Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) is celebrating 2012 National Historic Preservation Month with Celebrating Historic Preservation in Colorado Communities. Throughout May, DCI will highlight projects and historic preservation best practices that contribute to downtown revitalization across the state.
Known as the Stone Bank Block, the building was constructed by First National Bank and John S. Hough, and completed in 1877. The beautiful cut-stone and all the furnishings totaled $22,000. This building is unique in the area as it showcases stone arches and French plate glass panels. The Miners and Merchants Bank bought the building in 1881 and operated until 1914 when many of the mines closed and business stagnated. Through the years, the building has seen a variety of uses, including the Lake City Post Office, an ice cream parlor, silent movie theater, the office of Lake City Power Company, a restaurant, liquor store, cocktail lounge and dance floor. The upstairs has been used as the Lake City Hotel and offices for physicians, attorneys, and dentists. For many years, the building was operated as the Elkhorn Hotel. A group of local businessmen reopened the renovated building and a banking institution is once again operating in this location. In 2007, the bank was renamed “Miners and Merchants Bank.”
Over the winter of 2011-2012, extensive historic preservation work was completed on the Miners and Merchants Bank, including re-plastering of the stone walls and stairwells, re-painting, and new carpet was installed. This building currently houses the Miners and Merchants Bank on the ground floor and offices for Lake City DIRT (who oversees the Lake City Main Street program), the Silver World Newspaper, Native Sun Construction, and Mike Coffin, Marketing Specialist. A former storage room has also been converted into a new office for the Bank President.
“This type of historic preservation project embodies the values of Lake City,” says Grant Houston, editor of the Silver World Newspaper as well as the president and founder of the Hinsdale County Historical Society and a DIRT board member. “We are fortunate that so much care has gone into protecting this iconic building.”
Lake City DIRT, a Colorado Main Street Program