Vail Daily’s Wisdom from the Web |

Vail Daily’s Wisdom from the Web

Vail Daily staff
Vail, CO, Colorado

Valley Voices: Vail should have its own architectural style

Excellent, salient points. And Eagle, of all towns in the county, certainly needs a lesson in their history (Western, ag and mining) and should redefine its identity and roots. That’s what sets them apart from other towns.


So what now? Truly the only kinds of authentic Colorado alpine vernacular architecture that I can think of are Ute tepees, tiny log cabins with 6-foot ceilings, barns, and the old buildings among the gridded streets of Aspen and Glenwood. Actually that’s a lot to draw from, and a creative architect could do a lot with those influences.

But one has to realize that one has to start these things from the inception to work, and the people who founded Vail were basically trying to re-create Bavaria, and that’s about the extent of their architectural vision.

And it’s a free country, so whose to tell them that they can’t? To make things work on a large scale you need a coherent vision, something which amongst the bickering self-interested moneyed titans of Vail we will never have.


I would argue that Ute tepees or tiny log cabins would be just as disingenuous as Euro-Disney. We are inextricably linked to the land, like the native populations, but our culture is not native.

We are predominately a mix of cultures unified by a set of influences that are 21st century American. We drive cars, use computers, have a greater command of the environment, for better or worse.

If we want to rely on a history for a genuine vernacular, it should be based on our culture in this specific location, and an honest recollection of our history here. That time frame would be most defined by when we began to develop the Vail Valley. Probably in the ’50s or ’60s. So that time and local materials would suggest late “modern” style with primarily wood construction.

I only mention historical/cultural goals. What I would propose is that we consider dismissing late modernism (an accurate historic precedent) altogether.


I agree with Patrick on this.

Lived in Bavaria for a long time and I never saw something like the Arabelle. In this valley is a lot of money but not much taste. But I assume a big part goes to the people who developed the building codes. Rocky Mountain architecture should be green, with solor panels , low energy heating … .

The wealthy second-home owners could pull this off easily, if they just build a little bit smaller.

In the Eagle Valley you find hardly good architecture. That is a bit different in Telluride.


This commentary is so right on the mark. Enough with the faux bavarian BS. It is time for Vail to create a design vocabulary of its own.

Solaris is a step in the right direction but we have a long way to go. Thank you Mr. Espy for this commentary.


Support Local Journalism