Telluride Arts & Transfer Warehouse: “Musk Has Nothing On Us”

Telluride Arts & Transfer Warehouse: “Musk Has Nothing On Us”

The renaissance of an old stone shell of building in downtown Telluride and a Tesla Roadster do not, on the surface at least, have much in common. However, on Tuesday, February 6, following a marathon Town Council meeting, Kate Jones, executive director of Telluride Arts and her pet project, the Telluride Transfer Warehouse, were given a green light to pursue the visionary design for the structure proposed by the New York-based, award-winning architectural firm LTL.

Image of the renovated Transfer Warehouse from LTL. A structure that honors the past, lives hard in the present and looks to the future.

And that very same evening, Elon Musk flung his red Roadster beyond the Mars orbit and toward an Asteroid Belt.

In other words, both the Telluride Transfer Warehouse and SpaceX are now on the move, both had successful launches that day, which sent them further down the road.

“Until now, the Planned Unit Development agreement required the seller to deliver a simple shell to Telluride Arts. We have been working towards that amendment for just over a year. It allows us to purchase the building now that the masonry restoration is complete, and direct all new construction to advance the bigger architectural vision. One small step for Telluride Arts, one giant leap for the Warehouse!,” quips Jones. “Elon Musk has nothing on us.”

Telluride Arts is now in the process of finalizing the terms of seller financing offered by the Telluride Transfer Company and getting close to an agreement.

“While we are launching our capital campaign late spring, we are actively moving forward with the fundraising and plans for a summer of events in the Warehouse.”

Once completed, the development at the corner of Fir and Pacific – which includes a fully renovated Transfer Warehouse, a new home for the Ah Haa School for the Arts, and Telluride’s five-star Wilkinson Public Library – is a game-changer for the Telluride region and the Telluride Arts District. If you follow the timeline on Telluride Arts website, the process of creating a center for arts and ideas in the center of town began in 2017 with the architectural design phase.

And as the beat goes on, Jones and her team are delivering the goods with excellence right on schedule so far.

Telluride Transfer Warehouse Building, background:

Transfer Warehouse, Molly Perrault of Telluride Arts.


Transfer Warehouse, back when. Courtesy, Telluride Arts.


The Telluride Transfer Warehouse has been roofless and deteriorating since 1978. The sandstone structure was built by the Telluride Transfer Company in 1906 and operated as center of the Warehouse District that served the mining industry. The place was a bustling hub with people and goods flowing from trains through the building and back out into the towns and the mines.

The history of the Warehouse inspires Jones and Telluride Arts’ vision for its future as the heart of Telluride’s cultural economy, the center of the arts.

Once renovated, the iconic exterior will encase a light-filled, contemporary space that should be a magnet for extraordinary art, culture, and ideas from across the globe. The Warehouse should provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people to connect with Telluride’s rich history at the very heart of our community.

The Transfer Warehouse is currently part of a larger development on a half city block that will include the historic Stronghouse warehouse and new construction with high-end condominiums, retail, commercial space, underground parking, and some deed restricted housing.

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