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The Downtown Denver Historic District is the only non-contiguous historic district in the city- that's why its called the chocolate chip cookie district- the contributing buildings are the chocolate chips, spread throughout the Central Business District.

Historic Denver supports project involving the Kistler Building



On September 17th Historic Denver testified at a public hearing at the Landmark Preservation Commission to endorse a significant new project in the Downtown Historic District involving the Kistler Building, located at 1640 Champa Street. The project involves the construction of a new, high-rise tower straddling the center of the block above the back portion of the Kistler Building, which will be partially removed. After several meetings and a tour of the site, Historic Denver’s Preservation Committee chose to support the project because we believe it can have a positive impact on an important downtown block and enhance the overall condition of the Kistler Building.

Historic Denver's Preservation Committee spent significant time analyzing the project, the building, and the Downtown Historic District at large.  After discussion on July 11 and a site visit on July 30, the committee decided to endorse the project as presented with the conditions listed below. These conditions have been communicated to the project’s leaders and conversations are forthcoming regarding the action items. 

• The front (Champa Street) fifty-feet of the Kistler Building will be retained and structurally secured during construction.

• The front (Champa Street) façade will be carefully and reasonably restored to its original design and grandeur, including the installation of recreated windows and terra cotta details, including the terra cotta band above the entrances. We understand the details of this restoration will be developed as the project progresses and have asked to remain involved in the conversation.

• Added protection will be put in place for the remaining portion of the Kistler Building, which can best be achieved through a preservation easement.

• While certainly limited, intact original features of the Kistler Building, such as the cast iron egress stairs located towards the front of the Kistler Building, will be reused if possible.

• The exterior facades and intact interior details of the Boston Building, an individually designated landmark, will be protected during the adjacent construction, and the interior courtyard facades will be preserved and enhanced. We further understand that additional enhancements will likely be made to the Boston Building as part of this project, and that these improvements are intended to improve the appearance and more closely honor the original presence of the building. We expect to remain involved in those conversations as well. 

Historic Denver was a major proponent of the Downtown Historic District, and at the time of its formation acknowledged that it is unique, non-contiguous, and designed to accommodate additional development as is appropriate for a central business district. Therefore we do not believe this project sets a precedent related to the treatment of contributing structures outside the district. Additionally, due to the unique context and circumstances of the Kistler Building we do not believe the alterations to the Kistler Building set a precedent for other contributors in the district. Each project involving a historic structure is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits, and Historic Denver evaluates major projects on a case-by-case basis before choosing to take a position.