Then one day last June it disappeared. Neighbors say a demolition crew showed up and knocked it down, pedestal and all, virtually overnight. Here today, gone the next.
Opponents of the Gateway project tend to look at the story of the farmhouse as a kind of parable. They wonder if the house was torn down to smooth the way for CU's development plans; certainly, having a potential local landmark on the site wouldn't make the process any easier. And the irony of such a scenario--Ancient Farmhouse Sacrificed for History Museum! Boulder's Past Obliterated to Make Way for CU's Future!--made it all the more irresistible to those who didn't like the project in the first place.
But Frey says the demolition had nothing to do with CU or the museum. The house was torn down because it was in the way of mining operations, he explains, and months of discussion with experts about ways to move it had failed to come up with a workable solution. "Even if we'd left it on the site, it was deteriorating," he says. "It was collapsing on itself."
Expediency dictated that the farmhouse had to go, just as expediency has dictated the fate of much of the Front Range and its once-wide-open spaces, now buried under endless cookie-cutter developments, strip malls and dreams of empire.