Making a Difference

Jonas Landes

Jonas Landes

Credit: ?Seth Hughes

Jonas Landes, 27, wanted to build a Peace Corps for preservationists. Last summer, the Colorado native helped organize a group of volunteers to restore the adobe stables at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds in Rocky Ford, Colo. Built with Works Progress Administration funding in 1938, the unstuccoed, unplastered stables functioned until the late 1990s, when city officials closed them, citing severe deterioration. (The stables appeared on ­Colorado Preservation’s Most Endangered Places list in 2007.) Adobe specialist Juan Espinosa taught ­more than 50 participants how to craft new material from eroded brick rubble, then fill holes with the fresh bricks. "The goal was to get the stables back to the state where they could be rented out to pay for themselves," Landes says. ­Recently, Landes was named the ­first manager of HistoriCorps, an innovative public-private partnership that will teach adults and students about repairing and maintaining historic buildings, and he hopes to take the ­program national. "Preservation is more than just saving places," he says. "It provides an opportunity to teach new ­generations of Americans to appreciate our built environment."

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