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Get Off I-25 | Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse & Tourism

  • Pueblo Convention Center 320 Central Main Street Pueblo, CO, 81003 United States (map)


I regularly lecture about Pueblo's fascinating and oftentimes twisted history. I find the messiness of life is where all the humanity lies in our most authentic and genuine storytelling. When I socialize ideas in our creative economy, I am drawn most closely to the emotional triggers that activate engagement and ownership. This was most evident when I opened the tunnel network at Central Plaza for the Ghost Walk event and more than 3,000 people participated in just 4 nights. It did not matter if you were 5 or 95 years old, the same curiosity for the legacy of the past was evident. Drawing from this experience, I embarked on a series of lecture tours on the 'Tunnels of Pueblo' and ‘Steel & Meat’ to dig deeper and to encourage more engagement from locals and visitors alike. These experiences in Pueblo compliment my years of international consulting with some of the world's great designers, architects, and city planners where we looked to define 'the future of the past'. This special presentation shares my global perspective on how to get people off I-25 and experience Pueblo the way it deserves to be experienced.

I support the National Trust for Historic Preservation and most recently have incorporated their '10 Principles of Re-Urbanism' in my consulting work. Pueblo is blessed with architectural assets that dot our landscape. Most of these historic properties tell a story in their own right, but when folded into innovative and thoughtful adaptive re-use, they become a greater part of Pueblo's world-class story. As a storyteller who conducts historic walking tours around the world, I continue to encourage and assist in the establishment of educational and cultural programs, tours and events to advance thoughtful historic preservation and adaptive re-use. Moreover, having worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for over 30 years, I understand the importance of aligning historic preservation with tourism and economic redevelopment. Over the past 18 months at Watertower Place, we have taken a rather unique approach to sharing the former meat packing plant with the community and visitors alike by offering guided tours. More than 4,000 people have experienced one of our programs and we have come to understand how people respond to the building and also how the building responds to people. Pueblo is now poised to strategically align its economic redevelopment goals with historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and tourism.

It is time to GET OFF I-25.