Saving the Reynolds Block - Raising Funds In 1900, the Thomkins Hardware Supply Company and a confectionery store occupied the Reynolds Block. It was also once
home to the Hackley
Store and Hotel. At one time the Victor Mining Stock Exchange set up
its office in the building. In about 1956 there was a major fire in
the building and it was closed. Shortly after that a group of local
women pooled efforts to create a museum. They sought donations and
put up new wallpaper, set up exhibits and in 1958 opened the doors
of the Victor Museum to the public.
The museum features displays highlighting the mining heritage of Victor and the surrounding gold camp.
In 1981 the name was changed to the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum to
honor one of Victor's most famous former residents. To the rear of the building, outside, is an exhibit of mining machinery
which was donated by Golden Cycle Corporation.
The museum was operated for years on a minute budget with
In recent years it
became apparent that the 100-plus-year-old building was failing. The Victor Improvement Association, the non-profit organization that owns the museum collection and Reynolds Block,
began efforts to stabilize the building. Grants are being sought to help fund this massive effort.
Building Years at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum
In 2000 the board of
directors contracted with the State Historical Fund (SHF) to conduct
a historic structure assessment; this plan laid the groundwork for
the needed renovations.
The Victor Lowell
Thomas Museum (VLTM) has been awarded four SHF grants for stabilization
and restoration, as well as a Transportation Enhancement grant
In 2008, 2009 and 2010 three phases of stabilization were completed, and now we are working on replacing the roof with
the CDoT grant.
The Victor Improvement Association (VIA) raised funds to match the
grants to repair the failing north wall and sagging second floor of the building.
Thanks to our architect Tim Stroh, grant administrator Charise Boomsma, and contractor TEPA, Phase 1 of the construction project began in late March 2009 and
was completed under budget and in record time by July 2009. This phase included foundation work, repair of a failing north wall and preparation for support columns and other stabilization work. Phase 2, which included replacement of timbers that were destroyed in
the 1950s fire, was awarded Aug. 1, 2009 and was completed in early summer 2011. Phase 3 was funded Feb. 1, 2010 and included support columns that bolster a sagging second floor as well storefront restoration
and new windows throughout the museum. That project was completed early summer 2011.
fourth SHF grant was awarded June 1, 2012 and will fund repairs to
the east wall brick work, restoration of three north side doors and
other final exterior repairs.
The 2008 SHF grant of $208,177 required matching funds of nearly $70,000 to get the first phase underway. With the help of the Victor Elks Lodge, an anonymous donor and other groups, $15,000 was raised from a dinner/auction. The City of Cripple granted the VIA $25,000 from the historic preservation funds allotted for the Cripple Creek museum's matching funds budget. The Boettcher Foundation generously awarded the project a $20,000 grant. Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company (CC&V) granted the museum $10,000 toward the match, and The Edmund T. and Eleanor Quick Foundation awarded the museum a $10,000 grant for the stabilization work.
The community again poured forth support at miner’s dinner and auction in September of 2009, raising $10,000 for Phase 2, which will be underway this spring. Matching funds of $61,000 were needed for that project.
The Gates Family Foundation donated $80,000 for Phase 2 and 3.
In 2010 a grant from the Transportation Enhancement fund sponsored
by Teller County was awarded to the museum. The $129,548 grant will
fund a new roof and be matched by in-kind administration from Teller
County Road & Bridge as well as funds raised by the museum from the
The VLTM has been working on a capital plan for future work and interior restoration, thanks to a $15,000 grant from CC&V.
The plan outlines the future work to the interior of the building.
In 2012 the State Historic
Fund awarded a $35,000 grant to complete exterior restoration on
doors and masonry.
Need More Info?
For more information or to make a donation, call Nancy Hanks at 719-689-3522, Jane Mannon at 689-4044 or Ruth Zalewski at 719-689-2675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Donations Save Windows to the Past! We Need You! Reserve a window in your name – or the name of your choice – and help us restore the wonderful Reynolds Block/Museum Building in Downtown Victor. More info...