What the heck in tarnation is that building at the corner of Aspen and Plymouth off Florida Road? I suspect we got moonshiners or a Russian troll farm hiding in plain sight. Any reconnaissance you can do would be appreciated by all good citizens. Can’t be too careful these days. Sign me, Bubba Smirnoff
An ugly, brown building with jerry-rigged infrastructure wouldn’t look out of place in certain areas of Durango, namely the cantankerous confines of Animas City or the laissez-faire localities south of Sixth Street.
A Realtor would describe the property as a “mid-century luxury ADU with rustic charm and exposed custom metal-work that offers rugged authenticity and loft-like vibe for the discriminating buyer.”
Of course, we all know it’s an ugly, brown building with jerry-rigged infrastructure.
But the suspicious structure doesn’t really blend in with the established Riverview neighborhood, where brick condos with faux Colonial accents flank a mix of tidy ranch and split-level dwellings.
So the always-intrepid Action Line completed a thorough investigation of the joint and discovered something quite shocking.
Peering into the grimy, dust-fogged windows, there was just a big ol’ pipe going into the ground.
But no trace of hooch-makers or hackers.
Nevertheless, Action Line called out in Russian, “Zdravstvuyte.”
That means hello.
There was nyet response.
Next, we whipped out the cellphone and called Durango Craft Spirits, the town’s first legal grain-to-glass distillery since Prohibition.
Was this ugly, brown building at Plymouth and Aspen an anonymous annex for cooking up usquebaugh? (There’s your post-St. Paddy’s Day vocabulary builder!)
Durango Craft Sprits co-owner Michael McCardell had a not-so-obscure one-word response:
“Nope,” he said with a chuckle.
Durango Craft Sprits creates Soiled Dove Vodka, Cinder Dick Bourbon and Mayday Moonshine on-site and serves quality adult leisure beverages inside its cozy tasting room at 1120 Main Ave. “We’re really not looking to expand into sketchy buildings in residential neighborhoods,” he added.
So there’s no hanky-panky and no nefarious Russians.
No wonder Robert Mueller hasn’t asked Action Line to join his investigative team.
So that left one last lead to follow. Who owns the property?
It happens to be the city of Durango, so Action Line started to call around.
After a couple of transfers, we finally got to our good friend Corey Griffis with the city’s utilities department.
You need to know about infrastructure, you ask Corey.
“That building is an abandoned booster station,” he said. “It houses a big pump that was used to transport Animas River water uphill” to Terminal Reservoir above the Fort Lewis College campus.
“I haven’t been in that building for years,” he added. “I pretty much forgot about it.”
The pump was powered by natural gas, thus, the overly large and weird exhaust chimney on the side.
So the mystery is solved. Except for one thing.
The city has righteous zeal for “in-fill.” Could not this corner property be repurposed for a crucial municipal need? What’s your idea for this idle plot?
Or maybe the city should just offer it to the Russians. Or the Koch brothers organization.
Either way, the weedy parcel could use some TLC.
An application of organic molasses and kelp powder would class up the corner and offer a better environment for foreign or domestic meddling in elections.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you wonder when the city will open Terminal Reservoir for recreation and motorized boating.