Historic home in Emma could get funding for repairs

Mar 27, 2018

The Emma townsite includes a warehouse (left), the Emma Store and the Mather House, which could get funding for repairs.
Credit Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

The Mather House on Emma Open Space needs major repairs, and the funding is in sight after a long wait.


The historic home was built in the late 1890s and has served as employee housing in the past.


It now needs a new septic system and major repairs to the well before it is rented again. But the open space and trails program was not previously able to allocate money to improve structures that sit on its properties, because of language in the charter.

That changed in 2016, when voters approved reauthorizing the program and changes to the guiding document.

“We rewrote that charter so we could do improvements, and that’s why we’re able to work on this house this year, where we couldn’t in the past,” said Ted O’Brien, resource manager for Pitkin County Open Space and Trails.

At their meeting Tuesday, county commissioners will consider spending $88,000 on the project. Open Space and Trails staff will work with the county’s historic preservation officer to preserve the character of the building.