Denver, Meet Your New Historic Landmarks
This spring, Denver saw the approval of three new historic sites — two landmarks and one historic district. Each was brought forward by its property owners and each was met with near-unanimous support from the community.
“Each of these places, in its own way, helps tell Denver’s story,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “The value in protecting them is obvious, and their designations are a win for preservation in our city.”
Denver now has 52 historic districts and 336 historic landmarks. Introducing the newest:
The National Western Stock Show Stadium Arena
On April 18, Denver City Council approved the preservation of the National Western Stock Show Stadium Arena at 1325 E. 46th Ave. The Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center applied to designate the arena as part of a goal to honor and interpret the rich history of the stock show site for future generations.
The Stadium Arena, built 1908-1909, is associated with the historical development of Denver and Colorado and of one of the largest and oldest U.S. stock shows still in operation. It was the sole entertainment venue for the show until 1952. Although partially enclosed by the 1991 Stadium Hall, it is one of Denver’s few examples of monumental Neoclassical style architecture outside of downtown. Its original brick oval-shaped walls are largely intact, allowing them to be readily revealed as proposed by the National Western Center Master Plan. Watch the City Council hearing and check out this Denver Post story.
The former Emily Griffith Opportunity School
In 2015, the City and County of Denver funded an analysis of the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School campus at 12th and Glenarm that would ensure the preservation and responsible redevelopment of the school — a defining presence downtown. Earlier this year, Denver Public Schools (the property owner) and Historic Denver, Inc. brought forward a request to designate much of the campus, based on that analysis.
On May 16, 2016, Denver City Council approved the designation, which clearly defines buildings eligible for preservation, as well as appropriate “mass, form and scale” of any future redevelopment on the site. Denver Public School is currently marketing the property for sale. Watch the City Council hearing, and read Denver Post and Westword stories.
The South Lincoln Street Historic District
On May 16, Denver City Council approved the designation of the 200 block of S. Lincoln Street as a historic district. The block encompasses 15 homes built between 1889 and 1895, all of which embody Queen Anne architecture with features like steeply pitched roofs, varying wall textures, wrap-around porches and turned porch spindles. The homes were designed by prominent Denver architect William Lang, designer of the Molly Brown House and Castle Marne Mansion.
Five Points Historic Cultural District
On June 21 at its regularly scheduled meeting, the Landmark Preservation Commission will hear an update on the Five Points Historic Cultural District’s draft design standards and guidelines.
If you’ve been unable to attend earlier design standards and guidelines workshops, this meeting is an opportunity to get caught up on the standards and guidelines that are in progress. Watch for a draft of the guidelines in late June, and learn more at our website.
Discover Denver: Virginia Village Survey Next
The Virginia Village neighborhood in southeast Denver showcases our city’s recent past through its postwar and mid-century modern buildings.
Discover Denver — a joint project between the City and County of Denver and Historic Denver to survey every building citywide — is nearing the end of inventorying buildings in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, and moving on to Virginia Village next.
Discover Denver’s goal is to document every one of Denver’s buildings, and identify those that have architectural, historic or cultural significance. The survey is funded by a grant from the State Historical Fund and relies on the help of local volunteers.
If you live in Virginia Village and have stories to share, please stop and say hello — we would love to hear from you! For more information on Discover Denver, to share stories, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit DiscoverDenver.co or contact Beth Glandon at 303-534-5288 x3.
The Bosler House Has a New Roof
Steve and Jan Davis, the new owners of the historic Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview, have been swiftly working to restore the damaged landmark. Most recently they reached a major milestone when they covered the building with a new, architecturally appropriate roof, making the structure waterproof for the first time since 2009. The City and County of Denver had funded construction design drawings for the roof before the sale of the house, in an effort to see it quickly repaired.
The Davises plan to make the Bosler House their home when restoration is complete. You can join the Denver Channel’s tour of the Bosler House as work began, or read the Davises’ “Bosler Blog” to follow their progress.
Is this Denver’s Next Historic Landmark?
The owner of the Allen Ghost House at 1899 York has requested historic designation for the building. It was built and occupied by Allen Ghost in 1906, a prominent figure in Denver society who developed numerous residential areas, including what’s now the Ghost Historic District near Sloan’s Lake. It’s an excellent example of a Mission Revival style, and has a prominent location across from City Park. On May 17 the Landmark Preservation Commission recommended approval of the designation; Denver City Council will consider it on June 27. Read the application >>
About Landmark Preservation
Landmark Preservation is an important function of the Department of Community Planning and Development. Denver City Council enacted the Denver Landmark Ordinance in 1967 to foster the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of structures and districts of historical, architectural and/or geographic significance.
Landmark Preservation staff and two landmark boards carry out that mission through design review, historic surveys and landmark designations. Staff also assists owners of historic properties by providing guidance and resources for preserving, maintaining and rehabilitating historic buildings and properties. You can learn more about Denver’s Landmark Preservation efforts at Denvergov.org/landmark. Follow us on Twitter at @DenverCPD.