The Falling-Down Shed

Last summer when the Hardrock Revision team were here, we conducted many interviews about the Ute Ulay with residents and tourists in Lake City. Many people mentioned the ‘falling-down shed’; sitting where it does on the side of the road, it seemed to be a symbol of the fragility of all of the structures up there.

On my latest visit up to the mine site, I noticed that it is looking even more precarious. It bulges out over the road, with masculine detritus spilling out in several directions. The contents are still accessible by sight, but already forever lost. It is far too dangerous to go very near the shed, let alone disturb the contents.

It is a shame that this structure will be lost to future visitors. However, it has served as a catalyst for people’s attention and concern over a place that has sat, undemanding and quiet, for many years. I think of this shed as a martyr for the rest of the site, an emblem of entropy, and as such I am grateful for its dilapidation.



5 thoughts on “The Falling-Down Shed

  1. I can see that you are referring to physical danger, some sort of crushing or exploding…but seeing as it stands for and stands in for so many other things are you hinting at other dangers?

    • There are many types of unseen physical dangers in and around the Ute Ulay site; parts of the ground that appear to be solid but are not, crushed rock that contains high levels of lead, Hanta virus and more…

      As for less physical dangers; I have heard many people mention the potential ‘loss of history’ as a danger for the site. I am not sure how one loses history, but monuments to the past seem to be important to people. I was recently reading JB Jackson’s ‘The Necessity for Ruins’ and he says, ‘history means less the record of significant events and people than the preservation of reminders of a bygone domestic existence and its environment’. This mining site has many such reminders in a location which has not been otherwise changed by humans, and that is very rare. I am mainly interested in how this place can be of benefit to people here, now and in the future. The falling-down shed is a call to action.

  2. Pingback: Future History | Ute_Ulay

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