Architect: Alexander Cazin; 1910 Addition and Remodel by Maurice B. Biscoe and Henry H. Hewitt; 1924 Addition and Remodel by Jules Jacques Benois Benedict
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Baron Walter von Richthofen built a castle in 1887 on land that was located far east of Denver in a “desert.” The castle was designed by Alexander Cazin and modeled after one of the von Richthofen family’s European estates. The castle is designated both a national and local landmark.
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The Löf House
Architect: James M. Hunter
This Usonian gem is located in Cherry Hills and is thought to be the first solar house in Colorado. Designed as a collaboration between renowned architect James M. Hunter and solar design expert and engineer George Löf, this house utilizes many solar innovations. Löf resided here until his death in 2009.
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The Colorado National Bank Building Set for Reuse
17th & Champa Street Original Construction Date: 1915
Architects: Fisher and Fisher
On December 15, 2009 Stonebridge Companies purchased the Colorado National Bank Building. Historic Denver, Inc. and others had been significantly concerned that the iconic building had stood vacant for many years. Stonebridge plans to adaptively reuse the building as a hotel, which will allow the public access to the Allen Tupper True murals and the spectacular lobby area. Read the Denver Post Article
During the summer of 2009, Historic Denver documented the condition of the building, which is a contributing structure in the Downtown Denver Historic District.
The Colorado National Bank Building History: Excerpt from Denver the City Beautiful by Barbara Norgren and Tom Noel
Among Denver's Neoclassical temples, the Colorado National Bank at 17th and Champa Street is second only to the Post Office. Fisher and Fisher prepared more than 135 pages of typed specifications and 44 architectural drawings on waxed linen paper for this classical 1915 composition in snow-white Colorado Yule marble. With typical thoroughness, the Fishers specified pure marble, containing not less than 96 percent pure carbonate of lime...free from stains, heavy markings, large cloud streaks, discolorations or other imperfections. They insisted that the quarry provide three markable samples showing the extreme variations of material that would be furnished and required full sized plaster models for all ornamental work ...by skilled modelers selected by the architects.
The Fishers also required the contractor, the Seerie Brothers, to provide weekly construction photos to document construction, which began with a seven-foot-thick slab of reinforced concrete 35 feet deep. Fluted marble columns with Ionic capitals covered the steel frame of this four-story structure built to sustain an additional eight stories. Bronze window grilles and doors opened on a marble interior with a grand, skylighted lobby rimmed by offices.
In 1926, Merrill Hoyt, the supervising architect for the Fishers' 1915 core building, and his younger brother Burnham designed an addition along Champa Street, a flawless match indistinguishable from the original. The Hoyts also commissioned Allen True, the master muralist, to paint his "Indians Memories" series as the piece de resistance of the interior decor. These huge murals, in muted, dreamy colors, depict Plains Indian life bfore the white man arrived. They culminate in the large rear entry where an arched mural shows a dead indian being lifted into the Happy Hunting Ground. Within its setting of classical architecture, the romantic tribute to the Native Americans takes on the air of Greek art depicting a mythical past.
Remembering the Fishers' plans from a structure study enough for an eight-story addition, Colorado National Bank added several stories in 1964. Rather than match the 1915 Greek temple, as the Hoyts so successfully did in 1926, this addition was a contemporary design with complementary lines and materials, but a stark contrast in style.
Classicism was likewise the overriding theme for the Temple of Commerce erected at 1726 Champa in 1910 by the Denver Chamber of Commerce. Home town architects, Marean and Norton designed the brick and white terra cotta facade rising five stories to a temple-like penthouse. The now-altered lower stories originally featured an arched entrance with broad storefront windows on either side.
"The Colorado National Bank name will go to sleep forever March 30, replaced that morning by U.S. Bank. The $5 billion bank was started in 1862 and has kept its original name all these years despite a series of mergers with Bank Western and Central Banks and an acquisition by First Bank System out of Minneapolis. First Bank couldn't use its name here because FirstBank Holding Co. of Lakewood already had a claim to it." - Denver Business Journal - March 25, 1998
For more information or to buy Denver - The City Beautiful, visit www.HistoricDenver.org