Dana Crawford Has Vision For Trinidad's Fox-West Theatre
The city of Trinidad, Colorado, has acquired the historic Fox-West Theatre, which will be revived and reopened to once again serve the region.
The city is working with nationally renowned preservationist Dana Crawford, chairman of Urban Neighborhoods Inc., to restore the theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Crawford said she needs to raise about $8M for the project. Urban Neighborhoods had secured an option to purchase the theater in 2016.
The city's purchase of the building was made possible with the help of History Colorado and the Colorado State Historical Fund.
The building will be renovated for use as a venue that can be used for live music and dance performances, as well as theater.
“One of the main things I want to see is for it to attract people from the for-profit, nonprofit and municipal world to a retreat for several days to see what wonderful preservation work is being done in this community and how it’s turning into an arts town,” Crawford said. “It would have regional impact and be a great place for people to go.”
Crawford said she has studied a number of theaters around the country to determine the best approach for redeveloping the Fox-West.
“It’s a lot of work to get the knowledge to conquer a big building like that,” she said. “It has to be designed in such a way so it can carry its weight in the 21st century.”
Originally opened in 1908, the Fox-West is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an anchor property in the El Corazon de Trinidad District downtown. The theater is an example of the civic and cultural growth that occurred in Trinidad around the turn of the 20th century. With the wealth that accompanied the coal industry, there was a surge of new public buildings, businesses and homes. When the town’s opera house closed in 1906, Trinidad was left without an entertainment venue. Edward West, who made his fortune in sheep, led the effort to build a new opera house on the property. Local architects I.H. Rapp, famous for creating the Santa Fe-style of architecture, and W.M. Rapp were selected to design the new building.
The theater isn’t the only project Crawford is working on in Trinidad. She has also purchased a handful of buildings in downtown Trinidad, including the former Trinidad Lounge, which she is rebranding Trinidad Lounge: Home to Club 190 because the city is 190 miles from both Denver and Santa Fe.