5. History of Riverside MYTH: Landscape architect H.C. Lowrie planted trees, shrubs and flowers including a central rose garden creating a park-like cemetery. H.C. Lowrie was civil engineer, hired by the Riverside Cemetery Association in 1876, to survey the cemetery laying out the blocks, lots, and plots. He also designed and oversaw construction of the intricately patterned roads still used today. He elected Denver City Engineer and designed the city’s sewer system. SOURCE: http://files.usgwarchives.org/co/denver/directories/den76ab.txt © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  6. 6. History of Riverside FACT: Riverside like all of Denver was a beautiful prairie, which was changed over 135 years to a non-native landscape. (ca. 1888) “There is no more difficult work or enterprise, in such a country as that surrounding Denver than the selection and creation of an attractive and desirable cemetery. The naked prairie, treeless and almost verdureless, with but slight inequalities of surface, and total absence of rocks or ridges, would seem to present about as hopeless a basis for an attractive cemetery as one could well imagine.” (ca. 1900) —Rocky Mountain News March 29, 1879 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  7. 7. History of Riverside The changing landscape at Riverside has been part of its history for 135 years, with water being one of the major issues, either too much due to flooding or not enough due to drought. Most recently: • Denver flood of 1965 • Drought early last decade But water has not been the only cause for landscape change: • In early cemeteries without endowments, such as Riverside, the families landscaped their own plots. Families of means hired gardeners; others did it themselves. If the family died out or moved on, that care stopped leaving the plantings to fend for themselves and eventually dying out. • Plant disease—Dutch elm 1960’s. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  8. 8. History of Riverside MYTH: Riverside is the oldest operating cemetery in the state. FACT: No, there are several others including Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs was established shortly after the town was founded in 1871, and deeded to the City of Colorado Springs in 1875 by city founder, General William Jackson Palmer. SOURCE: http://www.springsgov.com/sectionindex.aspx?sectionid=70 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  9. 9. History of Riverside Fact: Those buried at Riverside reads like a Who’s Who of Colorado history and reflects the ethnic diversity of the early pioneers— • Clara Brown • Capt. Silas Soule •MatsudairaTadaatsu • Miguel Antonio Otero • The four territorial governors John Evans A. Cameron Hunt Samuel H. Elbert John L. Routt • Over 1,200 Civil War Veteran’s, including three Medal of Honor recipients. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  10. 10. History of Riverside Fact: Riverside is home to a collection of rare and unique monuments including— • The Baker Horse • Lester Drake Cabin • Wise Monument • Largest collection of zinc monuments In the U.S. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  11. 11. Riverside Today Fairmount Heritage Foundation, a registered 501 (c) 3, was founded in 2000, by local historians, horticulturists, cemetery family members and Fairmount Cemetery Company. FHF is fully compliant with all state and federal requirements for non-profits. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  12. 12. Riverside Today Mission Statement To preserve the rich, diverse historical and horticultural assets of Riverside and Fairmount Cemeteries; educating the community as fellow guardians to pass on those resources to future generations. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  13. 13. Riverside Today A volunteer driven organization with one paid staff member through collaboration and partnership FHF has made a significant impact in cemetery preservation in Colorado including: • Increasing awareness of the need to preserve these heritage treasures through our outreach programs. • Founding member of the Colorado Historic Cemetery Association • The only monument preservation program in the Denver area working in partnership with cemeteries throughout Colorado. • Published a series of walking tour books for each of our cemeteries; “The Civil War at Riverside Cemetery” in 2011. • Educational programs for all ages including:  History  Horticulture  Monument Preservation  Archival Conservation and Research  Wildlife • Unique events to involve the community in the preservation of Riverside such as:  Doors Open Denver—over 900 visitors in just 2 days  History & Mystery Tours—876 visitors  FHF Photo Club started at Riverside in 2010 by a group of local photographers In 2010, we logged over 4,500 visitors to Riverside during FHF events and tours; this does not include the self-guided tours and individual explorers that pass through the gates. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  14. 14. Riverside Today Monument Preservation Since 2004, Fairmount Heritage Foundation has been working to preserve the unique and rare collection of monuments at Riverside. Our volunteers have been trained by professional preservationist’s to document, assess and perform simple preservation tasks, such as resets and cleaning. Accomplishments to date include: • The most significant restoration project thus far has been the Wise monument; completed in 2008 and rededicated in a reenactment of the original dedication ceremony held in 1888. • In 2010, completing documentation of Riverside’s entire collection of zinc monuments—largest in North America in collaboration with Denver University. • Documentation and assessment of monuments completed in 50% of the Blocks at Riverside. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  15. 15. Riverside Today Tour Program People will not preserve something they don’t know about or understand. Sharing the history and heritage of Riverside in an accurate and respectful way is the only way to preserve Riverside for future generations. FHF volunteers spend hours researching the history of Riverside and the people buried here. • Since 2003, Fairmount Heritage Foundation has been offering tours at Riverside covering a wide range of topics:  Horticulture  Architecture & Symbolism  Wildlife  History • In 2008, FHF volunteers started the Heritage Speakers Bureau; offering a variety of programs throughout the community at:  Public Libraries  Senior Centers  Schools  Civic Organization Meetings • In 2010, Riverside was nominated for Doors Open Denver; FHF volunteers developed a new tour in keeping with the theme of the event “Pioneers Re-invented— How the Move West Changed More than the Landscape”. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  16. 16. Riverside Today Wildlife • The Colorado Division of Wildlife designated Riverside an Urban Wildlife Watching area in 2006. • Since 2008, in collaboration with Colorado Field Ornithologists, FHF has hosted Birding Field Trips. The most recent trip with Denver Field Ornithologists spotted and recorded 57 species in 4 hours. • In 2009, FHF established a Nestbox Trail on the west side of the cemetery; a collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch, Colorado Bluebird Project and Denver Boy Scouts. Data on the birds nesting in the boxes (species, # of eggs, etc.) is collected by the Boy Scouts and reported to Cornell and the Bluebird Project. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  17. 17. Riverside Today Education=Preservation Recognizing that education is the key to preservation and the young they are the more they’ll learn, so in 2008 we launched the Education=Preservation Initiative offering FREE educational program to schools KUniversity on a variety of subjects. • Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Colorado History programs meet Colorado Educational Standards. • In 2010 we hosted over 1,400 students at Riverside; on one day we had 270 students at the same time: 120 3rd graders from Park Hill Elementary and 150 sophomores from Columbine High School • 2011 school tours surpass that number by far. • Riverside was chosen as the service project site for the 2011 Colorado Preserve America Youth Summit © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  18. 18. Riverside Today Riverside Revival In 2008 a collaborative effort was launched to develop an environmentally sustainable landscape at Riverside, restoring the native beauty while preserving the heritage plants. A native landscape at Riverside reduces maintenance costs and the need for water thereby bringing the operating costs in line with the endowment. The partnership, led by the Fairmount Heritage Foundation, includes: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Riverside Family members Colorado Assoc. for Lawn Care Professionals Hardy Boy Plants Front Range Community College Denver Botanic Gardens Colorado Green Growers Association Colorado State Forest Service Colorado State University Master Gardeners Colorado State University Plant Select Metro State College Iris Colorado Denver Rose Society Denver Boy Scouts Colorado Preservation Inc. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  19. 19. Riverside Today FHF—Riverside Volunteers have: • Replanted 8 acres of native grasses • Planted four Colorado State University Plant Select Demonstration Gardens • Replanted over 100 native trees and shrubs • Installed a drip system to establish the trees and shrubs • Developed a Heritage Iris Garden using iris at gravesites that had not bloomed in decades (they needed to be divided) • Planted 30,000 tulip bulbs • Removed and recycled dead trees (the wood is chipped and used for mulch at Riverside) • Pruned and mulched heritage trees • Completed a landscape survey of the entire 77 acres in 2010 • Currently surveying native plants • Hand watered the Riverside roses since 2003 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  20. 20. Riverside Today 2009 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation 2011
  21. 21. Riverside Today 2009 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation 2011
  22. 22. Riverside Today 2009 2011 © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  23. 23. Riverside Today Plant Select Gardens Early-Season Garden Late-Season Garden Mid-Season Garden © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  24. 24. Riverside Today Old Stone House Planted in August 2009 as an Eagle Scout project— • Same seed as the other plots, Blue Grama and Buffalo Grass • Seed application was 3 times higher than the recommended rate. • Planted Iris and other blooming plants at the same • Has not received any supplemental water © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  25. 25. Riverside Today And now a word about the WATER… In recent years, most of the talk about Riverside, accurate or not, has been about WATER; where it went, when its coming back, who has it, and how much it will cost. As previously discussed, the landscape at Riverside has died out and come back numerous times, proving that the landscape can be replaced. The rare monuments we have looked at today cannot and no one ever talks about the effect water has had on Riverside’s monument collection, so let’s take a look… This DAMAGE cannot be reversed; these monuments are gone forever. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  26. 26. “Reinventing” Riverside The Historic Riverside Center for Education and Preservation By expanding the already existing programs, the Fairmount Heritage Foundation envisions Riverside as a center for education and preservation. Plans Include: Restoration of the existing office/chapel (building already assessment completed through funding from the State Historical Fund) would increase revenue possibilities— • The original headhouse of the old greenhouse still exists (attached to the back of the office building) and would be renovated as a monument preservation studio. Trainings and classes on preservation techniques and landscape reclamation for western climates and conditions. • The chapel offers meeting/lecture space • The room behind the crematorium offers additional space for programs. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  27. 27. “Reinventing” Riverside Riverside Wetlands Nature Center Development of a low impact, accessible, education center in the wetlands area would include: • Pathways • Interpretative Signage • Education Center (the old pump house) • An outdoor science lab © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  28. 28. “Reinventing” Riverside Old Stone House Restoration of the Old Stone House as a meeting/event center © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation
  29. 29. “Reinventing” Riverside Fairmount Heritage Foundation seeks additional partnership opportunities to realize Riverside’s full potential for future generations. © 2011 Fairmount Heritage Foundation

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