Gunnison Valley Mentors’8th Street School Revitalization Project


Located at 101 N 8th Street, on the corner of 8th and Tomichi, the school sits on five city lots. The site currently contains two buildings: the historic 1200 square foot school and a modern 1200 square foot structure. GV Mentors took ownership of the property in March, 2010, and moved their offices into the modern building in June, 2010.


The 8th Street School is one of the remaining landmarks from the formative days of the City of Gunnison. It is an excellent example of late 1800’s simplified vernacular Italianate style architecture, which was popular during Gunnison’s Town Phase of settlement. The log cabins, tents, and early wood frame buildings of the Camp Phase were being replaced by more substantial brick and stone buildings, with the establishment of four new brickyards by 1881.

The rugged stone foundation is reflective of early Western construction techniques, and the building’s dignified exterior reflects Gunnison’s era of establishment as an important “urban” community. The windows are tall, narrow, wood, double sash frames with a four over four muntin pattern at both the top and bottom sash. A moderate pitch gabled roof line, gentle segmented arch stone window lintels, and double hung windows all speak to its period style.

The building design is an example of the modest schoolhouses built during this period. The structure is load bearing masonry with a wood frame floor joist and roof truss system. The foundation consists of mortared stonewalls. The building did not always fulfill its original function; however, alterations have not erased the original character. The building has sustained roof damage and requires notable structural repairs to be safe for use. Interior modifications consist of partitions that are non-load bearing and could be removed. As a public building, and the first school in Gunnison, the 8th Street School is a landmark. The building illustrates an historical development of local community life.


Why Revitalize the 8th Street School?

  • The 8th Street School is one of Gunnison’s cultural resources. As a vestige of our collective heritage, it contributes to our sense of place and cultural identity.
  • The preservation of the site adds value to our local history and school curriculums. It increases connections to and dialogue about our cultural and historical heritage.
  • Historic preservation generates a wide range of economic benefits, including: 1) Job creation, 2) Increases in Property Values, 3) Revitalization, 4) Increases Heritage Tourism, 5) Cost savings to rehabilitate rather than build new, 6) Sustainability of the organization, 7) Recognition generated through brochures, publications or awards programs may increase contributions to Partners, helping us to promote our mission.
  • Preservation is a green choice. The role of preservation is essential in any effort to address the growing environmental concerns of climate change, and our relentless consumption of energy and natural resources.
  • Partners is committed to the rehabilitation of the building. The cash match was raised locally through individual contributions and is held in a restricted account.
  • Rehabilitation of the 8th Street School will further our mentoring mission and enhance and enrich our current services, especially for the vulnerable population of children we serve. It will secure the building as an asset to the community and restore it as an epicenter for youth.

The 8th Street School Revitalization will allow for:

  • Increased services to youth
  • Enhanced mentor trainings
  • Enriched program activities
  • Organizational sustainability
  • Community Use