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WOLCOTT IS AN EMERGING COMMUNITY IN THE VAIL VALLEY surrounded by wilderness and wildlife. An important rail shipping point for agricultural products from northwestern Colorado beginning in the 1880s, the surrounding area prospered for some 40 years before rail traffic was re-routed to the north and bypassed Wolcott altogether. The land then fell into the ownership of a Colorado ranching family and has been largely untouched over the past century, creating a natural recreational preserve of sorts.
This undeveloped setting in the heart of the Vail Valley represents a rare infill opportunity and will be home to a new mixed-use development. Historical Concepts was retained to develop a conceptual vision for Wolcott’s commercial, civic, amenity, and residential architecture that would foster an authentic sense of community and be in keeping with the region’s vernacular. The heart of this pedestrian friendly community will feature a promenade lined with shops and brownstones, a town square and chapel, an inn and spa, a family recreation center, and a nature center, with a diverse mix of neighborhoods beyond. Working with the developer, the design team’s goal was to create architecture that would promote a thriving and socially active community, as well as celebrate the heritage of the site and its vast views to the river and mountains.
THE DESIGN OF MAIN STREET was a critical early step toward establishing community character,
and it is here where the community’s architectural identity begins to take form.
AT THE HEART of Wolcott is a serpentine pedestrian promenade, framed by boutique retailers, restaurants, lofts, and brownstones.
A RESTAURANT PERCHED ON THE RIVER’S EDGE, The Hall was envisioned as an unimposing generational structure.
The dining room features soaring ceilings supported by post-and-beam construction, allowing for wide views of the river.
THE FAMILY BARN is the central activity spot, offering reading rooms, exercise facilities, and open space with ping pong tables and lounge chairs. A covered dock reaches into the pond, where children can learn to fish or canoe.
WOLCOTT’S ARCHITECTURAL FLAVOR is also reflected in its community and civic buildings,
which will include a grocery market, filling station, emergency services facitility, and a wedding chapel.