San Luis Peoples Market among Southern Colorado projects to receive preservation grants

Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
San Luis Peoples Market in the town of San Luis

Preservation projects around Southern Colorado are sharing a total of $1.8 million from the latest grants from History Colorado. They're part of a total $5.5 million disbursement from the organization, much of which will benefit projects in rural areas across the state.

Temple Aaron in Trinidad is among the recipients. According to Temple Aaron of Trinidad, the non-profit that runs the synagogue, it’s the oldest continuously operated synagogue in the Mountain West. It's the second-oldest known synagogue in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River, according to History Colorado. 

The temple received nearly a quarter of a million dollars to refurbish its 135-year-old pressed metal roof. The money will repair leaks and downspouts, as part of Temple Aaron’s “Raise the Roof” campaign. 

Temple Aaron In Trinidad
Courtesy Temple Aaron
Temple Aaron in Trinidad.
Fox Theatre Walsenburg
The Fox Theatre in Walsenburg continues to serve as a community gathering place more than a century after it first opened.

The Fox Theatre in Huerfano County will use its quarter-of-a-million-dollar grant to meet modern building standards and address urgent structural repairs. Spanish Peaks Community Foundation operates the 106-year-old theater. The organization is looking to secure additional funds to restore the iconic stucco marquee. The theater will continue its programming throughout the summer and aims to complete restoration by this fall.

The San Luis Peoples Market, Colorado’s oldest continually operating business, will receive more than $100,000 to draft construction documents for expanding its services. The plans will look to outline a commercial kitchen for cooking classes, a coffee shop, a nutritional education center, and a retail space for small businesses. 

The store is owned by the Acequia Institute, which is supported by the Community Foundation of the San Luis Valley. 

“The Acequia Institute is re-envisioning the oldest grocery store in Colorado into a worker-led co-op that is a cultural and community health hub," said the foundation's executive director Jason Medina in a press release from History Colorado. "[The project will] provide a roadmap for other rural communities looking to build self-sufficiency.”

The State Historical Fund from History Colorado is financed through taxes on revenue from limited stakes gaming in Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek.