TRINIDAD — In the heart of the city, a building over a hundred years old is getting a new look.

“It was boarded up with plywood on the windows and ceiling tiles falling in and windows broken and not much going on. It’s been vacant for some time,” said Marilyn Leuszler, director of Corazon de Trinidad Creative District.

Seven years later, the space looks quite a bit different.

“To see it now in progress and know what the dream is when it’s finished and how it will contribute to the community’s use is just fantastic. It’s thrilling,” Leuszler said.

The dream is to provide a multitude of uses to the community. But, working on a 100-year-old building has its challenges.

“There’s some inherent problems with dealing with hundred year old brick and wood and steel and concrete. So the initial steps a couple of years back where our challenge is dealing with stabilization and restoration,” said Matthew Meier, one of the owners of HHL Architects.

Those involved in the restoration said they try to keep the building as close to the original design as possible.

“Things that are exposed stone and brick right here, they have to stay exposed stone and brick,” Meier said. “For spaces that were traditionally plastered…They technically have to stay… even though you might see cool brick behind or cool wood above. You’ve got to respect the history.”

There were other problems as well.

“Our friendly pandemic didn’t help this project,” said Meier said. “We completed the art space loss project just prior to and this was going to get started right after and was tangled up a little bit because of it. Sort of on schedule. We’re a little bit behind schedule, but we’re making it up.”

Whether it’s parking, parades or flea markets, the building will have a unique purpose.

“It’s combining that old, and those people who’ve been here for generations who brought us to this point, and then celebrating what can be put together in the future that will continue that careful, cautious growth,” Leuszler said.

People behind this project said they hope this will be something the community of Trinidad will be able to use for many years to come.

“There’s a lot of new things and a lot of cool things happening in Trinidad and all across Colorado and southern Colorado,” Meier said. “So it’s a great opportunity to really provide a venue that’s big enough to do crazy things.”