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Cokedale Historic District

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Colorado 12, 7 miles west of Trinidad (NRD)

Touted by the American Smelting and Refining Company as a model company town, Cokedale, founded in 1906, was designed by James Murdoch, a Denver architect, to include housing and public and commercial buildings. These masonry buildings served workers in the nearby mines, coal washery, and coke ovens. The town plan had three rows of houses, with public buildings at each end, paralleling Reilly Creek. Prototype house plans placed 12-foot-square room units under hipped or pyramidal roofs with shed porches over entry doors. The primary construction material was cinderblock made from waste coke dust, with walls finished in heavy, pebbled stucco. Over 100 of the original buildings survive, although many have been remodeled and enlarged since they were sold following the 1947 shutdown of mining operations. The large school, mercantile, boarding house, and mine office buildings still anchor the plan, and the former Gotlieb Mercantile is now a museum. Despite some demolitions, this one-time town of 1,100 is the most intact Colorado coal camp. Across the highway are dormant coke ovens, a silent reminder of Cokedale's past.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel
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Data

What's Nearby

Citation

Thomas J. Noel, "Cokedale Historic District", [Cokedale, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-LA25.

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 380-381.

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