The Cortez Cultural Center is housed in the historic E.R. Lamb Building, built in 1909 by Edwin and Mary Lamb. The Lambs were two early Cortez movers-and-shakers. They first opened a drug store in town ca. 1887, and later added a mercantile, millinery and dress shop to their business. Edwin served as president of several local organizations including the Montezuma County Fair committee and the First National Bank board of directors, and was a doctor to the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. After their mercantile endured several damaging fires at various storefront locations along Main Street, the Lambs constructed the E.R. Lamb Mercantile building at 25 N. Market Street.
This turn-the-century classic commercial building has had many uses and modifications over the years, but significant elements of the original Mesker Bros. Iron Works tin ceiling and second-story metal façade have survived. The Cortez Cultural Center is applying for grant funding to renovate the building to better serve the Cortez community’s needs, recreate the original street level fenestration, and preserve the important architectural elements that still remain. To learn more about the building, check out the link below to read the E.R. Lamb Historic Structure Assessment, written by Chapin and Clark Architects.