3 historic landmarks designated by Mesa County commissioners

Mesa County commissioners voted Monday to establish a county register of historic landmarks, granting county historical designation to the Long family cabin, the old Mesa gymnasium and auditorium, and the Mesa County Courthouse.

Before voting in favor of the amendment to the Mesa County Land Development Code, however, commissioners voted to change wording in the amendment that could affect future development of historic properties.

Citing a portion of the amendment reading, “Designation as a Historic Landmark is not intended to impart additional regulatory control over the development of historic properties,” Commissioner Craig Meis said, “How about instead of ‘is not intended to impart additional regulatory control’ it says ‘will not impart additional regulatory control.”

Meis, who first expressed “grave concerns” about the amendment, said he thought the “will not” wording is stronger, ensuring that owners of historic properties wouldn’t be prevented from making changes to their properties.

The inclusion of properties in the county register of historic landmarks doesn’t automatically mean state or federal designation, said Kaye Simonson, Mesa County senior planner.

Instead, “it’s a recognition of Mesa County’s history and cultural heritage,” she said. “And some benefits can come from that.”

She said the creation of a county register can help counties or historic preservation groups when they’re seeking state or federal historic preservation funds.

The three properties included in the Mesa County Register of Historical Landmarks with Monday’s vote are significant to Mesa County’s history for various reasons, Simonson said.

The Long family cabin, at 3117 F Road in Grand Junction, was built in the 1930s with logs from Grand Mesa. William and Mollie Long, who established a farm at that location in the 1920s, raised two children in the cabin.

The old Mesa gymnasium and auditorium (also called the Mesa Community Hall), at 48973 KE Road in Mesa, was built in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project to serve as a community and recreation center.

The Mesa County Courthouse was built in 1922 at Sixth and Main streets in Grand Junction. It was designed by Eugene Groves and built of bricks faced with Indiana limestone.


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