Downtown Denver Historic District

Downtown's Historic Architecture. Not to be confused with Lower Downtown, the Downtown Denver Historic District was created in 2000 by the City of Denver as a non-contiguous district within the core Downtown area consisting of 43 buildings identified as architecturally or historically significant and worthy of preservation.  While Lower Downtown's buildings were built primarily in the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s as warehouse or mercantile buildings, many of the buildings in the Downtown Denver Historic District were built in the first few decades of the Twentieth Century and feature more elaborate designs reflective of their original uses as banks, hotels, and office buildings.  These 43 historic buildings create a stunning contrast to the glassy modern towers that surround them, provide the framework for the urban fabric of Downtown, and greatly enrich the pedestrian and visual experience of the central business district. 

 

 

Click on a yellow building number on the aerial photo to jump to that building's section, or mouse-over to view the building name.

W. A. Hover & Comapny Building Denver Municipal Auditorium Telephone Building Tramway Building Denver Gas & Electric Building Kittredge Building Denver Dry Goods Company Building Neusteter Company Building Symes Building A.C. Foster / University Building Tritch Building / Joslins Dry Goods Company Building Daniels & Fisher Tower Brown Palace Hotel Midland Savings Building Denver Club Building Equitable Building U.S. National Bank / Guaranty Bank Building First National Bank / American National Bank Building Ideal Building / Denver National Bank Building Boston Building Colorado National Bank Building Title Building / Railway Exchange Building A. H. Ghost Building Trinity United Methodist Church McClintock Building Hayden, Dickinson & Feldhauser Building Baldwin Building Filbeck Building Roger & Son Mortuary / Yankee Dollar Building Odd Fellows Hall Kistler Stationery Building Chamber of Commerce Building Buerger Brothers Building Denver Fire Clay Building Baur Building Paramount Theater Building A. T. Lewis New Building / Rio Grande Building A. T. Lewis & Sons Department Store Building A. E. Meek Trunk & Bag Company Building Brown Palace West / Comfort Inn The Navarre Steel Building / Fontius Building Masonic Temple Building  

 

Click on a thumbnail to view the photograph.

 

Photographs were taken in May, 2006.

 

Architectural and historical data courtesy of the following sources:

 

Guide to Denver Architecture, by Denver Foundation for Architecture, Westcliffe Publishers, 2001.

 

Colorado Historical Society, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation; Directory of Colorado State Register
of Historic Properties, available at: www.coloradohistory-oahp.org

01
Denver Municipal Auditorium

The Denver Municipal Auditorium was completed in time to host the 1908 Democratic National Convention.  The neoclassical structure was originally designed by Robert O. Willison, and is now part of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, holding the new Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

 

 

02
Telephone Building

The Telephone Building served as the headquarters for the local phone company from its construction in 1929 until 1984.  The building reflects a mix of Art Deco and Gothic Revival styles known as "Modern American Perpendicular Gothic."  William N. Bowman was the architect.

 

 

03
Tramway Building

The Denver Tramway building was built in 1911 and held the city's public transportation system offices and attached street-car barn until 1971.  The structure was designed by the firm of Fisher & Fisher and restored in the 1990s and is now home to the upscale Hotel Teatro.

 

 

04
Denver Gas
& Electric Building

The Gas & Electric Building was built in 1910 and designed by Frank Edbrooke & Co. and features a facade of 13,000 electric lights.  Later named the Insurance Exchange Building, the structure was built in the Chicago Commercial style made famous by architect Louis Sullivan.

 

 

05
Kittredge Building

The Kittredge Building features a facade clad in native granite and rhyolite and was one of the first elevator buildings in Downtown.  Completed in 1890, the Kittredge Building was designed by architect A. Morris Stuckert in a Richardsonian Romanesque style.

 
 

06
Denver Dry Goods Co. Building

The Denver Dry Goods building was completed in various stages between 1889 and 1906 and was home to the prominent local retailer until the 1980s. In the 1990s it was fully restored and converted into shops, offices, and lofts.  The building was designed by Frank Edbrooke.

 
 

07
Neusteter Company Building

The Neusteter building housed the upscale Neusteter's department store from its construction in 1924 until 1985.  In the 1990s the building was converted to condominiums.  The building was designed by the firm of Fisher & Fisher in a reserved Chicago Commercial style.

 
 

08
Symes Building

The Symes Building was built in 1906 and was designed by the New York firm of Hunt & Hunt.  The building was one of the first steel-framed buildings in Denver and for years was home to the Downtown Woolworths store on the ground floor.  The building now holds a mix of office and retail.

 
 

09
A.C. Foster / University Building

The A.C. Foster/University Building was built in 1911 and was designed by Fisher & Fisher. The 12th floor appears as the building's cornice and features green pin-stripes. Now holding private offices, it once was purchased for the University of Denver, giving the building its current name.

 
 

10
Tritch Building / Joslins Dry
Goods Building

The Tritch/Joslins Dry Goods building was built in 1887 as a 4-story building, with the fifth floor added in 1927. For decades it was home to the Joslins department store, until the the store's closing in the 1990s.  The building has since been renovated into the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott.

 
 

11
Daniels & Fisher Tower

Inspired by St. Mark's Campanile in Venice, the D&F Tower was built in 1911 to anchor the Daniels & Fisher Department Store. The tower barely escaped demolition in the 1970s. It has since been restored and is one of Denver's most beloved landmarks.

 
 

12
Brown Palace Hotel

The venerable Brown Palace Hotel was designed by Frank Edbrooke and completed in 1892. It features carved sandstone on a base of granite and was the country's second fireproof building. Over a century later, the Brown Palace remains one of Denver's finest hotels.

 
 

13
Midland Savings Building

The Midland Savings building, a fine example of the Early Italian Renaissance Revival style, was built in 1925 and designed by Fisher & Fisher, and features terra cotta gargoyles on the penthouse. The building was renovated in the late 1990s and is now the Midland Lofts.

 
 

14
Denver Club Building

The Denver Club Building, one of two Early Modernism buildings to be included in the Historic District, was built in 1954 and designed by Raymond Ervin & Associates. The building was the first tower built Downtown after World War II and the first of the city's Modernist high-rises.

 
 

15
Equitable Building

The Equitable Building features a lavish Italian Renaissance Revival style and a footprint shaped like a double "E".  It was designed by Andrews, Jacques and Rantoul and completed in 1892. Its interior is equally ornate and was built to be the finest office building in the city at its time.

 
 

16
US National / Guaranty Bank Building

The US National/Guaranty Bank Building (now the Bank Lofts) was built in 1921 and designed by Fisher & Fisher in a reserved Chicago Commercial style.  In the 1980s it sat vacant and was almost razed, but fortunately received landmark status and a subsequent full renovation into lofts.

 
 

17
First National / American National Bank Building

The First National Bank building (1911) was 17th Street's first "skyscraper," being the first to exceed 9 stories. Its facade was covered with cement in the 1960s to "modernize" it, and then it sat vacant in the 1980s. After a full restoration in 1993, it is now the elegant Magnolia Hotel.

 
 

18
Ideal Building / Denver National Bank Building

Built in 1907 for the Ideal Cement Co. (it was the first reinforced concrete tower west of the Mississippi), the building later became home to banks. The building features a facade of travertine marble and decorative carvings, and was fully restored to its original condition in the 1990s.

 
 

19
Boston Building

The Boston Building was completed in 1890 and designed by Andrews & Jacques. It features a combination of Renaissance Revival and Richardsonian Romanesque style elements and is clad in Colorado red sandstone.  The building was renovated in the 1990s as the Boston Lofts.

 
 

20
Colorado National Bank Building

The lower half of the Colorado National Bank building was built in 1915 in a neoclassical design featuring marble from the Colorado Yule Marble Company.  The upper half of the building was added as an addition in 1926 with a slightly more modern interpretation of the neoclassical base. 

 
 

21
Title Building / Railway Exchange Building

The chic Hotel Monaco is housed in a combination of two historic buildings: the 1917 Railway Exchange building that fronts along Champa Street, and the sleek 1937 Art Moderne Title Building at the corner.  Both were designed by Fisher & Fisher as companion buildings.

 
 

22
A.H. Ghost Building

The Ghost Building, built in 1889 and designed by William Lang, originally stood at the corner of 14th and Glenarm. In 1974, the building was disassembled and its facade's 1,700 stones placed in storage until 1984, when it was reconstructed at its present location at 18th and Stout. 

 
 

23
Trinity United Methodist Church

The Trinity Methodist Church was built in 1887 in a Gothic Revival style and designed by Robert Roeschlaub, Colorado's first licensed architect. The entire structure, including the steeple, is built of rhyolite from Castle Rock, CO, and features a stain-glass window by the Tiffany Company.

 
 

24
McClintock Building

The McClintock Building, designed by the team of Robert Willison and Montana Fallis, was built in 1911.  It features eclectic Gothic Revival elements, terra cotta ornamentation, and cast iron columns.  The building was restored in the late 1990s and includes retail and offices.

 
 

25
Hayden, Dickenson & Feldhauser Building

The Hayden, Dickenson & Feldhauser building was built in 1891 as a brick commercial structure. In 1909 it was expanded by the addition of several floors, and in 1937, it was given its terra cotta Art Deco facade and renamed the Colorado Building.

 
 

26
Phillip Feldhauser / Baldwin Building

The Feldhauser (Baldwin) building is the last remaining building in Downtown with a cast iron facade. This early 1900s Chicago Commercial style structure was restored and converted into residential condominiums in the late 1990s.

 
 

27
Filbeck Buidling

The Filbeck Building at 1527 Champa Street was built in 1917.  It was designed by Colorado architect John J. Huddart and over the years has housed the Champa Bar, the Changing Scene Theater, and is currently the home of the Bovine Metropolis Theater.

 
 

28
Roger & Son Mortuary / Yankee Dollar Building

The building at 1531 Champa was built in 1907 and served as the home for the I.N. Rogers & Son Mortuary for many years. More recently, the building housed the popular Yankee Dollar restaurant from 1977 until 2000.  The building still features an historic painted commercial sign.

 
 

29
Odd Fellows Hall

Built in 1889 as the lodge for the Odd Fellows fraternal organization, the structure was designed by architect Emmett Anthony and features a large stained glass window, a copula, and an eclectic mix of Italianate and Victorian elements.  The building was renovated in 1983.

 
 

30
Kistler Stationery Building

This building was home to the Kistler Stationery Co. from its construction in 1916 until 1966.  The Art Deco/ Commercial style building features glazed terra cotta pinnacles and other ornaments, and was designed by Harry Edbrooke. The building has since been converted to lofts.

 
 

31
Chamber of Commerce Building

This neoclassical building was built in 1910 and designed by Marean & Norton as the home to the Denver Chamber of Commerce. It was later covered with a metal facade and fell into disrepair, only to be faithfully restored in the late 1990s including the 400 electric lights in the facade.

 
 

32
Buerger Brothers Building

Elaborate Art Deco elements grace the facade of this 1929 building designed by architect Montana Fallis as the home to the Buerger Brothers Beauty Supply Company.  The building was renovated and converted into residential units in the late 1990s.

 
 

33
Denver Fire Clay Building

The original Denver Fire Clay Building was built in 1892. In 1937 it was gutted by fire and rebuilt as an annex to the Buerger Brothers Building next door and given a new streamlined Art Moderne facade in the process. A recent renovation has converted the building to residential lofts.

 
 

34
Baur Building

The Baur Building was built in 1886 for Baur's Candy Company, and later became the home of Baur's restaurant until the 1970s.  The structure has recently undergone a major renovation and restoration including the removal of a false front to reveal the original historic facade.

 
 

35
Paramount Theater Building

The Paramount Theater is a classic Art Deco movie theater built in 1930 and designed by architect Temple Buell. It features highly detailed white-glazed terra cotta ornamentation and stands as the only remaining historic movie house in Downtown Denver.

 
 

36
W.A. Hover & Company Building

The Hover Building was constructed in 1901 to house the offices and storerooms for the W. A. Hover wholesale drug company.  The structure was designed by Robert Roeschlaub and features an early Commercial style design. The building has been restored and houses a design studio.

 
 

37
A.T. Lewis New Building / Rio Grande Building

The A. T. Lewis New Building was built in 1917 as an annex to the firm's main building next door, and features terra cotta detailing in a mix of Commercial and Romanesque Revival styles. Frank Edbrooke was the architect.  The building received a full renovation into lofts in 1998.

 
 

38
A.T. Lewis & Sons Department Store Building

The A. T. Lewis & Son Department Store building was built in 1891 and later expanded in 1902. The structure was designed by Robert Roeschlaub and was home to dry goods stores until the 1970s. A recent renovation has returned dry goods retail to the historic structure.

 
 

39
A.E. Meek Trunk & Bag Company Building

The humble A. E. Meek Trunk & Bag Company Building was built in 1896 to house the retail function for this company originally founded in 1876.  The firm manufactured their products at a factory on the 2400 block of Curtis Street.  The building is currently vacant and in need of attention.

 
 

40
Brown Palace West / Comfort Inn Building

The current Downtown Comfort Inn was built in 1959 as the "Brown Palace West" and is still managed today by the historic hotel. The pinkish hue to this early modernist tower is meant to reflect the red sandstone of its historic neighbor. The two buildings are connected by a skybridge.

 
 

41
The Navarre

This Victorian structure was built in 1880 originally as the first co-ed college west of the Mississippi.  It later served as a gambling hall and brothel (the Navarre) and later as a Western Art museum. It currently houses the private art collection of Denver billionaire Philip Anshutz.

 
 

42
Steel Building / Fontius Building

The Steel Building was built in 1923 to house the new Steel's Department Store. More recently, the building was home to Fontius Shoes until the late 1980s.  Since then, the handsome building with muted Art Deco elements has sat vacant and in disrepair due to the negligent property owner.  

 
 

43
Masonic Temple Building

The Masonic Building was built in 1889 and designed by Frank Edbrooke in a Romanesque style. The building was gutted by fire in 1985 leaving only its stone exterior walls.  A thorough reconstruction and renovation followed, bringing it back as one of Denver's finest historic buildings.

 
         
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