Another Project Reflecting Pitkin County’s Commitment to Historic Preservation
(Redstone, CO) Restoration of the Historic coke ovens along Hwy 133 at the town site of Redstone Colorado begins Monday, April 25th and continues through October 2011. The project consists of fully restoring four coke ovens to their original shape and appearance in the early 1900s and stabilizing the 56 additional beehive-shaped ovens to prevent further deterioration.
“I believe these historic structures help tell the story of the community,” said Pitkin County Public Works Director, Brian Pettet. “We’ve made the project a priority because we think it’s important that we understand where we come from and the influences that have shaped us today.”
The coke ovens helped to establish the town of Redstone in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s by attracting coal miners to live and work in the small community. Miners transported coal from the Coal Basin Mine above the town and loaded it into the tops of the 249 ovens. After the coal cooked for 2 days, it turned into “coke” which is fuel derived from coal. Miners, would then rake the coke out through the front of the ovens, and load it onto train cars to be transported to Pueblo, Colorado to be used in the steel mill.
Previous historic preservation and restoration projects undertaken by Pitkin County include the Thomasville lime kilns in the Frying pan River Valley and the Emma Store buildings on Pitkin County Open Space property near Basalt.
Pitkin County is teaming up on the Redstone project with the Boulder-based design/engineering firm JVA Incorporated, and the Evergreen-based construction contractor TC2 Incorporated. Construction will continue throughout the summer. Please check our website for progress updates at www.aspenpitkin.com/ovens.