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College Collaboration Reopens Historic Tabor Home to Summer Visitors

Tuesday, August 4, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Montoya
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LEADVILLE - Students and college instructors with the business entrepreneurial and historic preservation programs at Colorado Mountain College are collaborating to launch a unique venture in downtown Leadville. 

The historic Tabor Home on East Fifth Street reopened as a public museum on Memorial Day, showcasing the house Horace Tabor built in 1878 for his first wife, Augusta. The museum is run as a tourism site by Colorado Mountain College students from the historic preservation program, with support from students in the entrepreneurship program. 

The historic preservation students are involved in hands-on, experiential learning in cataloging the museum contents and maintaining the inside and outside of the building. The students will create new interpretive displays and host special events at the Tabor Home, which was one of the first lavish homes built in Leadville during the silver mining boom.

At the back of the historic home, college staff members are converting a 1950s addition into small office spaces to house a new Timberline Student Business Incubator, which will open for business this fall. Susanna Spaulding, director of the college’s entrepreneurship program, said she believes it is the only incubator specifically for students in Colorado. 
Spaulding said Leadville’s incubator is based on a successful model from a community college in Springfield, Mass., housed in an old armory commissioned by George Washington.

"The incubator will enable students to have office space where they can be visible and meet with clients. It will support the students as they work to make their businesses viable,” said Spaulding. "The student business incubator connects the real world to academics with a supportive environment that includes advisors and mentors, technical assistance and an equipped office space.”
To locate funding to support student entrepreneurs and kick start the incubator, Spaulding presented a pitch for her idea during a January conference for the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. Spaulding’s efforts earned a $5,000 grant from the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Charitable Foundation. The grant supports students at the CMC Timberline Campus and Lake County High School who apply for mini-grants for their entrepreneurial visions. 
Five individuals or student teams were awarded $750 mini-grants each in April. Two teams of students from Lake County High School earned funds for a coffee cart business and for photography services, while three Colorado Mountain College students won support for businesses in carpentry, preservation and tie-dye clothing. Remaining Hughes grant funds will be used for more student mini-grants this fall.
Tabor Home finds new lease on life
The Tabor Home formerly was operated by the City of Leadville as a museum during the summers. Robert Ogle, director of the college’s historic preservation program, said the house is a fine example of Victorian-era vernacular architecture in the Gothic Revival style. The restoration of the exterior of the building was completed in 2006 by the city through a grant from the State Historical Fund, a program of the Colorado Historical Society. The State Historical Fund awards grants to public and nonprofit organizations to preserve Colorado’s architectural and archaeological treasures for public benefit.
The city now is renting the property to the college for the new educational venture. Historic preservation students operate the museum. A portion of revenues generated from entrance fees will help to keep overhead low at the business incubator, where students pay $50 a month in rent.
The Tabor Home originally stood on Leadville’s Harrison Avenue, where the Tabor Opera House now stands. Horace Tabor, perhaps the town’s most widely known prospector, businessman and politician, moved the home to the current location in 1879 in order to build the opera house using his fortune from interests in silver mines.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Labor Day. The entrance fee is $2 for children, $3 for seniors, $4 for students and $5 for adults. Museum-goers can purchase a new passport for entrance into five historic locations in Leadville during the summer season for $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $11 for children. The passport is made possible through a partnership with the participating museums and the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
Entrepreneurship, historic preservation offered at multiple campuses
Expertise of program directors broad, deep

Susanna Spaulding
 knows about business, as a small business owner with a master’s degree in business administration and a Ph.D. in education who also spent more than 25 years in corporate financial management in New York City and business development in Botswana, Bulgaria and rural Colorado. 

The entrepreneurship program at Colorado Mountain College is offered at four of the college’s campuses, in Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Leadville and Breckenridge/Dillon, and through distance learning. Students are able to earn an associate of applied science degree as well as occupational certificates in e-business/e-commerce or small business finance. Individual classes, such as small business management, also are popular with business owners.
More information about the entrepreneurial student mini-grant program or the Timberline Student Business Incubator is available by contacting Spaulding at (719) 486-4209.
Robert Ogle is associate professor, director and division chair for historic preservation at Colorado Mountain College. Previously, he was director of the Center for Historic Architecture and Preservation and an adjunct assistant professor in the graduate historic preservation program, College of Design, at the University of Kentucky. He also served as historic preservation program development director and instructor for Bucks County Community College, in Pennsylvania. 
In 1999, he turned his business acumen toward helping educational institutions integrate the design disciplines of architecture, interior design, engineering and historic preservation to better meet industry demand.  In 2004, he cofounded Design Lab, Inc., and currently serves as president and a director of the not-for-profit company. Ogle is a frequent speaker on the subject of the business and economics of historic preservation and consults on historic preservation pedagogy and curriculum development. 
He is pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Denver and has earned a master of historic preservation degree from the University of Kentucky, a certificate in historic preservation from Bucks County Community College and a bachelor of science degree in finance and economics from Philadelphia University.
 Mountain College’s historic preservation program, headquartered in Leadville, offers a blend of classroom, technical and experiential learning so that students are well-rounded in subjects from architecture to crafting skills. Preservation courses also are available at other campuses in Breckenridge, Edwards and Steamboat Springs.

For more information about Colorado Mountain College’s historic preservation program, contact Ogle at (719) 486-4230.



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