90-year-old Gateway pillars in Lafayette deserve to be saved
By Susan Deans
via the Denver Post newspaper web site
You may have seen them.
The two reddish stone pillars stand near 9 Mile Corner, the intersection of U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road (CO 7) in Lafayette. They have been battered by time and neglect, occasional reckless drivers, and relocations.
As huge commercial and residential construction projects proceed on all sides of the busy intersection, the 90-year-old pillars, built in 1928 and dedicated to those who served in World War I, may not survive. Few are aware of their history, including government agencies that should help guarantee their survival.
The Boulder Rotary Club and a coalition of other civic and veterans’ organizations have taken up the cause of saving the pillars from possible destruction. Bill Meyer, a retired Boulder attorney and past Rotary president, has researched their neglect.
For reasons not yet clear, when the permit was issued for major construction in 2021 that changed the alignment of the intersection where the pillars stand, no historic preservation review of the impacts of the pillars was performed, as required by Colorado law.
A belated CDOT study – confirmed by the state Historic Preservation Office – found that the recent construction severely impacted the physical integrity and historic significance of the pillars. Additionally, CDOT said the stranding of one of the pillars on a traffic island with cars passing on both sides adds a new and serious vehicular hazard.
The Gateway Monument that included the pillars was dedicated in 1928, part of a “Road to Remembrance” planned along Arapahoe Road, dedicated to the 1,000 or so men and women from Boulder County who served in the First World War.
The project was originated by the Boulder Lions Club and the American Legion, with involvement from Boulder city and county governments and other local organizations including Rotary.
The entrance was to be a triangular piece of land on Arapahoe between two curved lanes bringing turning traffic onto Arapahoe from north and south on U.S. 287 and marked by the pillars alongside the road. The pillars would be built of flagstone and “designed something like the walls and alcoves of the new University buildings,” their architect said.
Project planning started in 1924, with groundbreaking in April 1928. Stonemason Lee Roy Watson built the pillars in two months. The rest of the Road of Remembrance project faltered after that. Other amenities such as parks and tree plantings never materialized.
Read the entire article on the Denver Post web site.
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