Boulder Loses Classic Classroom Building

The Sibell Wolle Fine Arts building on the CU campus is a thing of the past. With many other Boulder real estate construction projects bringing in new great things to Boulder, the CU project is not to be outdone.

The almost 100 year old building is coming down to make way for the new 170,000 square foot Visual Arts Complex which is scheduled to open in the ’09-’10 school year. By the time you’re reading this, the old Sibell Wolle building should be gone.

The building was named after Muriel Sibell Wolle who was a local artist. She liked to sketch Colorado mining towns and her archive of work has preserved memories of many now long-gone historic mining buildings from around the state. Her work was in itself rather of a pioneer spirit mind in that she was concerned with some sense of historic preservation long before it became popular.

The red brick building which bore her name originally was the “shops” for engineering students who contributed to its design. Light in the building filtered through a modified “saw-tooth” roof which was considered state-of-the-art at the time of construction.

Muriel married Francis Wolle (a CU English professor) after moving to the area from New York in the 1920’s. She then wrote, under the name of Wolle, her most popular book — “Stampede to Timberline.” The book was first published in 1949 and has since become the “Bible” of Colorado ghost-town books for many ghost-town enthusiasts and experts. It’s still in print today.

Some of the materials from the old building will be recycled and used in the construction of the new Visual Arts Complex.

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