VESTIGES: Understanding patterns of
----------- Human Habitational Response
in the Colorado Front Range
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THIS THESIS IS SUBMITTED AS PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DEGREE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND PLANNING GRADUATE PROGRAM OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Tit!e)Geography University of Denver
Understanding Patterns of Human Habitational Response in the Colorado Front Range
Graduate Candidate Department of Landscape Architecure College of Design and Planning University of Colorado at Denver
Table of Contents
- Research Orientation;
Introduction Research Question Research Goals Research Philosophy
First Effective Settlement Culture/Region
- Regional Setting:
Colorado Physiographic Regions Colorado Piedmont Sub-Regions The Denver Basin
- Historical Setting:
Historic Methods of Securing Title to Land Colorado Historic Evolutionary Milestones
- Data Base Development>
Source of Data
Limitations of Biggest and Best
Summary of Initial Sites Surveyed
- Case Study Selection Criteria!
Map of Initial Sites Surveyed Matrix of Criteria Met
- Case Study Analysis Processi
Settlement Pattern Analysis Culture Environment
CHAPTER 7 Selected Case Study Analysis:
Case Study A 41
Case Study B 45
Case Study C 49
Case Study D 53
Case Study E 57
Case Study F 6l
CHAPTER 8 Patterns of Habitational Response:
Presentation of Findings 63
Patterns of Habitational Response 64
CHAPTER 9 Application of Findings:
Regionally Appropriate Habitational Design Considerations for the Denver Basin 74
Habitational Composite 76
Habitational Composite Design Morphology 76
It is a hope of this report to respond to an often sited concern of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado at Denver of how to contribute to an understanding of the profession of Landscape Architecture in the rapidly developing western environment of the Colorado Front Range. Additionally, as a graduate thesis this study attempts to respond to the dictums of research by establishing a hypothesis which will lead to new information in the academic field in which it is written.
This thesis, however, bridges a fine line between research and design two human activities which often supplement each other but which not always coincide. Moreover, this thesis, by falling under the heading of graduate work in landscape architecture, falls within a profession which is as germinal as it is diverse; there are as many landscape architects working in scientifically related fields of environmental and visual assessment as there are landscape architects working in the more traditional realms of small scale site design. It is often difficult then when in dealing in a profession of such diversity to define the common thread that binds all landscape architects together. Moreover, it is difficult to pin-point an area of research which will provide new information to a profession of diverse objectives and somewhat diverse ideals. Yet, even considering the multi-disiplinary levels under which contem-
porary landscape architects function a theme does exist under which most all landscape work. To some degree landscape architects are all involved with stewardship of the land; involved to some degree with either protecting the environment or designing how the physical environment develops. This thesis hopes to contribute to this process by fostering ideals which are insightful to contemporary designers of how to better design for living in the Colorado Front Range.
In the Colorado Front Range, designers of the built environment are confronted with a region of continual change. Only little over one hundred years ago, Native Americans had just been repelled from the same land that today are national centers for such things as satellite tracking and oil exploration. With little history or experience metropolitan areas such as Denver and Colorado Springs now are growing at unpresedented rates. Yet, as a Anglo-Saxon native of the Front Range who can only speculate what an undeveloped Colorado Front Range looked like even prior to World War II, one has to question if we really know what we are doing each time we design a subdivision for three hundred additional families on areas that are historically wind-swept slopes. Admittedly, the relative cost of land along the Front Range makes density of dwelling units per acre a greater design concern than pleasing street lay-
outs or careful configuration of residential lots. Yet, the question remains, do we as designers have sufficient knowledge of how one might best design for the climate, the vegetation and topography of the Colorado Region in such a manner as to successfully create pleasing places to live.
By way of a personal bias my feeling is, that we as designers do not. This discussion forms the central research question of this report and can be more specifically stated as follows:
WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE DESIGN RESPONSE FOR SUCCESSFUL HABITATION WITHIN THE COLORADO FRONT RANGE?
Based on the question that this report asks and the research bias as previously discussed the following hypothesis establishes the fundamental proposition of this report:
THERE EXISTS A REGIONALLY APPROPRIATE HABITATIONAL
RESPONSE FOR THE COLORADO FRONT RANGE THAT CAN BE
DEFINED BY INTERPRETING THE PATTERNS OF HABITATIONAL RESPONSE AS FOUND IN THE FIRST EXAMPLES OF SETTLEMENT
WITHIN THE FRONT RANGE.
Within this statement several key words are used which are central to this study and which will be often sited throughout the balance of the text. Therefore, a general discussion as to their use is necessary.
APPROPRIATE: "Suitable or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion, etc." Appropriatness in the case of this report refers to that as specifically suited for
HABITATION: Habitation is the central concern of the
following research. Habitation as defined by Webster is "a place of abode; dwelling" or "the act of inhabiting." Specifically in this report, however, habitation refers to the act of mankind living in a particular place. Incorporated in the act of living this report considers habitation as the structure of living along with the peripheral activities not always associated with it such as, working, relaxing, thinking, etc.
As a graduate thesis in Landscape Architecture, the research goals of this report remain primarily design based. However, considering the contention that there is a lack of understanding of appropriate design responses for the Front Range Region, it is necessary to diverge somewhat from the simple development of a design vocabulary. Rather it is apparent that a lack of data exists within the Front Range from which design conclusions can be made. Consequently, the research goals of this report have been pursued at three levels:
1. To develop a source of representative case studies using methodolodgical selection criteria.
To establish patterns of human habitational response as they are found in selected case studies.
3. To articulate the design implications of habita-tional response that are found in selected case studies.
The first of these goals has required probably the most time and effort in the completion of this document. During the development of the datq base, basic historical research has occured. At times the development of the data base seemed to be of little value to the two final and ultimate goals of the report. Yet, in a way, this is the process that, J.B. Jackson defines as being a "touristy and has been a very interesting personal tour into the meaning of a landscape.
The second two goals represent the potential benefit that this report offers to an understanding of appropriate Front Range design. The first offers the potential for understanding "what was" thereby the title of this report; the VESTIGES of what once was. The last goal is beneficial in that it describes a descriptive taxonomy for contemporary design in the Front Range.
A^ter a solution of the first three goals it was an additional concern of this report to a limited degree, to test the validity of report findings. The last chapter of this report, then, addresses how "appropriate design considerations", as they are derived from the taxonomy of findings, may be applied in a contemporary case study.
First Effective Settlement
It is an assumption of this report that organisms adapt to the particular environment that they inhabit. As a process of survival an organism, typically will avoid inhospitable environments and seek beneficial environments, unless they are restricted by conditions beyond their control. In such a case, an organism will then either adapt or suffer the consequences of not being able to do so. A second assumption is that man, as an organism, will also adapt to an environment and that adaptation of mankind can be varied in form, culturally/linguistically. Typically, if there are not predetermined patterns or restrictions, settlers in an environment will develop vernacular responses to a physiographic region.
Unlike other organisms, however, mankind is affected by existing cultural patterns. Consequently, independant vernacular activity is reduced, with an individual being eventually absorbed into a parent population. Hence, lies a description of a second concept found in the report hypothesis the first examples of settlement within the Front Range. For as mankind forms a population, the individual response to this environment is reduced. Instead, the individual responds to culture. The concept of "first effective settlement" takes a central role in research philosophy. A third assumption, then, is that vernacular activity or more
specifically vernacular settlement patterns are strongly responsive to environmental conditions.
The philosophy of first effective settlement, however, requires the answer to two distinct research questions in order to achieve the primary goals of this report. First it has been necessary to define what environmnental region the study falls within. Secondly, it has been necessary to define the vernacular population to be studied. As a given, of course, and as has been previously defined, this thesis questions vernacular habitational response in the Front Range. Through out this study, however, it has been difficult to assume what particular culture as a representative of time is to be studied. The following two chapters exemplify the research into these two areas.
PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS IN COLORADO
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The map on the proceeding page is adapted from the Colorado State Historical Society RP-3 Addendum.^ In reference to the map, Colorado comprises numerous physiographic provinces of definitive topography conditions. While these regions are grossly generalized, they reflect a basic regional definition of the Colorado Front Range which is embodied primarily in the Colorado Piedmont. Fenneman, in Physiography of the Western United States describes the Front Range as extending roughly from the Cache La Poudre River to the North and the Arkansas River to the South.
While the proceeding map corresponds closely to Fenneman's physiographic provinces, the Historical Societies physiographic map has been modified to account for, regionally specific, cultural regions. As an example, the Historical Societies definition of the Raton Section is defined in part by the limits of the Spanish ownership of the Southwestern United States prior to the Lousiana Purchase. Moreover, the Historical Society is currently attempting to correlate cultural manifestations with physiographic provinces as quoted on the proceeding page.
COLORADO PIEDMONT PHYSIOGRAPHIC SUB-REGIONS
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Colorado Piedmont Sub-Regions
Commonly, the Colorado Piedmont is considered as a part of a larger physiographic zone of the American Continent -the Great Plains. As one considers smaller regional provinces, however, it is evident that the Colorado Piedmont while somewhat hard to define precisely, is an eroded peniplan much more diverse than the Great Plains. By the same token, through the process of defining the region of study for this report it is apparent that additional sub-regions need to be defined within the Colorado Piedmont. While the boundaries of sub-regions are also at times indescript, numerous discrete environmental conditions within this area exist. Each is defined by combinations of topography, vegetation, and weather patterns.
ThefDenver Basin (primarily a depressed peniplan), the Divide Region (of higher slopes and chapparal vegetation) and the High Plains Piedmont (smooth rolling grassland) are different environmental zones and require separate analysis of "lifeways" as defined by the Historical Society or "vernacular habitational response" as defined in this report. Consequently, it has been determined that the Denver Basin Sub-Region will comprise the region of further study.
The Denver Basin
The Denver Basin is comprised of a series of branching drainage ways all of which drain eventually into the South Platte River. Cherry Creek, Clear Creek, Bear Creek, Turkey Creek, Deer Creek all flow into the Platte within the Denver Basin and flow thereafter north-easternly onto the High Plains.
The following vegetation map clearly shows how topography and elevation coincide to form distinct vegetation zones along the Front Range Foothills and southernly Palmer Divide. As elevation decreases from the foothills onto the plains sub-mountain vegetation merges intermittently with plains grasslands. While urban development obscures much of the original ecosystems of the Denver Basin, enough undisturbed areas remain to distinguish the gentle bowl shaped valley that Denver occupies.
^ VEGETATION MAP OF THE GREATER DENVER AREA, FRONT RANGE URBAN CORRIDOR,COLORADO
John W. Marr and William S. Boyd 1979
(Note Legend on next page)
REGIONAL ECOSYSTEMS Grassland Plains grassland Mountain grassland
Open montane forest Closed montane forest
Montane-subalptne transition zone
Streamside shrubland and forest
Plains streamside Mountain streamside
Lakes and marshes
CULTURAL ECOSYSTEMS Disturbed land Landscaped vegetation Agricultural land
FEATURE OF SPECIAL INTERESTDescribed in text
y 1,1 tm |
GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE GREATER DENVER AREA, FRONT RANGE URBAN CORRIDOR
Donald E. Trimble and Michael N.Machette 1979
(Note Legend on next page)
CORRELATION OF MAP UNITS
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[ Twtrs |
Unconformity [ Kcgg ]
Unconformity fppF ppfi
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1.72 billion years L Xa | "r >1.72 billion years j
PRECAMBRIAN Y PRECAMBRIAN X
The Denver Basin
Topographically, as suggested in the proceeding map, the Denver Basin and north-easternly flow of the South Platte are well defined. The basic boundaries of the region of study are clearly defined through existing geological conditions. While detailed soil information has not been an ultimate concern of this report, geological patterns suggest definitive boundaries for a relatively consistant environmental zone. To the west, the foothills present a distinctly different zone and consequent Denver Basin boundary. The Palmer Divide geology bounds the Denver Basin to the South with somewhat less steep, but none-the-less distinct environmental zone. Eastern boundaries of the Denver Basin are harder to define but are distinguishable at the point where westward facing escarpments terminate. To the north and north east the Rocky Flats Formation, while basically consistant with the Denver Basin Environment, divides the alluvial valleys of the head waters of the South Platte River and Boulder Creek.
As we have seen the Denver Basin Region is a diversified, but, distinct environment within the Colorado Piedmont. While on some levels of scientific inquiry, this brief description of environmental definition would be subject to dispute, for the purposes of this research application it provides the conceptual foothold necessary for a study of regional habitational response.
An illustration of how the Denver Basin functions is
illustrated on the following page. The Denver Basin is an arid valley of basically transitional vegetation. Within this valley weather patterns are typically from the west.2 Generally year-round temperatures are warmer, lower in the valley and cooler as one ascends in elevation to the south and west.g
Sand Creek Ridge
DENVER BASIN FUNCTIONAL SCHHMATIC
The second research question that needs to be answered prior to selection of representative case studies is:
During what particular era would examples of purest habita-tional response be found? Additionally, it is important to point out several limitations that guide this research.
First of all, pre-historic forms of settlement have not been investigated. This limitation is obvious in that live-ways are distinctly different between nomadic and sedentary cultures. Moreover, it was a concern, in representative case study selection, to identify permanent forms of settlement. This is because those who settle for transitory purposes tend to create transitory forms of settlement, -j
As previously discussed historical delimitation was primarily concerned with first "effective settlers" or in an anthropocodgical vein examples of "optimal parcel settlement.'^ This assumes (to reiterate an earlier premise) that maximum regional adaptation occurs in cases of maximum choice.
The basic history of the Frontier Front Range is relatively well known. Prior to the Gold Rush of 1859, Denver and the Front Range was the land of Native Americans with
only an occasional trapper venturing into the valley. After 1859, Denver and the mining camps of the mountains and surrounding regions virtually exploded in growth. After 1859, to grossly generalize, the Colorado Front Range developed as a urban area with relatively uninterrupted speed.
As outlined in the research philosophy of this report, an additional selection criteria was employed along with first effective settlement. It was felt imperative to select case studies which had evolved in relation to environment rather than culture. By way of initial conjecture, it was felt that Agraian examples of habitation would be most appropriate for analysis of habitational response.
As settlers moved to the Front Range in search of fortune or gold, there were, as in any area, those who chose to move into the heart of the land, on the periphery of a city where the products of the land could be sold to those in the city. The Front Range was no exception. For as the metropolitan area increased in numbers so too did the inconspicuous farmer at the edge of town. These early settlers first experimented with growing the crops that they were accustomed to in eastern states. Many early agrarians settling along river bottoms attempted to grow such crops as potatoes, barley and even tobacco.3
Yet, the Front Range developed in an essentially much different way than other germinal urban areas in the U.S. This difference was largely in terms of speed of develop-
ment. Within less than a century, the Front Range grew from wagon-town to jet-town. In the process there was little time for the "Yoeman Farmer"^ to develop. To a degree, this possibly explains why we as contemporary designers of the built environment have little evidence of a regional venacu-lar tradition. By way of conjecture, however, it was an initial belief in this research that no matter how brief, somewhere between the gold rush and the Turn-of-the-Century examples of "appropriate" regional activity could be found. Consequently, a series of key historical dates have been developed within which appropriate settlement patterns may be defined.
The process of gaining title to land in the early days of Colorado gives possibly the clearest indication of the period of "appropriate settlement." Three methods existed prior to the Turn-of-the-Century for securing title.g Preemption, homestead and private entry. Each of these methods, in the early formation of the Front Range had their respective period of prevalence and are closely associated with political legislation of the time.
1. Pre-emption where the inhabitant could demonstrate
prior claim to previously unsurveyed land. Was commonly used by those who settled prior to the Homestead Act and opening of a land office in the Front Range (1862).q Pre-emption typically indicates the earliest settlers in
2. Homestead After survey of public lands, any U.S. citi-
zen was entitled to one-fourth section of land so long as at least a 5 year residency was maintained and certain improvements were completed. Homestead allotment was the most common method of gaining title to land through the latter half of the 1860's. Unlike pre-emption, however, where original settlement was not confined to the coordinate grid. Homesteading often left the recipient with some portion of their allotment on inauspicous ground. While some of the one-fourth section homestead may lie on fertile valley ground, commonly at least a portion of the site was either rocky or arid. (As topographic features typically don't radiate north and south.) Homesteading, typically, represents somewhat less than optimum partial settlement.
3. Private Entry The last form of gaining title to land during the 1800's was the open purchase of title. Under private entry, however, especially during the 1870's, the governmental issuance of script to newly released civil war veterans changed the use of land in Colorado.
Previous to the issuance of script a person settled on land for it's potential for producing livelihood. With the issuance of "free" money, however, a settler no longer had to demonstrate previous occupation nor perform a service in terms of residence or improvement to gain title. For the first time land speculation occured.
After roughly 1871 the appropriate habitation of site was significantly diminished.
The following graph from Majorie Large helps to illustrate this process. While Ms. Larges' work is devoted to the St. Vrain Valley and is somewhat out of this reports region of study, it documents similar cultural and environmental processes. By being located in a valley abutting the Front Range, which initially was settled in response to the gold mining up Boulder Canyon, the subsequent settlement of valley lands is essentially the same as what occured in the Denver Basin. Following the attached graph is an itemization of Colorado Evolutionary Milestones and the selected effective era of study for the case study selection.
Graph II. A Quantitative and Chronological Comparison of Methods of Securing Title to Land in the St. Vrain Valley before 1871
One unit denotes a single entry in the tract book in the Federal Land Office without regard to acerage or duplication of owner's names.
COLORADO HISTORICAL EVOLUTIONARY MILESTONES:
Survey of Public Lands in Colorado
Passing of the Homestead Act
Civil War Ends
immigration Increases *Homestead Allotment *Land Speculation
Effective Era of Study 1859 1865
Data Base Development
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
Source Of Data
The primary and Initial source of historical site data was found in the current files of the Colorado State Historical Society. The Societys files are organized by County for the State of Colorado and contain historic and prehistoric information: verba I/wr 111en histories, research articles and papers regarding numerous noteworthy areas of interest within Colorado. Everything from historic civic monuments to prehistoric ceremonial meeting grounds are recorded. Most typical ly though, Information Is In regard to architectural structures nominated for the National Historic Registry. A preliminary step In case study Isolation was to Isolate potential sites documented In the county by county historical data. Sites were then selected for further study based on: (1) whether a site fel I within the era of study; (2) whether It was Intact, and (3) whether a particular site was developed In response to an urban or rural Influence (discussed further below.)
After the Initial selection of prospective case studies within the Denver Basin, field visits to each site occurred. Upon this Initial site visit, a summary of the case studies was conducted based on a five-stage case study selection criteria as discussed In case study selection criteria.
LJmJ tfliJ.ODa-Qi-Blflflest. ard-Basl
After site visits to prospective case studies, a pattern was apparent as to the type of Information selected for further study from the Society's files. As prospective historical buildings or sites are submitted on a verbally historical basis,^ whether for application for protected status (National Registry) or cultural significance, only the most unique, outstanding, or remarkable historical buildings, landmarks or sites are recorded. Often, prlmarl ly selected sites became the largest, most embel I ished buildings In a region. Often these buildings remained Intact with I Ittle evidence of ancl I I ary structures remaining.
Quail tat Ive Data
Following preliminary case study site visits and the I Imitations discovered therein, a random selection process of final case study Isolation occurred. As a result of general discussions with local historians In the Denver area, largely In County & City Historical Societies, a basic familiarity with historical development stages within the Denver area was determined. As a result, several unrecorded potential case studies came to I Ight. In several cases, verbal discussions with older Denver residents led to Isolation of the final case stud Ies.
The process of case study selection has been therefore subjective. It should be stressed that the resulting six-case study data base represents a qual Itatlve summary of historical
"Narrative Sources". Curt^notes that narrative or qualitative data Is limited in that It (1) "tends to be either particularistic (refering primarily to particular individuals or events), or (2) normative (tending toward generalization of groups or regions)". Conversely, with quantitative data, wherein as many representative examples as possible are utilized it is possible to define variability more clearly.^ In either case, it is important to recognize the general difficulty in accurately assessing variability In any data base, as the possibility of the one undiscovered example always remains. Moreover, it has been the researchers desire in this study to develop a data base of "representative" case studies whereby logical conclusions could be made and a narrative sampling population was not felt to be appropriate.
Due to the overal I embel I ishment of primary sites and the lack of consistancy as found in them, what remains as the final case studies tend to be anonymous or common sites of otherwise little social, architectural or historical significance. John Stilgoe in Common Landscapes of Arneric a^ y I e I ds a sense of coherence to understanding these anonymous or undistinguished sites. He uses the term common in his book to distinguish not the rude or vulgar, but as that of belonging to a people. It was the researcher's feel i ng that the remnants found in prel iminary sites or those as found in historical society files were in many cases adversely affected by social/cultural influences.
Consequently, it was a concern of this study to identify instances of typical ly normal settlement or in other words instances of anonymous vernaIuIar activity.
One final concern that guided the selection of case studies
was the Influence of culture on the morphology and eventual
development of a particular site. It Is an assumption on the
part of the researcher that sites located primarily in response
to particular social Influences, such as proximity to neighbors
closeness to nodal urban development etc., that the "site-
developmental'1 influences would be governed primarily by the
institutions of man: streets, stores or social status. In such
cases it was felt that subsequent site features -- house, porch
and yard -- would be compensatlngIy created In response to these
man-made systems. In other words, in urban environments (albeit
within somewhat frontier beginnings) the dialogue of site would
be In response to man or a man/nature dialogue.Instead, sites
were chosen where the influence of environment was of greatest Influence In the development of site morphology. It was felt that by analyzing case studies, representative of what may be referred to as the man/nature dialogue, where site features --house, porch, sheds and yards -- were located in response to environment, conclusions as to regional habitational response and to the environment of the Colorado front range could be most clearly shown.
This selection criteria was somewhat precluded by the contemporary development of the region of study. The Greater Metro Area as presently confined within the Denver Basin encompasses suburban If not urban development within the majority of the Platte Val ley. It Is therefore necessary to point out the limitations of analyzing only existing evidence of settlement In a developing metropolitan area. Quite simply, many earlier examples of settlement have been removed by the advances of subsequent growth. Moreover, the regional location of case studies reflect a pattern of fringe location which one must consider as (1) coincidental, (2) Inherent as a response to the regional environment, or (3) remnants of an altogether different prevIous pattern.
Nonetheless, the desire of this research Is to discover representative settlement patterns on a micro-site scale as previously discussed.
SUMMARY OF INITIAL SITES SURVEYED
1. tiaiLÂ£.]i-MJi_.t!Â£U.S.Â£: One of earliest ranch/f arms In the
Boulder area. Constructed on land given to Hauck by Chief Niwot. Orginal ly homesteaded in early 1 860s. Only a portion of 2nd generation house remains.
2. Ranson Homestead; Early homestead from mid to late 1860's
located on northern edge of Coal Creek Canyon. Continually occupied site by son-in-law of 1st settler, with original house and barns Intact. Minor agriculture ranching occurred use through the years, as well as lumber and milk supply to residents living In Coal Creek.
3. Ever Itt. Homestead: First settled In 1865 by Everitt family.
Existed as early farm In Wheat Ridge. No evidence besides the original house remain.
4. Hart Estate: Homesteaded In 1869; elvolved Into model farm
In the area and Is reputed to be first agricultural use of apple trees In the state. Only original house remains.
5. 4-MlÂ£._liÂ£ALÂ£.Â£.: Last stage stop before reaching Denver.
Along Smoky Trail. Homesteaded In 1858. Evolved Into well known Inn and Tavern for travelers.
6. Ru.4ii_JiÂ£lllÂ£Â£.Â£.a4: First settled In late 1850's as minor
agricultural and ranching site. Continual ly owned and occupied by granddaughter of first settler. Original house, barn & out-buI Id I ngs Intact with little modification to land use having occurred.
7. Roonev Ranch; Wei I known early settlement first estabI ished In 1860. Popular way-station frequently visited by Chief Colorow. Original house and building Intact, while Soda Lakes Road has adversely affected original use of site.
8. Ken Caryl_RansJi: Orglnally settled In 1859 as large
ranching establishment. Orglnlal house Intact with little evidence of use of site or ancillary structures.
9. Hllderbrand Site #2; Homesteaded In late 1860's by brother of original settler at Hllderbrand Site #1. Continually occupied by members of Hllderbrand family with original house, out-buI IdIngs and land uses Intact.
10. HI Iderbrand Site : Original Hllderbrand settlement, first estab I Ished In 1850's for temporary trapping cabin along Deer Creek. Evolved Into agricultural and ranching use. Continually occupied by family until condemnation by Corps of Engineers for Chatfleld Reservlor. Now owned by Denver Botanical Garden for the Chatfield Arboretum. Original house, out-buildings and land-use Intact.
1 1 . 12_MÂ£. House: Settled In 1860 along Smoky Hi I I Trail as
part-time Inn and Way-Station. Based primarily on agriculture and ranching use along Cherry Creek Valley. Not continually occupied, but original house and barn Intact.
1 2. : Early ranch along Willow Creek. First
homesteaded In late 1860's. Now occupied by aqualntance of original family with continual use of house and barns. All land use and most all original buildings Intact.
13.-15. Eg am .an House... Oak I and Ranch. Ben Quick Ranch : Early
settlements from the 1860's along West Plum Creek. Al I based on agriculture and ranching, while Ben Quick ranch was an Important settler strong-hold during Indian wars of 1862 64. Only original houses remaining in each case.
16.-18. GuiI I am Homestead, Pettigrew Ranch,_Russel Homestead:
3 Homesteads settled In 1860's which are representative of the many early settlements In the Palmer Divide region. Diversity of uses existed Including ranching and lumber supply to early Denver. AlI sites In northern El Paso county exist In the Chapparal region of the Denver basin and
are considered to be In a different enviornmentaI zone.
Case Study Selection Criteria
CASE STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA
After preliminary case studies had been visited, It was necessary to limit this data base to a manageable source of data. Ideal I y, It was the researcher's hope to Inventory al I sites within the era and region of study. However, through the process of case study selection It was deemed Improbable to be able to successfully do this under the time and budgetary constraints of the project. Moreover, over half of the preliminary case studies were difficult to document at the level of the desired research; there was either Insufflcent evidence of a site remaining or there was not a source of traceable data. Therefore, each preliminary case study was given a four-step test of catagorles deemed necessary for further study, as defined In the fol lowing:
A. Â£u.HÂ£ Each site needed to be relatively intact. It was necessary to have sufflcent evidence of a site remaining to enable Interpretation of the Inherent use and development of a site. In many cases, ancll lary or more subtle uses were disturbed by subsequent development, eventual use of site or highway disturbance. In these cases, removal of structures or disturbance of site topography made it difficult to develop a representative base map and to conduct subsequent levels of analysis.
B. TraceabIe A second concern of final case study selection was to have a reasonably accessible source of verbal history. Some sort of verbal history, whether from original settlers, decendants or aqua Intances, was essential to
define and identify the more subtle uses of a site. Indirect sources of case study history tends to reinforce the patterns found In historical society files, I.e. remembering the biggest and best.
MapabIe A third concern In case study selection criteria was the ability to acquire reasonably accurate aerial photographs or base maps of each site. In alI the case studies final ly selected, base maps were developed through the use of low-altitude photography. Several photos were recently taken, while site D&G were from the Soil Conservation Service 1950 soil survey series. In all cases, actual site features were measured prior to the development of actual base inventory maps.
Regional ly Located The last criteria used in case study selection was that final sites fal I within the general area of the Denver Basin as previously described. It was the researcher's hope thereby, that the effect of regional variation may be minimized in the analysis of case studies. Through the process of case study selection It became apparent, however, that numerous micro-clImates or subregional groups exist within the Colorado Front Range, both in terms of historical and environmental context. Historically. It is apparent that various economic determinates existed during the period of study within the greater metropol itan area. To the south of early Denver logging and ranching Industries of the "Divide region (Palmer Divide) resulted in settlement different than In the
"Canyon Mouth" areas of Coal Creek, Clear Creek and Bear Creek settlement. Additional ly, just as vegetation and elevatlonal sub-groups existed as one moves Into the front range foothills, so too does the environmental context change as one moves Into the ChapparaI I areas of the divide. Therefore, consideration was given to a case studies location within the Denver Basin. Combined with the above criteria then six final case studies were selected after each Initial site was subjected to the four selection criteria as shown In the following:
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INITIAL SITES SURVEYED
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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TRACEASLEl V X V V X X V x X X X
X X V V V X X X x X x x X
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Number of Critera Met
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CASE STUDY LOCATION WITHIN THE DENVER BASIN
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Case Study Analysis Process
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS PROCESS
Â£&j--l.am&n_Eatgrn. Anal ys-Ls.
"How Man Disposes Himself Over The Landscape"
WiI ley, (1953: 1 )
After selection of final case studies, each selected site was analyzed In reference to the study goals of this report, more specifically, analysis was conducted at primarily two levels; (1) analysis of cultural components (2) analysis of environmental components. As discussed In man/nature dialogue, analysis was geared to how each site evolved In response to cultural function and environmental potential.
Additional I y, site analysis was geared to the micro-site of each case study. As Trlgger^ 1 967 - 1968 points out In an
archeological vein, distinctions of analysis should be made In "Settlement Pattern Studies" at several levels: (1) micro-
structure consisting of Individual households; (2) macrostructure consisting of local or community structure; (3) settlement within a region. As It was a concern to develop a meaningful taxa of regional ly appropriate habltatlonal patterns, the latter two analysis levels as defined by Trigger were given little weight while the first analysis level was was given greater consideration.
The outstanding objective in this two-phase analysis of the micro-site was oriented to define "How Man Disposes Himself Over The Landscape On Which He Lived", Willey (1953:1),^ and may be shown In the foI lowing. A discussion of each level of analysis
specifical ly under the headings of culture and environment foI lows:
1. Culture: A.
2. Env ironment: A.
Site I nventory
Land Use Analysis
Land Use Activity Levels
Physiographic Unit Analysis
Environmental Composite Analysis
A. Site Inventory
The first and possibly most important level of cultural analysis was the Inventory of site features of each case study. In conducting site Inventories, It was necessary to employ a certain flexability in culling or retaining site uses or features. In alI cases, as each site was settled 100 years previous to site Inventory, It was not possible to Isolate al I developmental stages of a site. Rather, it was determined that the quintessential use pattern would be documented for each site. That is, where possible, site inventory and subsequent base maps were developed to reflect and uncover the "biggest and best" or fui lest use. In some sites, the ful lest use was reflected In current use at the time of Inventory. In other sites, primari ly those which were not currently Inhabited, subjective latitude was necessary to determine quintessential use.
After visiting each site, U.S.G.S. 7 1/2-mInute quadrangle maps were selected for each case study. From these topographic sources, definition of the actively utilized domestic site occurred. As all sites were presently existing, primary buildings (usually house and barn) were Identifiable on each map. It was subsequently possible to determine the mean elevation of each site and to Interpolate a representative 2-foot Increment topographic base. Secondly, In the process of developing site inventory base maps, aerial photographs were overlayed to determine additional structures, significant vegetation, drainage ways and particular site characteristics. Finally, oral communication with residents or historical sources located In obvious or previous but quintessential uses.
In creating site Inventory base maps, particular attention was given to distribution of building uses; whether it served primarily as gralnery, barn, Ice-house, etc. Further, use-type was assigned to apparent or historical land-use, I,e. pasture, domestic garden, orchard. Final ly, predominate envlromental components such as drainage ways, significant vegetation, as we I I as significant Imported or domesticated vegetation was recorded.
B Land Use Analys1s;
Subsequent to Inventory of each case study and creation of respective site base maps, an interpretive analysis of land-use occurred. This level of analysis is considered Interpretive, as commonly residents of a site, whether existing or historical, had
not defined distinctions as to how they used the land that they Inhabited. Wherein the Inventory level of mapping was easily Identified by asking a resident what a particular building was and wherein they would respond In descriptive terms the "Milk House" or "Horse Shelter", distinguishing the various use of land was typical ly Indescript. Moreover, It Is at the land-use analysis level of case study mapping where the elusive process of site habitation Is most clearly discovered; where not only the functions of living and survival are encapsulated in the house, barn or shed, but where, as J. B. Jackson^points out In his discussions, how we should think of landscaping studies:
" ... not merely how they look, how they conform to an
aesthetic ideal, but how they satisfy elementary needs ...
above alI a landscape should contain the kind of spatial
organization which fosters such experiences ..."
It Is at the land-use-analysis level, where the appropriate use of site may be determined.
In land use analysis, use of site was given descriptive terms at four levels:
1. Domestic Areas
2. Utilitarian Space
3. Livestock Areas
Pasture or Fields
In some cases, areas Incorporated in the site which were not used, or which exhibited obvious "non-use" were also noted.
1. Domestic Land. UsÂ£
The most obvious land use of case study sites were those areas closely associated with the house of the Improved yard. In these areas, which are often directly associated with the kitchen of the primary dwel I Ing, blue grass Is the typical indicator of use along with domesticated shrubbery (often lilacs) and Incidental plantings of annuals and perennials. Commonly, Improved yards were separated from surrounding areas by some sort of fence. Improved yards are the outdoor areas which tend to embel I ish the house and are the equivalent of what we consider today as the front yard.
An additional land-use distinguished under Domestic Areas are the areas devoted to domesticated gardening. These areas as we I I as the Improved yard are also typical ly protected by some sort of fence and are devoted to growing produce for domestic use.
2. UtI I 1 tar i an Land. Use:
The second category of land use Identified In case studies are those areas as defined by StI I Igoe In Common Landscapes of America for the use of "creative manipulation" of objects and things, and are defined In this study as utilitarian areas. They are typical ly associated with barns or sheds where equipment is stored and fixed, wood Is chopped and the day-to-day activities
of maintenance are carried on. In each case study, there Is a clear distinction between utilitarian and domestic space. Whether or not the values of the original settlers or their Inheritors continued such use, the domestic areas of yard and garden are clearly Isolated from areas for tractors, carriages and today, cars.
3 & 4. Other Land Use:
Other land use areas documented In case study analysis beside domestic and utilitarian spaces are more obvious and typically easier to define. This Is because the balance of land use on each site Is comprised of the land uses associated with Agrarian economics such as I Ivestock pens, pastures and fields. These land-uses are less descriptive of habitatlonal use In that they are not directly associated with "living on the land", yet, they are necessary to Isolate for later description of site morphology. Additionally, as each case study was devoted to ranching and/or agriculture, stock pens, pastures and fields were Intensively used. Pastures and fields are only partial ly shown on the land use analysis and subsequent maps. This Is because areas for growing hay or grazing cattle extended over numerous acres and there has not been an attempt to represent the ful I land holdings of each case study. Instead, the central concern in Identifying pastures or fields was to Identify the point-of-contact with other uses and thereby represent the location of
C. Land Use Activity Levels;
Use activity levels correspond basical ly and logical ly to land use types, yet help to define a site by showing a potential correspondence between use-levels and topography, as we I I as patterns between structure and space. Use activity levels help to define that elusive but al I too important component of a site -- the outdoor spaces. Yet, the outdoor spaces where we live are used as often If not more frequently than Indoor spaces. Moreover, use activity levels define the landscape architects equivalent of the architects design vocabulary of circles, solids and cubes by being site design principles of site/nature/space. They differ, however, In that sIte/nature/space Is curval Inear, diminishing and Indescript. Yet by looking at the Invisible patterns of circulation from barn to house, house to garden and use from lawn chairs In the yard to fixing a car in the driveway, the axial or respective space morphology or a site may be shown.
In conducting use activity analysis, particular attention was given to relatively how much time was spent in a particular area whether In walking, sitting or standing. This frequency was Interpreted into their own use level from most frequently to least frequency. The resulting use-activity areas correspond closely to land-use types and show a logical pattern most speclfically In that the most used area corresponds to the house (where Inhabitants spend the most time) and dissipate out to secondary structures. An Interesting pattern should be noted, however, in the yard area and Its corresponding size. More
Importantly, it Is Important to note the orientation of this area In each case study.
A. SukrEfifli gnai. Cflnta&l-L
In assessing the environmental components of a site, It was first necessary to gain a cursery understanding of the regional setting of the site within the Denver basin. The sub-regional context map of each case study Identifies this context at a subregional scale of roughly one Inch to the mile. At this level, basic topography and major drainage-ways are recorded substantial ly as a point of reference for further study. At this level of mapping or Informational context, the regional Influences on a micro-scale are apparent.
t One apparent pattern which has not been given complete consideration In this study, Is the response of site to regional topographic Influences on any more than a cursery level. Even though it has not been fully discussed, on a sub-regional level each case study Is sited In response to a much larger system of ridges, val leys, regional wind patterns and the I ike. The regional context of the overal I Denver Basin has been discussed previously as we I I as many sub-regional influences are recorded In physiographic unit analysis and environmental composite analysis. But the mIcro-structure level of settlement pattern analysis as defined by Trigger is here-to-fol low confined to the micro-site at both the cultural and environmental levels.
B Psys I oqraph 1 c Un i t. Ana l vsiS-L
At the micro-site level of environmental analysis, physiographic unit mapping defines general land-form categories existing around a site at approximately a 2-acre area. This was done by assessing the 7 1/2 minute topographic map data and
assigning geomorphoIogIca I characteristics to basic slope conditions. While strict geomorpho IogIc terms such as peneplain, monadnocks are best used to understand geologic conditions, landscape analysis descriptive terms have been assigned to physiographic units to describe land-form conditions. Some generalization was necessary In this process to derive edges of physiographic units. That Is, It Is difficult to pinpoint exactly where a hi I Iside ends or a drainage-way begins. While physiographic units were primarily defined through slope values, vegatatlon and apparent soil differences were tdentlfable in aerial photographs and quite Insightful as to the psyslographic
components o f a site . Structures and access- ways were then
located In re 1 atlon to physiographic units, whch helps In
understand Ing the el evatlonal cross section of spaces and
C. Environmental Composite Analysis:
The final level of case study mapping was conducted utilizing Interpretive processes typical In landscape architecture site analysis. On an environmental level rather than Inventory environmental sub-components of a site: vegetation, soils, etc., environmental composite analysis identifies the associations of these features as they exist as fundamental components of a site. Thereby, it was the researcher's desire to portray the overal I function of a habitation In conjunction with the dialectics (potential and constraints) of the environmental context on which it was built. Admittedly, the environmental composite of each site Is oriented to discover what may or may not have been apparent to the original settler, but which has distinct Identity to the Interested observer. Additionally, composite categories defined at each location reflect the Inter-re I at Ionsh I p existing In a man/nature dialogue. Just as outstanding natural features are recorded, so too Is the human response to these features interpreted. Consequently, while farmstead orientation has little to do with environmental systems, It Is rather an inhabitant's response to a particular environment.
Case Study Analysis
CASE STUDY A
Within the Denver Basin
The Ranson Homestead Is located on the western edge of the Rocky Flats formation against the rapidly rising foothills adjacent to the Coal Creek Canyon drainageway. Numerous structures exist on the site typifying the many levels of use that Case Study B has encountered. The ice house and the dairy shed were al I part of a Coal Creek del I very service conducted by Mr. Ranson (a step-son of the original settler) delivering milk and ice to local Coal Creek Canyon residents. The original house remains intact, but Is no longer In use with the addition of a new house on the location of the former ice-house.
There Is a spring one-half mile west of the house which has been historical ly diverted for domestic water at the house, with little natural vegetation existing anywhere on the site besides in this area. Site A exists In an extremely harsh environment, namely 100-mile per hour winds -- yet, the homesite has remained intact with interesting wind adaptations (rocked north/west waI Is over the original log structure) being added to the house.
Land Use Analysis
The Ranson Homestead historical ly Incorporated upwards of 1000 acres of wind-swept ranch land along the western edge of the present Rocky Flats Plant, from the first deposits of the Rocky Flats Formation south of Coal Creek Canyon and extending almost to this formation's northern edge just south of Boulder. This environment al lows I Ittle vegetation to grow aside from prairie grasses and scattered Ponderosa Pine. Yet, the narrow band of rol I Ing hi I Isides Immediately before the steep ascent up Coal Creek Canyon allows just enough shelter for a narrow spring-fed depression to have successful ly sheltered the site for 100-plus years. From this elevation, the broad alluvlal deposits of Rocky Flats spread gently eastward some 1,000 feet above downtown Denver. Coal Creek Canyon lies one-half mile eastward of the site, as It flows towards Boulder Creek.
In this location, the Ranson Homestead has traditional ly been tied to both the economies of the mountain canyons and the Denver plains. Lumber Is easily accessible some scant mile up the canyon, while the stockyards of Denver have been historically a day by wagon away.
CASE STUDY B
Within the Denver Basin
The Rudd Homestead is presently comprised of two primary structures the house and barn. Both structures are original (having been built by the founder before the turn of the century). The house Is partial ly masonry and partial ly log, with the masonry portion being the Initial homestead.
Numerous incidental structures exist on the site including a privy, poultry shed and spring house. Of these structures, only the latter retains the original use and configuration.
Access to the site is from the north and is central ly located, while predominate land-use (garden and fields) is to the south.
The Rudd Homestead is located with Its "back" or rear of units directly abutting the first slopes of the foothil Is. In this position, the homestead bridges a sub-drainage of Mt. Vernon Creek from which a well-defined natural spring flows.
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Use Activity Levels
The Rudd Homestead Is located on an Intermittent tributary of Mt. Vernon Creek. Mt. Vernon Creek is a southern flowing stream, flowing between the foothills and the Dakota Hogback. Site B, or the Rudd Homestead, differs from al I other case studies In that It Is so located westward of the Dakota Hogback. Site B's location along Mt. Vernon Creek Is at the first point where the creek is not substantial ly confined to a narrow channel. Rather, Site B Is situated at the northern edge of a relatively flat (In cross slope) valley whose southern edge extends roughly to the Town of Morrison and the confluence of Mt. Vernon and Bear Creeks. The original land holdings of the Rudd Ranch Included much of what Is now Red Rocks Park.
Being so located, Case Study B Is sited In a southerly looking, "niche space" of otherwise rolling pre-foothills of diverse topographic and geologic conditions.
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Enviromental Composite Analysis
Hildebrand Site (2)
CASE STUDY C
Within the Denver Basin
The second Hilderbrand to settle In Denver north and west of his brother, found a site much I Ike we've seen in Case Study A: near the mouth of a canyon with the resources of both mountains and plains. Yet, unl Ike Site A which Is located In a harsh rocky environment of grasses and wind, Case Study C is located at the first reaches of a relatively broad and fertile valley along Deer Creek. Correspondingly, with the Increase in available farm land, Site C Incorporates an economy derived primarily on the proceeds of agriculture. The characteristic components of barn, gralnery, garden and fields are neatly organized on the site. The original house and barn are we I I kept and Inhabited by the daughter and ancestral matriarch of the Hilderbrand families --long Inhabitants of the Deer Creek Val ley.
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Use Activity Levels
-SLiLkrRegJ anal. Context
By being located at the mouth of Deer Creek, Case Study C is sited on the first alluvial deposits of Deer Creek. Surrounding the site to the north and south, the arid Inclines of foothll Is vegetaion -- yucca and clump grasses -- contrasts starkly with the riparian vegetabion of the immediate Deer Creek Channel. Site C is directly east of the Dakota Hogback on the first level slopes of the watershed as It winds its way towards the South PIatte R i ver.
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Environmental Composite Analysis
CASE STUDY D
Within the Denver Basin
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The original settlement of the Hilderbrand family lies In a riparian bend In the Deer Creek drainageway approximately two ml I es east of where Deer Creek emerges from the Front Range and Dakota Hogbacks. At this position downriver, the slopes of both hogbacks and foothills have leveled Into a two-mtle-wtde valley. Originally, the first Hilderbrand to settle In Colorado undoubtedly found a region of varied potential from trapping to farming. The original Hilderbrand site, while being presently owned by the Denver Botanic Gardens, retains most alI of the original structures of the original homestead. This includes everything from privy to bunkhouse, as we I I as the notable adaptations of house, complete with summer off-shot kitchen.
Land use of Site D Is less topographical ly oriented than found In previous case studies. Fields are located on both sides of Deer Creek and extend both east and west.
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Land Use Analysis
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Use Activity Levels
Sl+e D Is located In the midst of a broad val ley directly east of the Front Range. In this position, the only significant environmental feature located on site Is the prevalent natural vegetation associated with the Deer Creek dr a l nage-way. However, It Is apparent that the original settler of the Hilderbrand clan In Colorado found a prosperous environment for grazing cattle and grow Ing hay.
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CASE STUDY E
Within the Denver Basin
The He Imer Homestead, I Ike the other case studies previously discussed, has been historical ly devoted to a combination of ranching and agriculture while simultaneously gaining Income from outside mlscel Ianeous activities. Original I y, agricultural lands at Site E were located In the Platte Val ley which Is now flooded under the Chatfleld Reservoir, and which I Ies one and one-half miles west of the site. While small hay fields are still harvested In this area by the present Inhabitants of Site E, current site use today Is devoted to minor ranching operations.
The original buildings, specifically the house and main barn, are stll I used and Intact. Other ancll I ary structures are not used, but still exist, at varying levels of dilapidation.
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The He I mer Homestead Is sited along the narrow sub-tributary of the South Platte River known as Willow Creek. This location Is different that previously discussed case studies In that the Willow Creek drainage-way travels northwest Into the Platte Val ley rather than east Into It. Notwithstanding, the He Imer Homesteads prevailing orientation Is southerly.
Aside from the native riparian vegetation along WII low Creek, the vicinity of the Helmer site is arid, rol I Ing plains with I Ittle or no larger forms of vegetation (trees/shrubs ). Also, Site E Is located along westward facing escarpments whose parent geological formation consists of the Palmer Divide to the south rather than westward Iy formations of the Front Range, as In other case studies. In this location, the Helmer Homestead can be said to be located on the southerly border of the Denver basin.
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Seventeen Mile House
CASE STUDY F
1864-1974 ^ Boulder
Within the Denver Basin
SITE F %VJ
As Indicated by its name, the Seventeen Mile House has been historically used as a stage stop along the Cherokee Trail Into Denver. And, by way of Its name, the Seventeen Mile House Is roughly 17 miles out of the early settlement of Denvers pioneer downtown. The Seventeen Mile House has been selected for study, not through Its use as a stage stop, however, but due to Its predominate use as a ranching and agricultural site where location or original selection of site appears to be In response to natural potential or constraints rather than cultural Influences.
Case Study E (Seventeen Mile House) has the original house and barn intact with some evidence of anci I lary structures and land use. There has not been a substantial lineage of occupation of this site -- rather settlement and use information has been determined through historical sources.
Coupled with Case Study E's partial divergence In land use from other case studies, It also varies substantial ly In Its subregional context. Rather than being located in a sub-drainage way as we have typically seen, Case Study E Is located primarily on open-ground. However, the roI I ing grasslands to the east and chaparral vegetation a short distance to the south In some ways function (on a less definitive scale) as sub-regional systems have In other case studies -- the site being located in a transitional zone between hi I Iside and val ley. The val ley In the Seventeen Mile House's case, however, Is not a tributary, but rather the major drainage way of Cherry Creek. While topographic Influences appear to have had less effect on Case Study E site morphology, the Cherry Creek river offers a similar potential found In other sites that of proximate riparian vegetation.
Patterns of HabitationaI Response
PATTERNS OF HABI TAT IONAL SETTLEMENT
Presentation of Findings;
Mapping of case studies was carried out using graphic representation of site conditions, whether existing or Inferred. While some of these map levels used graphic conventions to visual ly describe conditions -- structures, vegetation and topography -- other map levels assigned graphic symbols to Interpret and display Inferred conditions, such as land use levels and prevailing orientation. The hope In this process was to uncover the function and meaning of a site as ful ly as possible. Moreover, the two outstanding goals of this report was twofold: (2) to uncover habltatlonal settlement patterns, and (2) to develop a design taxonomy based on these patterns. A concern which Is not so apparent. Is how these patterns may be represented In a form which would be insightful to others with a design background, speciflcal ly In the profession of landscape arc h I tectu re.
While this research report has employed methodological processes in developing a data base or sampl Ing population, as many scientific processes would (geological or anthropological), It varies In the way that conclusions are presented. Where an anthropological study of settlement patterns would strive to retain the integrity of numerical findings In terms of statistics or percentages, this report relies on graphic representatI on to Interpret patterns and to dlsti I I these patterns to meaningful design concepts. Without literal quantification, the following
concepts I 1 I ustrate the predominate patterns of habltatlonal response that the analyzed case studies seem to share. Following the Itemization of these patterns under the headings of culture and environment, each concept Is graphical ly defined with a summary of similarities and differences as found for each site being discussed for each concept. In this description of concepts, only patterns which appear to be essential are represented, while peripheral or less commonly found patterns have been omitted.
PATTERNS OF HABITATIONAL RESPONSE:
CuJ ture; 1. Distinction of primary and secondary
2. Formation of essential spaces.
1. Development of Internal activity lore.
2. Development of appropriate orientation.
ReJat1onshIp to Sub-Region:
1. Dendritic siting response.
ReJatlonshlp to Physiography;
Environment: 1. Transition "bench development.
2. Topographic siting response.
Re I atJ onsh I p. to. Env i ronment-L
1. Direct association with water.
2. MIcro-cI I mat I c "nestling".
DISTINCTION OF PRIMARY & SECONDARY STRUCTURES
A pattern that alI case studies share which Is essentially obvious but subtle In its meaning, Is the distinction of hierarchical ordering of structures. This pattern Is logical In that the house where one I Ives and spends the most time takes the primary role In this hlerachy with buildings associated with different uses descending In order of Importance In association with their respective use.
What is not apparent in this pattern, however, is the subtle dialogue that occurs between and In relation to these structures. Moreover, a potential I mp I Ication to designers today Is how the primary and secondary buildings of house and barn provide structure for the necessary functions of living and working.
FORMATION OF ESSENTIAL SPACES
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A second pattern which Is found In essential ly al I case studies (albeit within different configurations and size) Is that each site forms essential outdoor spaces that are used as Intensively as the structures that they are commonly associated with. While outdoor spaces are at times defined by fences or at other times defined only by the I imlts of their use, the adequate formation of outdoor space devoted to domestic use (leisure) and manipulation (work) appear to be an important component of the successful use of site.
It Is possibly through analysis of vernacuIar use of outdoor space where one may find the clearest distinction of appropriate adaptation that may be found In the Colorado front range. While winters are often cold, the Front Range environment al lows ample winter sun for continued outdoor activity year-round, unlike such areas as New England where winters are conversely extended and cold.
DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNAL CORE
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At each level of site development found In the six sites surveyed, the combination of structures and spaces predominately define the functional equivalent of an internal activity or internal core. This pattern varies from site to site and appears to be less descript, speclfical ly where the sub-regional context of the site Incorporates the border or more open ground. Conversely, the Internal focusing pattern Is more descript in cases where topographical dictates are prevalent. In alI cases, however, each site tends to develop a "site-centroid", so-to-speak, from which activities radiate outward In some cases axially and In others radially.
The centroid of a site is Interestingly defined tn part by the openings of primary structures -- doors, windows, etc. Additional I y, the function of the Internal core has Interesting similarities to the "placlta or courtyard of Span Ish-Amerlean architecture, where few windows orient to the outside of the archltyplcal Span Ish-AmerI can compound.
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The appropriate orientation pattern of case studies has been one of the most rewarding conclusions to note of al I habiatJonal patterns yet discussed. To an extent this pattern Is rewarding to note In that It confirms a general bias on the part of the researcher -- that original Inhabitants or settlers of a region were not only aware of the environmental conditions of an area In terms of preval I ing wind and weather patterns, but that they responded appropriately to these constraints in the way that they subsequently established their settlements. While there Is some variation of this pattern among the different case studies, most notably Case D and F, there is sufficient commonalty among the balance of sites to say that an appropriate orientation for the Front Range Is southerly, with preference given to the southeasterly axis. More Importantly than orientation of structures for solar gain, however, it Is Important to note the frequency with which land uses or outdoor space respond to this southerly orientation. In very few cases, do utilitarian or domestic areas occur in anything other than warm southern locations. Moreover, not only do land use areas occur to the "sunny side", but typically non-used areas occur behind buildings and on northern exposures.
DENDRITIC SITING RESPONSE
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Regional I y, in al I examples, case studies occur in low-bottomland areas of creeks and tributaries. While the Denver Basin contains several major drainages which are responsible for the characteristic diversity of land forms found In this region (hil Is, knol Is and val leys), It Is typical ly not along major drainages, such as the South Platte, Cherry Creek, Clear Creek where most case studies are regional ly located. Instead, the majority of case studies are located along the minor drainages, sub-tributaries or Intermittent streams that proliferate in the Denver Basin. Based of the Colorado Piedmont. By way of contecture, this regional or sub-regional location system indicates the Importance of avoiding the potential hazard of periodic fIoodIng. that one may expect along larger rivers.
As a design concept, this dendritic siting response is somewhat difficult to utilize In contemporary design. Yet, this sub-drainage siting logic pinpoints a fundamental ly appropriate habitational response In that it Is the counterpoint element to an additional Front Range, namely the "high, dry, lands In between. By way of design response, contemporary designers should consider the ImpIIcations of designing a house, residence or habitation on the historical ly dry, exposed bluffs of the Colorado Front Range.
TRANSITIONAL BENCH DEVELOPMENT
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Just as case study sites are typical ly located In association with drainage ways, so too are they located typical ly on the edge between the bottom of a drainage channel and the bounding InclInes that surround it. This edge zone Is less definitive than either val ley or hll Islde. Yet, most al I case studies exist on these moderately sloping areas that can most adeptly be described as "terraces" or "benches".
The benefits of being so located are numerous. First of al I, the potential of damage from creek flooding Is minimized. Secondly, the typically arid environment of the surrounding creek hillsides are avoided. Consequently, transitional bench development utl I Ized the benefits of both these areas whl le avoiding the restrictions that are found In either of them.