Telluride’s historic sandstone warehouse to be restored and repurposed as arts center

Telluride Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established in Telluride, Colorado on November 17, 1971 as the Telluride Council of the Arts and Humanities, known for over 40 years as TCAH. The organization was the first non-profit in the region, and served to incubate a culture of the arts that has come to define Telluride.

Recently, Telluride Arts established the Telluride Arts District, and became one of the first Certified Creative Districts in the state, developed branding and marketing for the Arts District, strengthened partnerships with the Town, County, national and local partners, led planning for Wayfinding and Space for the Arts, and positioned the organization as a leader in the community.

On January 15, 2017, Telluride Arts launched a design competition for the adaptive reuse and transformation of the iconic Telluride Transfer Warehouse into a center for the arts. Telluride Arts, a local arts agency established in 1971, is leading the project. The vision for the building is to create an architectural and cultural landmark in the heart of Telluride that provides contemporary, public art space that deepens and expands the cultural life of Telluride.

Key elements of the program include a Kunsthalle for exhibitions, flexible spaces that transform to host a multitude of events, and a small, museum-style bar/cafe that invites a constant flow of people and casual gatherings into a living-room atmosphere.

The Warehouse, which is essentially a sandstone ruin that has had no roof since it collapsed in 1979, is a historic landmark and a local treasure. The exterior stone, mortar, doors, and windows will be restored according to historic standards by a team of highly skilled conservation specialists.

The interior, which at one time had a second floor that was crushed when the roof collapsed, is a blank canvas that provides an exciting design challenge within the historic shell.

In April of 2017, Telluride Arts announced the three finalist firms that will compete for the adaptive reuse and transformation of the Transfer Warehouse. From an initial list of 30 design practices from across the nation, Gluckman-Tang, LTL, and NADAAA were selected, due to “their sensitivity to the Telluride Arts and Telluride Historic Landmark Districts, their experience with historic restoration, and their previous design experience with public spaces for the arts.

Telluride Arts’ mission is to advance Telluride as a center for extraordinary artists, who infuse our authentic mountain community with world-class ideas. Its programs elevate and promote a culture of the arts in the Telluride Arts District, which comprises numerous institutions, events, and artists from around the region and across the globe.

Images courtesy of Telluride Arts.

See Telluride Arts website.

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