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Colorado Chautauqua Resiliency Plan


Colorado Chautauqua Association & City of Boulder

Project Type:

Environmental & Regulatory


Boulder, Colorado

Key Takeaways

Historic Structure Versus Resiliency

Tough decisions are required to determine what is of greatest importance: historical accuracy or resilience.

Wood Structures Have Limited Lifespan

Wooden structures have a shorter lifespan compared to those made of stone, and they pose a fire hazard over time.

New Options are Available

New options for enhancing resilience are available and should be considered as potential methods for preserving historic sites.

About the Project

Preserving history in the face of wildfire threats

The Chautauqua movement flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. The Boulder Chautauqua was developed as a summer retreat and learning center. The 1920s colony is still in use year-round for cultural activities. However, the location adjacent to a wildfire-prone area, together with the century-old wood structures, creates a resiliency challenge that required a strategic resiliency plan.

Resilient Analytics was the consultant in this effort to identify key vulnerabilities, the opportunities for adaptation and the costs associated with such adaptations. The team was tasked with delivering a plan that was both resilient and fit within the historic guidelines set for the location. The team worked with a broad set of officials and historians to analyze the site and set the requirements of each stakeholder.

Resilient Analytics developed a solution in two phases. First, a vulnerability analysis was conducted to derive the key threats to the residential cottages, public spaces and performing arts center. Second, a resiliency plan was developed that prioritized the options to both increase resiliency as well as retain the historic character of the Chautauqua. Short, mid and long-term priorities were set for the site.



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