Meadows and Fence

Ranching Heritage: Colorado


Ekaterini Vlahos

Hayden Ranch, Medano-Zapata Ranch, Buckley Ranch and Cherokee Ranch are only a few of the many ranches explored and evaluated by graduate students in the College of Architecture and Planning. The Western ranching landscape is among the most immediately recognizable in the United States and even the world. But a ranch is much more than the buildings that dot its landscape; it is the ranching culture, the people, the land, and the vernacular built environment coming together to create a collective historic legacy. Today, Colorado's historic ranches are threatened by escalating property values and taxes, a lack of economic viability, estate taxes, urban sprawl, and deteriorating structures.

Ongoing classes examine conservation and preservation issues for working ranches across Colorado, developing interpretative materials and investigating the stories of families who live off of the land.

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