Al Cohen helped build Vail "from scratch’ |

Al Cohen helped build Vail "from scratch’

Dick Hauserman
Daily file photoAl and Gerri Cohen were active in Vai's community affairs and were part of the social scene.

Also, in the summer of 1962, he built the townhomes for John Murchison along Gore Creek, just east of the Covered Bridge. He was the general contractor for my first building at the head of Bridge Street.

Building in the mountains was a formidable task and there was much to learn. One weakness in those early days was making sure that there was enough insulation, because often in cold weather the pipes would freeze. When the walls were opened, there would be no insulation. All the contractors seemed to have the same problem.

The Cohen Construction Company overcame many setbacks and completed the projects on time. Al and his wife, Gerri, were part of the excitement of building a town from scratch. Owning one of the townhomes, they were active in community affairs and were part of the social scene. “Tom Watson, who had a unit in the townhomes, named one of the first IBM computers the “360,'” Gerri Cohen remembers, “Howard Head designed a ski and called it the “360.” Both used to argue over who used the name first.”

Later, Al Cohen became Mr. General Contractor in Denver. He built several high-rise buildings that established the massive Denver skyline. Denver recognized the Cohens for their major contributions to its cultural development in music and the arts. Their personal art collection is well known far beyond the borders of Colorado.

Editor’s Note: In a continued effort to help the community understand its roots, the Vail Daily for a second time is serializing Dick Hauserman’s “The Inventors of Vail.” This is the 96th installment, an excerpt from chapter 12, “The Ever-Increasing “New Locals.” The book is available at Verbatim Booksellers, The Bookworm of Edwards, Pepi’s Sports, Gorsuch Ltd. and The Rucksack, as well as other retailers throughout the valley. Hauserman can be contacted by phone at 926-2895 or by mail at P.O. Box 1410, Edwards CO, 81632.

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