“I rescue horses, and rescue dogs…and now I’m rescuing a building,” says Heidi Nelson Brandariz, who purchased a ca. 1900 lodge in a small town outside of Denver with plans to turn it into a coffee house and meeting place for the folks lucky enough to live or travel through the mountain community of Pine Grove. Here is her story, as told through her fundraising page on Kickstarter, where you can participate in supporting The Lodge at Pine Grove‘s restoration:
The Lodge at Pine Grove
Located southwest of Denver, the mountain community of Pine Grove is filled with history, outdoor activity and amazing views. Built in 1907 as an Odd Fellows Lodge, this historic building once provided lodging for tradesmen associated with the Colorado & Southern Railroad. This historic rest-stop featured gleaming wide plank floors, tall hand carved doors and an inviting front porch until the decline of the railroad. The lodge closed in 1927. Over the years the lodge was temporarily resurrected as a shop, a home, but for over 16 years this building has sat vacant, stripped of it’s historic value and forgotten.
We purchased the lodge to save it, restore the historic character and create a gathering place for the community and visitors to the area. Nearby Pike National Forest and Pine Valley Ranch provide trails for everything from hiking to horseback riding. The South Platte River offers world class fly fishing and scenic areas to float and kayak. Winter activities are fun for the whole family. A historic walking tour of Pine Grove includes the Pine Community Center, Pine Mercantile and stop No. 12 – The Odd Fellows Lodge. Now named The Lodge at Pine Grove, we will have a display in the dining area to tell the history of this building.
A Coffee House with a Conscience
Everything we do will be in consideration of our community and the environment. Whether we are recycling materials to restore The Lodge or donating coffee to local Fire Departments, our actions will reflect our mission. We have spent countless hours studying antique photos and carefully searching architectural salvage yards. We accumulated doors, trim and other historical elements to restore this building. I personally have carefully removed the wide plank, up to 6″ to 16″ wide sub-floor that was still intact and I am planing it to return to the building as finished flooring. This building has the potential to once again be welcoming center of the community.
We want to save this fine building. It was built to provide shelter and fellowship to people in an era when Pine Grove was flourishing. With hard work, it can be that place again; where parents gather in the garden with their children, friends meet for lunch and visitors are welcomed to this community. The walls of the lodge will showcase the work of local artists and photographers. Our general store area will have Made in Colorado products and feature the Women’s Bean Project in Denver.
Architect Steve Harrison has joined our project and created a plan to restore the historic character of The Lodge using recycled and renewable resources. We will do a lot of the work ourselves and we have a contractor who will work beside us.
- Foundation: The foundation is solid and has been certified by an engineer.
- Water: We have a brand new well and green septic system which is gentle on the environment.
- Roof: Rebuild the historic roof line. Re-purpose the metal roof to be the ceiling inside the lodge. Re-purpose the original shake roof as well. Install a new energy efficient shingle roof to meet code.
- Windows: Install windows with a historic character that are energy efficient.
- Entrances: Rebuild front and back entrances. Build a new ADA compliant side entrance, ramp and path to accessible parking. Steve has designed a historic front porch, including benches to relax with a hot cup of coffee.
- Floor: I carefully removed the wide plank floor to refinish and reinstall. The extra boards will be used to create tables for the dining area and the garden. We are raising the main beam, leveling the floor, adding footings and additional joists.
- Finish Work: Recycle trim, doors and fixtures from architectural salvage yards. We found light fixtures in town at the Pine Emporium. Finish interior walls with Beetle Kill Pine, which is standing dead timber milled to created lumber. Once stained the walls will again reflect a charming old lodge.
- Kitchen: Install a commercial kitchen for natural and organic baking and cooking. We are passionate about providing healthy food for our customers!
- Future Projects: Restore exterior with historic wood siding. Create an outdoor dining and sitting area open to all visitors. The Lodge sits on almost half an acre and the garden area will be eco-friendly, so that it requires very little water to maintain.
Come to The Table
When the structural work is complete we will be able to install our kitchen and open our doors. If we are able to raise additional funds more of the historical restoration work can be completed and more work can be done on the outdoor space. This project will reach out into the community providing work for an architect, engineer, carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc. When the lodge is complete we will be providing work for assistants to bake, cook and work at The Lodge, as well as musicians, artists and photographers to share their work.
We are raising funds to restore the structure of The Lodge. Without your help this historic building cannot be saved. Please see our Kickstarter page to make your contribution, there is no minimum. We will respect and make the most of each and every donation.
The Whole Story with Great Imagery
Heidi Nelson Brandariz has a BS in Landscape Architecture and has worked in design for over 25 years specializing in native and natural landscapes. She believes passionately in saving historic places to be enjoyed today and for future generations. Her Facebook page and her new website follow the journey of restoring The Lodge.