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. The first project that DCI will feature is the Rankin Presbyterian Church in Brush, Colorado.
Rankin Presbyterian Church was completed in 1907, replacing the original church building that the congregation used starting in 1891. Bricks were donated by a local brick plant, and the large stained and leaded glass windows in the building were donated by members of the congregation. Shortly after completion of the church, a parsonage was constructed adjacent to the south side of the building. This parsonage was relocated in 1964 for the construction of an education and fellowship addition to the south side of the church. Aside from the construction of the addition, the exterior of the building has remained relatively unchanged since its completion. The 1907 church and 1964 addition continue to serve as home to the congregation of Rankin Presbyterian Church. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 for its significance as an example of the Late Gothic Revival Style. In addition, the building is listed as a historical site by the City of Brush.
Seeking to rehabilitate the beautiful historic building, the congregation pursued and was awarded a Historic Structure Assessment (HSA) grant from History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, in 2009. The HSA identified several areas of concern including the condition of the exterior masonry, the porch roof drainage, and foundation water-proofing. A grant application was submitted to History Colorado in late 2009 to address these issues and was awarded in 2010. Though the porch roof drainage and foundation water-proofing were addressed, the majority of the project consisted of masonry rehabilitation.
The exterior of the church is constructed of dry pressed red brick in a running bond pattern. A cast stone base is typical on all sides of the original church building, as are cast stone decorative trim elements including cast stone bands, window sills, and buttress caps. At the onset of the project, the masonry was in poor condition, with many of the original cast stone units severely deteriorated, open mortar joints throughout the stone and brick, and areas of streaking from cast stone material washing down the face of the brick building. Early in 2012, the rehabilitation project was completed, with Spectrum General Contractors overseeing Building Restoration Specialties, the mason for the project. SLATERPAULL Architects worked closely with the congregation throughout the grant writing efforts, the HSA, and the rehabilitation project.
The building’s rehabilitation truly struck a chord with the community, being located centrally in the Brush, Colorado community. As one congregant remarked, “Words can not describe the pride we feel when we see the work that has been completed to save our beautiful church.” Another stated “We may not have many members but I believe our predecessors would be proud of what we have accomplished.” Completion of the rehabilitation work will allow for continual use of the beautiful structure for many years to come, preserving an important part of the Brush area history.
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