This weekend in Leadville, local artists have teamed up with a local nonprofit to combine history and art in a fundraising effort.
The Tabor Grand Hotel opened in 1885 at the height of the Colorado Silver Boom, and the four-story building at Seventh Street and Harrison Avenue is still the tallest structure in downtown Leadville. When it was built, it boasted more than 60 rooms and amenities for the period’s upper class and celebrities. But when Overland Development Group fully renovated the building in 2015, walls were torn down to make wider spaces and accommodations. Today, 37 units with affordable housing designation are apartment homes for Leadville’s working class. Though windows, brick, bannisters and side panelling were preserved in renovation, not all of those extra doors could be put to use.
That’s where a creative idea comes in from Leadville Main Street. The same year the hotel completed its renovation, Leadville became a local affiliate of Main Street America. It’s a national nonprofit organization that aims to reinvigorate local economies by preserving and renovating their downtown historical features. There are 16 Main Street Communities in Colorado alone, and more than 100 nationwide.
For their inaugural fundraiser, Leadville Main Street has taken those extra doors from the Tabor Grand Hotel and put them into the hands of local artists who have transformed them into art. They will be auctioned Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Tabor Opera House, 308 Harrison Ave.
At the helm of Leadville’s Main Street program is Destinee Lukianoff, an AmeriCorps VISTA member in Leadville since 2015. “We want to welcome everyone to join us for a night of loving on Leadville and learning about the Leadville Main Street program,” says Lukianoff.
And it will be an excellent opportunity to learn. Some of the artists are well-known names in town, but some are new to Leadville’s growing arts scene. Artists include Sarah and Ben Dallas, Peter Frykholm, newcomer Justine Waggett, Walter Adams and gallery owners Lisa Starr and Ann Stanek. But also relatively new to Leadville is the Main Street program, and for locals who have been wondering just what this new program is up to and what its plans are for the future, this is a chance to satisfy that curiosity.
In addition to the live auction on the stage of the Tabor Opera House, a silent auction to benefit private businesses will be going on in the north store. “The program has worked to seek sponsors so that we can purchase the silent auction items from our local businesses. We want to offer our services at little to no cost for our businesses, but it’s even better if we have a chance to benefit them,” says Lukianoff. “We have put into our businesses more than $900 by purchasing our silent auction items.”
Funds raised during the auction will go toward Leadville Main Street’s goals for sustainability and administrative costs.
The event starts at 5 p.m. with a chance for buyers to get their first look at the artwork and to be assigned a bidding number. From 6 to 7 p.m. the live auction takes place with former Leadville mayor Bud Elliott serving as auctioneer. Doors are expected to sell for between $50 and $400. The silent auction ends at 7:15 p.m. and checkout lasts until 8 p.m. Original and unchanged doors will also be for sale for $20.
It’s a unique idea with historical significance. Come out to support local art and learn about revitalization efforts in Leadville.