Shannan Koucherik: Preserve the Luttrell barn

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To the editor:

I am saddened to learn that the Luttrell barn is threatened with extinction.

The idea that the county officials feel the barn isn’t worth saving is an opinion that could be challenged. Old buildings definitely need care and attention, but so do more modern buildings.

When I first entered the Lay School, built in 1910, it had fallen victim to decades of neglect. Some people told me that the building wasn’t salvageable and should be razed. I saw something different.

The Augusta Wallihan Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution took on the challenge to own and save the school, knowing that it would be a lengthy and expensive project.

Today, the Lay School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Colorado Register of Historic Places and the Colorado Historic Schools Register. Volunteers and donors are stepping forward to help reroof and stabilize the school so that it will be a valuable asset to our area for many years to come.

It takes vision, time and money to restore an old building, but in doing so we are restoring history to pass along to our grandchildren and their children. Those buildings teach valuable lessons of where we as a community came from, and if we forget where we came from, we won’t know where we can go.

My husband and I were married in the Luttrell barn 11 years ago this month. We chose that venue because of the building’s history and ambience. It would be sad to see the barn and its wonderful trees ripped down and replaced with yet another metal shop building.

I urge the county commissioners to look thoroughly at the possibilities of saving a piece of Moffat County history. There are many grants available to help finance restoration projects — you just have to look for them. A fast decision today for the sake of convenience would be a tragic mistake.

Shannan Koucherik

Vice regent/historic preservation chair

Augusta Wallihan Chapter NSDAR

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