Pulliam Building restoration work to begin soon

LOVELAND — The first phase of fundraising to restore the Pulliam Community Building is complete and initial restoration will soon be underway. Meanwhile, the foundation supporting the effort to restore what it calls “the heart of Loveland” has begun the second phase.

Members of the Pulliam Community Building Foundation hosted a small gathering Friday night in the 23,000 square foot, concrete structure on Cleveland Avenue in downtown Loveland. There, they reviewed the fundraising campaign that resulted in the $2.32 million first phase that will pay for planning, electrical work, safety and code improvements and a new elevator to give easier access to all three levels of the structure.

The Pulliam building, with concrete exterior and interior walls as much as

Norm Rehme, president of the Pulliam Community Building Foundation, describes the work that will be done on the Pulliam restoration. The ceiling of the main performing arts hall on the building’s first floor is a Lamella Truss system, which is actually part of the structure’s roof. BizWest photo by Ken Amundson.

20 inches thick, was built during the Great Depression using funding from the city of Loveland, Works Progress Administration and a philanthropic donation from D.T. and Lillian Pulliam. Workers poured concrete for two years to erect the structure. The building was originally the home of city government as well has a performing arts center and gathering place for youth, service clubs and others.

For the first phase, the foundation backing the restoration raised $500,000, which was matched 3:1 by the city. A grant from the state Department of Local Affairs completed that phase of funding. The second phase of fundraising is hoped to collect $2.5 million, which will be matched 1:1 by the city for a $5 million phase two budget.

Phase two will involve extensive remodeling to bring the structure up to current user expectations with restoration of floors, remodeled walls, accessible restrooms, new heating and cooling and more.

The city has hired Fransen Pittman, an Englewood contractor with an office in Windsor, to handle the first phase. Fransen Pittman’s recent work has included the Colorado Capitol roof restoration and the governor’s mansion.

Norm Rehme, retired trust officer who is president of the foundation board, has been working for about 10 years to get the restoration underway. He provided a tour of the structure Friday. He and others talked about the potential impact of the project, which could attract 30,000 to 50,000 people annually to Loveland and provide another

destination besides the Foundry project, expanded Rialto and rapidly growing restaurant and entertainment businesses developing in downtown Loveland.