Capital Hill Walking Tour Training Materials

Hello 2017 Historic Denver Docents! This page has been created to host your reading assignments, post presentations from class and share additional information that may be helpful when giving the Capitol Hill Walking Tour!

back to docent resources
View the Capitol Hill training day schedule.

DAY 1 – Denver History

Click HERE to read “Gold” in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
Click HERE to read “Native Americans” in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
Click HERE to read “Town Building” in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
Click HERE to read excerpt from Phil Goodstein’s The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill, “The Rise of Capitol Hill” Introduction
Click HERE to download a digital copy of Molly Brown’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood Historic Denver Guidebook
* Please note a few corrections for the HD guidebook: If it has an “NR” next to the property it is listed on the “National Register of Historic Places” but is not a National Landmark.  Also, Ardelt’s on page 28, its historic name is Mauff’s. Please use the Mauff’s name when referring to the structure on your tour.
Click HERE for scanned pages of Cast in Stone: The Molly Brown House Revealed

Click HERE to view and print photographs of the buildings on the Capitol Hill Walking Tour.
Click HERE to view the presentation on Historic Denver History and Programs.
Click HERE to view the presentation on the History of Capitol Hill by Amy Zimmer.
Click HERE to read an article on Capitol Hill’s history on the Denver Public Library, Western History Resources online
Click HERE to view the Historic Landmark map for the City and County of Denver.

Historic Districts within Capitol Hill:
• Humboldt Street Historic District (1975)
• Quality Hill Historic District (1992)
• Wyman Historic District (1993)
• Pennsylvania Street Historic District (1997)
• Sherman-Grant Historic District (1997)

List of Books to read as other sources (optional):
Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis, Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel: This is the book where several readings are from and uploaded on the docent website
Denver: The City Beautiful and Its Architects, 1893-1941, Thomas J. Noel and Barbara S. Norgren
• At Denver Public Library, LIFE ON CAPITOL HILL, newspaper, from the 1970’s to present.
Denver’s Capitol Hill: one hundred years of life in a vibrant urban neighborhood, Phil Goodstein
• Amy Zimmer book, Images of America: Denver’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood
Smiley’s History of Denver, accessible on the DPL website:

DAY 2 – Architecture

HOMEWORK (to be completed before Day 3)
Click HERE to read Chapter 7 in The Good Guide: A Sourcebook for Interpreters, Docents, and Tour Guides
Click HERE to read an excerpt from How to be a Tour Guide: The essential training manual for Tour Managers and Tour Guides. Author: Nick Manning
Click HERE to read an excerpt from Personal Interpretation: Connecting Your Audience to Heritage Resources. Author: Lisa Brochu & Tim Merriman

Resources from Day 2 Training
Click HERE to download the HD Walking Tour “Introduction” Guidelines.
Click HERE to download the schedule for the groups and stops for which you will be assigned to present on Saturday February 11th, 25th, and March 4th.
Click HERE to download an extra copy of “How to Read a Building” form
The scanned copies of this worksheet (filled out by each of you), can be viewed HERE.

Power Point presentations on Architecture from the class:
Architectural Styles in Capitol Hill
Architectural Terms in Capitol Hill (the attachment I sent by email on 2/7)
Everyday Architecture
(Guest Speaker: Tom Sanders)
Mentioned in Tom’s presentation is the list of Colorado Architects. Click HERE to view this document
Summary of what an Easement is, click HERE.

National Register of Historic Places forms for some buildings along the tour & Historic Districts:

Sheedy Mansion:

Crawford Hill Mansion:

Dunning Benedict Mansion:
I found this website verifying that Walter Dunning’s father (Barton Dunning) did not found the town of Mount Ayr, but were the first settlers of the area, in 1855. His father, Barton, established the first post office in the town (not Walter Dunning). Source:

Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion: See this pdf document HERE.
And more info here….

Margaret Tobin Brown House: See this pdf document HERE.
Summary of the National Register of Historic Places listing:

Sherman Street Historic District (including Poet’s Row):

Pennsylvania Street Historic District (summary by Ruth Vanderkooi, Seasoned Docent): See this pdf document HERE.

Architects relevant to Capitol Hill Tour:
Click on the names below to learn more about the architect’s featured on our tour

William Lang
More information on Lang can be found here….
Isaac Hodgson
Charles Strong
William Pratt Feth
Frank Edbrook
Varian & Varian

List of Books to read as other sources (optional):
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, Matthew Frederick
Architecture Is Elementary, Nathan B. Winters
Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton. NPR segment on the book: (
The Queen City: A History of Denver, Lyle W. Dorsett
A Field Guide to American Houses, Virginia & Lee McAlester
(HERE is a scan of pages on architectural styles relevant to the Capitol Hill neighborhood)

Digital Library where you can find historic photographs:

DAY 3 – How to be a Great Docent

HOMEWORK (to be completed before Day 4):
Click HERE to read excerpt, “Streetcar Suburbs” in Denver Mining Camp to Metropolis
Click HERE to read an excerpt from The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill, “Streetcar Suburb”
Click HERE to read Historic Denver News article on Streetcars (Summer 2014)
Click HERE to download the Theme Building Worksheet. Please complete this worksheet before February 25th. This will help you to establish an underlying theme for your tour, while you continue to work on your tour stop presentations.
Click HERE for Instructions.

Power Point presentations:
Tour Guiding 101
Historic Preservation in Denver.

Other links of interest:
Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation: A Report to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, November 2011

PlaceEconomics, Donovan Rypkema:

“The Economic Power of Heritage and Place: How Historic Preservation is Building a Sustainable Future in Colorado”

DAY 4 – Streetcars & Building Materials

HOMEWORK (to be completed before Day 5):
Click HERE to read “Reinventing Downtown,” in Changing Places, page 178-200 is the most important part to read. Even though this does not directly talk about Capitol Hill, it is essential to understand how Downtown developed over the years, as well as the revitalization efforts to make it what it is today. This is important to understand for the development of Capitol Hill.

Power Point presentations:
Click HERE for Beth Glandon’s presentation on Streetcars

Click HERE to download the Official Route Map of the Denver Tramway Corp.

Click HERE for Diane Travis’s presentation, “Denver’s Building Materials and Methods 1860 – 1940” (Remember the top three building materials used in Denver are: #1 brick, #2 sandstone, #3 rhyolite)

Click HERE for a copy of the “Compare & Contrast” worksheet.

Click HERE to download a copy of the timeline of Denver and Colorado events and tour building construction dates.

Other links of interest:
This website has some good Tips for Tour Guides.

Dennis Sheedy’s Autobiography. These pages are pictures of the autobiography found on the 5th floor of DPL, and is separated into two sections. Please go to DPL if you want to read the full account, but this will give you an idea of Mr. Sheedy’s interesting life.
Click HERE & HERE for the two scans of Sheedy’s Autobiography.

DAY 5 – Changes in Capitol Hill & The People of Cap Hill

Power Point presentations:
Click HERE for the presentation on “The People of Capitol Hill”, created by Joe Sokolowski and presented by Shannon

People of Capitol Hill Handout, click HERE.

Click HERE for the presentation on “Changes in Capitol Hill over the years”

Tours and Ticketing & What’s Next?
Click HERE to view the PowerPoint presentation on Tours and Ticketing & What’s Next?

Articles to read:
Life on Capitol Hill article:

Click HERE & HERE to read a scanned excerpt about Agnes Leonard Hill’s Blue Book (from Curtis Park: Denver Neighborhood book, p. 8). Crawford Hill’s mother is Alice Hale Hill, not Agnes Leonard Hill. Alice ruled the social elite list, but did not create the first social register, as Agnes did.

Record of Edward Mauff:

Historic Denver Projects in Capitol Hill Handout:
Click HERE to view a handout on projects in Capitol Hill that Historic Denver has worked on.

Development in Denver
Do you ever wonder about all the construction taking place around Denver? The Denver Infill Blog features constant updates about infill projects across the city.

Certification Information

To understand some of the topics we will be looking for during certification, please click HERE.

For the Certification Evaluation form, click HERE.

Certification Schedule for Capitol Hill tour:

Shannon and/or Seasoned Docents will be certifying docents-in-training for Capitol Hill at
10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the following days:

Mon, April 10 @ 10:00am
Tues, April 11 @ 10:00am; 1:00pm
Wed, April 12 @ 10:00am; 1:00pm
Thurs, April 13 @ 10:00am
Fri, April 14 @ 10:00am
Sat, April 15 @ 9:00am; 1:00pm

Mon, April 17 @ 10:00am; 1:00pm
Tues, April 18 @ 10:00am; 1:00pm

This will be first come first serve, so email ASAP if you have a limited schedule. Please email Shannon with the day and time that works best for you no later than March 17th.

Additional Materials on specific buildings & People:

Penn Garage
Click HERE for a photograph
Click HERE for an article on Fritchle electric car.

Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion

2013 Mayor’s Design Award on Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion:

Crawford Hill Mansion
Life on Capitol Hill article about the Crawford Hill and Louise Sneed Hill.

Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion

Poet’s Row

Denver Post article, “Denver residents well-versed in Poets Row”

Click HERE for a photograph

Keating Mansion (Capitol Hill B & B)

John Tilden:


***NOTE:  Parking at designated Molly Brown House Museum Parking Spaces:
Walking Tour docents can use any of the spaces 28-30 and 34-40 on the weekends as long as no one is already using them. If those spaces are taken (say, Molly Brown House has an event one Saturday) you CANNOT park in other spaces in the lot or Historic Denver may get fined or you may get towed. Please attain a parking pass from Shannon to place in your dashboard window.

2017 Denver Events schedule that may affect your tour, please click HERE.

Click HERE to see VISIT Denver’s website. VISIT Denver Address: 1575 California St, Denver, CO 80202. We advertise with Visit Denver, and they have our Walking Tour Rack Cards at their locations around town.

Water Table v. Foundation
Water Table versus Foundation – you will use the term “foundation” when referring to that part of the building here in Denver. A Water Table is usually a projecting course of masonry on a building that deflects water running down the face of a building and away from the lower portion of the foundation. The term Water Table is more likely used in the Midwest, South and Northeast when buildings have to incorporate more features to deal with increased water in their ground and air. In Colorado we do have some water, but it is a dryer climate than other parts of the country.

Poet’s Row and Sherman Historic District
Charlotte Rocha did some research on Poet’s Row, which is sourced from the Sherman Historic District (which is posted earlier on this page). You can see Charlotte’s research HERE.

Homestead Act of 1862

Please see a little more detail at this website, click HERE.
“Signed into law in May 1862, the Homestead Act opened up settlement in the western United States, allowing any American, including freed slaves, to put in a claim for up to 160 free acres of federal land.” – copied from the website linked above. Land was free as long as they paid a small registration fee (don’t know how much), and cultivated the land (building a small cabin of required minimum size) and lived on it for 5 straight years. You could acquire a Title for your land after 6-months residency and trivial improvement on the land, if you paid $1.25 per acre.
More detailed information can be found here,

History behind the Gold & Silver Standard

This is to give you a general understanding behind the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the Repeal of it in 1893. (Do not use this as a primary source, but it gives a good overview of the history)

Also look at:

Oriental Architecture
It is correct to refer to architecture as Oriental, because it is still used as a term when referring to or explaining architecture from Asian countries. You can see the explanation of Oriental Architecture in this pdf scan from A Field Guide to American Architecture. See HERE.
If you do not feel comfortable referring to architecture as “oriental” you can say Asian-inspired architecture.

Henry M. Porter House, 975 Grant Street
You can use this information that Ruth Vanderkooi researched as talking points while you are waiting at the light by the Colburn Hotel. It is directly diagonal across the street when you stand at the Northeast corner. There is a map in this document showing where the house is.
Click HERE to read about the home. It is also on page 72 of the Molly Brown’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood book.

Robinson House, 1225 Pennsylvania Street
This information was gathered last year by Lisa Curtis, and used as information to talk about along the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Street, before Dunning-Benedict House and the Keating Mansion. You can use this if you want, or need somethign to say along this block. But it is NOT a required stop. Click HERE to read more. You can also read more on page 18 of the Molly Brown’s Capitol Hill Neighborhood book.

Pennborough stop: The architect of the original two homes, David Dodge and Joseph Gilluly, is E. Gregory (Source: The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill, Phil Goodstein, Page 103-104).