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Denver boasts over 300 individual landmarks and nearly 50 historic districts!

SECOND EMPIRE BAROQUE (1859-1870s)

The Second Empire Baroque style gets its name from the architecture popular during the reign of Napoleon III (1852-1870), whose building campaign transformed Paris. The first major project was the remodeling of the Louvre (1852-1857), which brought back into vogue the roof forms of French architect Fran?ois Mansart. The distinctive Mansart, or mansard, roof became the hallmark of the Second Empire Baroque style. The first major Second Empire building in the United States was the Corcoran Gallery (1859-1861) in Washington, D.C., by James Renwick. It was used extensively in public buildings; especially federal buildings constructed during Ulysses S. Grant’s administration, hence the name General Grant style.

Second Empire Baroque was considered to be the most modern style of its time. Expositions in Paris in 1855 and 1867 helped to spread its popularity, as well as mass production of cast-iron ornament and columns, and it predominated in U.S. buildings constructed in the years immediately following the Civil War. The hallmark mansard roof is often missing in Denver because of the difficulty of constructing it; Denver, still a provincial town, lacked the expertise to building the more elaborate versions. The Crawford Building (1875) at 1439 Larimer Street is probably one of the most notable surviving sans-Mansart Second Empire Baroque buildings in Denver. In the 9th Street Park Historic District, the John E. Witte House (1883) at 1027 9th Street and the Stephen Knight House (1885) at 1015 9th Street, with their mansard roofs intact, are typical Second Empire Baroque residences in Denver. The Tivoli Brewery (1890) at 1342 10th Street, by Frederick C. Eberley can also be considered Second Empire with its mansard roof.

Defining characteristics:

• Mansard roof
• Baroque details
• Vigorously articulated façade
• Multiple Columns