Attempt to save 1902 building designed by architects of Denver Union Station goes to Denver City Council
UPDATE: On March 21, 2023, A Denver City Council committee advanced the landmark application to the full council for its April 24, 5:30 p.m. public hearing.
On Feb. 7, 2023, three City Park West residents applied to designate the Dutch Colonial Revival mansion at 1741 Gaylord St. as a landmark, following the real estate developer/owner’s request for a certificate of demolition eligibility from the city. The residents applied for landmark designation after a mediation period during which the developer and neighborhood advocates were unable to reach an agreement.
Why It Matters
This building’s history and architecture are integral to the context of its block and its neighborhood. Built in 1902 by renowned Denver architects Gove & Walsh (designers of Denver Union Station), 1741 Gaylord St. — also known as the Hurlbut House — is a significant, unique and particularly grand-scale example of the Dutch Colonial Revival style in Denver. The house represents the second main expansion of Denver eastward into the streetcar suburbs. At 7,000 square feet it was one of the largest homes in City Park West at the turn of the 20th century, and remains one of the largest mansions from this time period still in the neighborhood. The structure has changed little since its construction, retaining many of its original features, materials and design elements. The building is in exceptional condition and is zoned for use as housing, office or commercial space. Learn more about the building in the landmark application.
Historic Denver’s Role
Historic Denver is supportive of the effort to preserve 1741 Gaylord St. A group of community representatives who live in the neighborhood see the building’s historic and architectural value and want to see the structure preserved. Historic Denver has served as a resource to the community in its efforts and was invited to join mediation in hopes of supporting an agreement between the developer and neighbors for the sale or preservation of the property. We helped to explore options that would meet the needs of the developer (who is building a project on the next lot) as well as the community. When mediation proved unsuccessful, Historic Denver assisted the community in drafting the designation application.
The house is one of the largest turn-of-the-century mansions still standing in City Park West. The house represents the second main expansion of Denver eastward starting around 1900 as the economy recovered from the Panic of 1893; at that time many residents moved into the “streetcar suburbs” as more rail lines made intra-city travel easier.
The original owner, Edward Holmes Hurlbut, along with his father, Edward Kirk Hurlbut, started a wholesale and retail grocery store in the 1890s shortly after they came to Denver. It grew into a chain of stores known throughout the West, and both men were recognized as leading businessmen in early 20th century Denver. When Edward K died in 1907, his obituary ran on the cover of the Denver Post.
The mansion was built in 1902 at a cost of $15,000 by local architects Gove & Walsh, and it was built to a grander scale than many Dutch Colonial structures. The house features a prominent front gable which is unique for the style, especially combined with the Gambrel Roof (known to many as a “barn roof”). Gove & Walsh also designed Denver Union Station and several buildings in Denver’s Lower Downtown Historic District, including the J. S. Brown Mercantile Building, the Sugar Building and the Peters Paper Company Warehouse. The firm also designed residences, apartments and schools, including the Alameda-Byers School in the Baker Historic District.
Denver’s City Park West neighborhood has been undergoing a transformation in recent years. Newer, multifamily developments are increasingly interspersed alongside old mansions (which also often serve as multifamily housing or office space). The area plan for this neighborhood encourages adaptive reuse of old mansions, and this building was most recently home to the offices of Judi’s House, a nonprofit.
The neighbors’ landmark application seeks to protect only the building itself and would allow for other development on the site in line with city codes.
On March 7, 2023, the Landmark Preservation Commission approved sending the designation for 1741 Gaylord St. to Denver City Council for final consideration. The commission heard overwhelming support from neighbors and other speakers at the hearing, including letters of support from the City Park West, Whittier and Capitol Hill United Neighbors (CHUN) neighborhood associations.
The application will likely go to Denver City Council for a final decision. Here’s how you can advocate for the designation of this building:
- Write to Denver City Council by emailing email@example.com; your message will be included in a packet for all council members, and all council members will vote. (The building is in city council district 9, represented by Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca. In April 2023 after redistricting it will be in district 10, represented by Councilman Chris Hinds.)
- Alternatively, you can contact your own city council representative or all members directly.
- Attend the April 24 Denver City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. in person or via Zoom to speak in support of the designation.
- If you are interested in purchasing the property to preserve and adaptively reuse it, please contact Michael Flowers of Historic Denver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated March 17, 2023