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Besides breweries and bicycles: The Romero house

Imagine you build a house out of local and renewable materials. And you build it only 500 square feet for the whole family, in walking distance of your job. The yard is big enough for a significant garden, and you raise chickens and hang your own laundry on a clothes line.

Nobody gives you a tax credit or even an energy star.

You don’t ask for one. You grow up with your neighbors, know each other’s kids and grandparents, and for the most part keep to yourself.  Although once in a while you’ll ask for a school or paved roads long after everyone else gets them.

It goes like that for generations. 

The factory closes. A new factory comes to the neighborhood. A craft brewery that draws national attention for it’s feel-good business practices. But when you walk through the front door, it’s clear none of these workers have ever topped a sugar beet. 

Another big employer tries to come to the neighborhood, a SuperWal-Mart.  But from the other side of the tracks they  scream “corporate domination!!!” and fight like hell to keep the jobs away.

The sustainability fair raises its tent just next door to show the city about living in harmony with the earth–although ironically nobody notices you’ve been treading lightly since the beginning. Amy Goodman comes from New York City to wring her hands about injustice on the other side of the world. 

You don’t say anything.

The crowds grow as everyone wants to throw world-class parties in your backyard. And when you complain, they whisper, “Maybe you should just move to Greeley.”


I’m not Mexican, and I have no business pretending to know how it feels. But I do know there’s more to this town than bicycles and breweries. And I do think our neighbors in Andersonville, Buckingham, and Alta Vista want you to know who they are.  

The Museo de las Tres Colinas in Andersonville is open on the third Saturday of each month from 12:30-3pm, and every Saturday in April from 12:30-5pm.


Lost Fort Collins now has a Flickr page for additional photos, some related to posts, some not.  See the Beyond the Blog link at right.

You can see a snapshot of Betty Aragon-Mitotes there. This post came as a result of my conversation with her yesterday.

4 comments to Besides breweries and bicycles: The Romero house

  • Interesting. The GW plant was torn down some 40 years ago. Is there anything left? It looks like there is what might have been a sugar beet sluice near Vine Drive.

  • catfc

    I think parts of the old building are still there. I used to know what they were doing with it…somebody should go down Vine street and take a picture.

  • 3D

    I couldn’t agree with you more (and have written blog articles along similar lines as yours).

    But, I do think it’s positive that the city purchased and renovated the Romero house. That means something.

    It’s also positive that the Bohemian Foundation scaled-back its proposed amphitheater, as a result of community concern.

    I have to think the Fort Collins Mexican community isn’t as invisible as it once was.

  • Aubrey

    Thanks! I noticed Sunday they had a brown state sign on Lemay pointing towards it and it caught my attention. I enjoy reading your posts. My dad is part of a dying historical society in a small Iowa town and I think this is a great example of how they could keep it going and generate more community interest.