Monday, June 28, 2010

Scenes from Telluride

I recently spent some time vacationing in Telluride, Colorado. This old silver mining town (designated a National Historic District ), located in a box canyon high in the San Juan mountains of southwestern Colorado, has successfully maintained its character while surviving in a modern economy.  How?  Most of the development necessary to support their ski resort is located out of sight in the adjacent Mountain Village, accessible by a free gondola.  The core of Telluride maintains it's small-town ambiance with independent retailers and small residences.

The backdrop for main street is the stunning Bridal Veil Falls, visible in the photo above and in a closer view, here:

I enjoyed strolling down the streets and alleys, looking at the small pocket gardens and the architecture of this  active mountain community.

I loved this color scheme of palest lilac, periwinkle blue and soft, acid green.  Which came first, the paint or the plant ?:

This tiny back yard is well designed  to use every bit of available space for both function (parking) and relaxation.  Check out that ski lift swing!

Metal has become the building material of choice in Telluride. I think it speaks well to the town's mining past.  It's usually left to rust, and integrated with wood, stone, or brick. Here, corrugated metal and "hog wire":

Flat metal "shingles" for a less rustic look:

Metal sheathing over a cast concrete retaining wall carries the architectural detailing into the landscape.

Corrugated metal integrates with brick for a durable fencing option:

Sometimes it's a good exercise for the eye to focus on the non-plant materials that build our outdoor spaces and let the plants take a backseat.  Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Les said...

I love Colorado and this post had done nothing to quell my wanderlust. I would have a hard time living anywhere that the backdrop was so stunning as this - too distracting and beautiful.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Les, I feel exactly the same way when I visit the ocean!!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
When in my early early 20's I worked for Telco, the ski company , in the architecture department in the summer months making a scaled model of the "future ski village". ( that was almost 30 years ago)
During the ski season I worked mid mountain flipping burgers on the ski lounge deck.
Great to have to ski to get to work !

I'd love to go back and see how the master planning developed.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Michelle, I had no idea that you are a former Colorado girl!

I didn't visit the Mountain Village on our recent trip (nor do I ski), but based on what I saw in Telluride, I bet it's a well organized, beautiful place to be.

I wonder if your scaled model is still on display in a corporate office somewhere?

Thanks for stopping by...