Research and Creative Work

In the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, students and faculty engage directly with our vibrant city, dynamic community, and magnificent landscape by working on real projects that make a real difference. 

Baca Ranch Intensive Level Survey

Date: 1/1/2009
Principal Researchers:
  • Kat Vlahos
  • Abbey Christman
  • Melanie Short
  • Sarah Rosenberg
Location: Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Saguache County, CO

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) contracted with CoPR to complete an intensive-level survey of two building complexes at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge in Saguache County: the Home Ranch (where the refuge office is currently located) and the pure bred cattle headquarters. The project was carried out under the Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Units Network. Located at the northern end of the San Luis Valley, near the town of Crestone, the Baca National Wildlife Refuge was created in 2000. The refuge encompasses more than 92,500 acres, incorporating most of the 100,000 acres of the Baca Grant No. 4. Commonly referred to as the Baca Ranch, the Baca Grant passed through a variety of owners, mostly corporations, before being acquired by the USFWS. No significant alterations have been made to the ranch complexes since the refuge was established, and most of the buildings are currently vacant. The goal of the project was to provide building evaluations to guide future site planning and development. The survey project included researching history and ranching context of the Baca Ranch and determining the National Register eligibility of the two building complexes.

A total of twenty-three buildings were surveyed at the intensive level: twelve at the Home Ranch and eleven at the Pure Bred Place. The Home Ranch and the Pure Bred Place were determined eligible for listing as historic districts. They are both eligible under Criterion A for Agriculture and Criterion C for Architecture.  

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