Cobalt National Historic Mining District is a largely intact relic of the silver mining boom of the early 20th century. The current town of Cobalt sits in the middle of an extensive region in which over 100 mines operated at the height of mining activity.
Building on community development work begun in 2004 to which he contributed interpretation and tourism development strategies for the district as a whole, Carl Bray was lead consultant and heritage planner for the team of urban designers that provided an enhancement plan for the main street of Cobalt. The unique buildings remaining in the core were highlighted and new infill was designed to complement the existing setting.
An innovative aspect of the project was the design of “placeholders”: frames or screens that spanned across vacant sites in anticipation of future development. Since the town’s growth was very slow, these sites offered potential to provide interpretive visual displays while unifying the streetscape. Elements of the plan are now being implemented as part of the long-term revitalization strategy for the mining district.