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Structural Engineering

Redstone Coke Ovens

The town of Redstone was founded at the turn of the 20th century as a company town constructed solely to house the men who worked the coke ovens and their families. These “Beehive” coke ovens were constructed in the late 1890s to carbonize (or “coke”) coal mined in the Coal Basin mines to the west for the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. Most of the coke ovens were last used over 100 years ago. There were originally over 200 ovens at the site and many were lost to intentional demolition and degradation. The remaining historic coke ovens deteriorated due to salvaging operations, vandalism, weather, erosion, and plant growth. To prevent further degradation, Pitkin County teamed with JVA, Incorporated to design and implement a plan for stabilization of all the remaining ovens (65) and complete reconstruction of four ovens. Extensive structural repairs were required to stabilize the ovens and slow future deterioration. This included reconstruction of stone retaining walls using stone and mortar matching the historical materials; removal and replacement of deteriorated of deteriorated and missing refractory brick elements using salvaged refractory brick hand cut to match the numerous different brick shapes used; reproduction of some missing elements using colored concrete. The project garnered an Honor Award for the Masterworks in Masonry from the Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute.

Location: Redstone, CO