Every building has a story. And you can help tell those stories through a new website launched by Discover Denver, a project to identify historic and architecturally significant structures across the city. Discover Denver invites the public to share and explore stories about Denver’s buildings.
“We invite anyone with a story to tell to share it at DiscoverDenver.CO,” said Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver, Inc. “Maybe a building was owned by your family for generations, or was an important gathering place for your community. We want to capture and catalog its role in Denver’s history, no matter how big or small.”
The website offers an interactive map that lets users post stories and background about specific buildings, including photos and documents. Additionally, the map features photos and histories of some of the buildings Discover Denver has surveyed. The map will be continually updated as Discover Denver and members of the general public add information to it.
Denver joins other cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tulsa, that are conducting building surveys. The benefits of building surveys include uncovering buildings of historic and architectural significance, providing property owners and real estate agents up-front information about buildings to inform reinvestment and sale decisions, equipping city planners with information about historic resources when creating neighborhood plans and bolstering civic pride and heritage tourism.
The site’s Discoveries section features findings and reports compiled from past survey areas, including midcentury modern buildings in Harvey Park, pre-war residences in Park Hill and Berkeley, and streetcar commercial districts in Globeville and Cole. New buildings will be added to the Discoveries page regularly. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite stories that are currently featured.
A Bakery That “Shines”
Meikleham House, 2709 W. 27th Avenue, Jefferson Park Neighborhood
The 1912 home of William Meikleham, owner of the Old Homestead Bakery, was designed by T. Robert Wieger. Wieger also worked with F. O. Stanley to design the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, known for serving as Stephen King’s inspiration for “The Shining.” The bakery was located behind the home and shipped bread as far away as New Mexico.
A $2,200 Bargain
4036 Adams Street, Elyria Swansea Neighborhood
There was a concentration of small dairies located in the North Swansea area from the early 1900s through the 1950s, including the property at 4036 Adams Street, which was advertised in the 1908 Denver Post as a “good brick house … 6 full lots on the corner, barn, sheds, trees, new windmill and elevated tank, good well, nice mountain view; big bargain at $2,200.”
A Building in Support of Learning
Elmira Apartments, 2846 Federal Boulevard, Jefferson Park Neighborhood
Built in 1924, the Elmira Apartments were owned by the George W. Clayton Trust from 1932 to 1982. During that time, rent helped support a local orphanage, the George W. Clayton College located on Colorado Boulevard. The Clayton legacy of helping children of limited opportunity succeed lives on today, as the Clayton College campus is now home to Clayton Early Learning.
Visit Discover Denver to learn more about Denver’s past—building by building.