Stevenson: Van Briggle roundhouse to stand
A recent article in the Colorado Springs Business Journal left the impression that Van Briggle Pottery could be sold at any time to buyers who could tear down the
roughly 120-year-old Midland Railway roundhouse.
This scenario is not entirely accurate, according to Craig Stevenson, co-owner of the business. The company is sticking to a business plan it developed last year, by which the pottery would be relocated to a smaller location so that the roundhouse property could be leased out. After 10 years, the lessee would have an option to buy it, he explained.
Van Briggle has been owned by the Stevenson family since 1968 - about the time the pottery was moved from its original downtown location to the roundhouse at 21st Street and Highway 24. As long as he and his mother Bertha own the roundhouse property, Craig Stevenson said, “it will never be destroyed.”
The site is on the National Register of Historic Places, but is vulnerable to a private owner's whims because no tax credits have ever been taken out on it, according to members of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).
Stevenson has a different take. “Even if a company wanted to demolish the building, they'd have so many hurdles to go through, it would be virtually impossible,” he said.
The OCCHS thinking is that's not necessarily true because (as reported in the Journal article) the Stevensons have never used federal tax credits for façade repairs - though the building is eligible for them because of its historic designation - and thus there is no government “hook” into the property.
Stevenson said that over years “it's been tempting to do that” (use tax credits), but the family has resisted exercising that option because of a concern about having an “encumbrance on the building.”
Westside Pioneer article