No takers for Bock house; pavilion posed as demolition alternative

       The former Bock family house could become an open-air pavilion/shelter in Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
       Speaking at the March 3 annual meeting of the Friends of Red Rock Canyon, Chris Lieber, manager of design and development for Colorado Springs Parks, said that although a final recommendation has yet to be made on the roughly 40-year-old dwelling, the pavilion concept is an “alternative that falls in the middle” between full preservation and demolition.
       In the pavilion concept, he said the city would keep a roof up and preserve the building's interior rockwork, which some perceive to be the most appealing aspect of the structure. “Its time as a house is past,” Lieber suggested.
       The recommendation would go to the City Parks Advisory Board - possibly at its April meeting, he added.
       The 1,556-square-foot structure has been boarded up since last fall to prevent vandalism. It sits next to a man-made lake which the Bocks had once hoped would be a first-hole amenity for a commercial golf course. In recent months, the city had talked to two area non-profit groups about moving into the building, to see if either wished to spend about a quarter of a million dollars to bring it up to code and take it over. Both these groups, the Palmer Land Trust and the Trails and Open Space Coalition of the Pikes Peak Region, eventually turned the city down.
       The Palmer Land Trust “had some real interest” at one time, according to Dave VanDerWege, executive director. He said the Trust, which already has a tie to the 788.1-acre property, through its conservation easement on 675 of the acres, had even looked into funding options and office-layout possibilities.
       However, in discussions with the city, “we got the idea the city had zero interest in the preservation of the house,” VanDerWege told the Westside Pioneer in a recent interview.
       As a result, the group decided not to pursue the issue any further, he said.
       Another alternative the city has considered for the 1960s-era house is to tear it down altogether. Several Bock family outbuildings have been demolished in the past year. This was necessary because those buildings were in the restricted open space part of the property, explained Kent Obee at the Friends meeting. Obee is a leader of the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) group that led the city's purchase of the property in late 2003. He added, however, that the Bock house could theoretically remain because it is in a part of the property that was not bought with open-space funds.

Westside Pioneer article