The Yampa Valley Electric Association (YVEA) building in Steamboat Springs was celebrated when it was built in 1956. Designed by notable Denver architect Eugene Sternberg and constructed by contractor W.L. Pierce, the YVEA building embodies the International Style, utilizing a wide variety of materials, including cast concrete, brick, sandstone, terrazzo and large panels of glass. The butterfly roof became a signature style of Sternberg and dominates the roofline.
YVEA outgrew the space and moved down valley so Blue Sage Ventures purchased the property in 2015 and began a rehabilitation effort that sought to provide an energetic base for a revitalized downtown, while preserving the features of the building that convey its historic, cultural and architectural values.
Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI), the state’s leading nonprofit historic preservation advocacy organization, selected Blue Sage Ventures’ revival of the YVEA building to receive their 2019 State Honor Award. According to CPI, the Steamboat project exemplifies the ideals of historic preservation and preservation leadership. “Our organization is thrilled to be showcasing the YVEA building rehabilitation project with this important award,“ said Jennifer Charles, executive director of Colorado Preservation.
CPI recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to preservation of Colorado’s remarkable cultural resources. In addition, CPI recognizes excellent examples of adaptive reuse and preservation projects occurring throughout the state.
As part of the rehabilitation of the YVEA building, Blue Sage installed modern glass garage doors and converted the truck bays into retail bays. Additionally, they refurbished the office lobby with like-kind materials and repaired the millwork and terrazzo. Perhaps the biggest impact for the community was the conversion of a truck court to a pedestrian plaza in front of the retail bays. The project is now home to Mountain Tap Brewery, Yampy’s Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails, Hala Gearspace and the Steamboat Pilot and Today.