Molly Brown House Museum


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Saving Places


As Denver’s leading community-driven voice for historic places, Historic Denver Inc. seeks to safeguard the soul of our city through education and engagement, to protect and honor Denver’s unique identity for all generations.

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  • a man, john deffenbaugh, standing in front of historic building

Historic Denver names John Deffenbaugh new CEO

CURRENT ISSUES Historic Denver Names John Deffenbaugh CEO Back to archive Historic Denver names John Deffenbaugh new CEO Historic Denver, Inc. today named John Deffenbaugh its president and CEO. Deffenbaugh will oversee advocacy and operations for the 53-year-old nonprofit and its flagship property, the Molly Brown House Museum.  Deffenbaugh brings nearly 20 years of experience on architectural, urban and creative design projects in the United States and the U.K., including past positions with city governments, design consultancies and property-ownership teams.  “John is a dynamic leader and a thoughtful urbanist with a passion for historic preservation and community engagement,” said John Lucero, chair of the Historic Denver Board of Trustees. “Historic Denver is a community-driven voice for historic places, and a leader in place-based storytelling, preservation and education. We are thrilled to bring him on to lead our organization at this pivotal time in our city.” In his new role, Deffenbaugh intends to focus the organization on sensitive, targeted and [...]

  • a white government building with columns

Candidates talk preservation, growth in lead-up to April election

CURRENT ISSUES Denver Municipal Election Back to archive Mayor and Council Candidates on Preservation, Growth The 2023 municipal election is upon us, with ballots due by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4. Historic Denver does not endorse any candidate. However, we are keenly aware of the influence a mayor and city council members can have on policies related to our built environment and our historic and cultural treasures, and we are watching the election closely. With this in mind, Historic Denver queried the candidates regarding the issues we know you care about, such as preservation, sustainability, and the intersection of historic buildings and affordable housing. With support from the CU-Denver College of Architecture and Planning's "Politics of Preservation" class, Historic Denver sent questions to those running for city council and mayor, using their publicly available email addresses. Recipients received the questionnaire, as well as two reminder emails, over a 10-day period. Of the 17 candidates for mayor and 40 [...]

  • red brick mansion with white columns

Historic City Park West Mansion Saved From Demolition

CURRENT ISSUES 1741 Gaylord St. Back to archive 1902 Building Designed By Architects of Denver Union Station to Become Local Landmark In February 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. On March 21, 2023, A Denver City Council committee advanced the landmark application to the full council, where it was unanimously approved on April 24. 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, [...]

In Memoriam: Joe Sokolowski

CURRENT ISSUES In Memoriam: Joe Sokolowski Back to archive We celebrated the life of our former walking tour guide, friend and Denver historian Joe Sokolowski last Sunday at the Wings Over the Rockies. In celebration of his many accomplishments, here is a memoriam article that originally appeared in Historic Denver News. In Memoriam: Joe Sokolowski By Leah M. Charney, Historic Denver News Managing Editor and Tour Guide Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Joe Sokolowski or was lucky enough to take one of his waling tours might rattle off the following adjectives: smart, loyal, warm, generous, funny. That last one served him well during the 2019 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference when he entertained a busload of 55 who were temporarily trapped on a bridge over I-25. The day before, the mercury had maxed out at 83 degrees. By Thursday morning it was 19 and snowy – the largest October temperature swing on record. While I quietly [...]

Historic Denver Names Interim President & CEO

CURRENT ISSUES Historic Denver Names Interim President & CEO Back to archive Historic Denver has named Andrea Burns interim president and CEO. A Denver-based communications consultant, Burns has a background in managing communications on historic preservation, city planning, real estate and redevelopment. Her experience includes serving as communications director for Denver Community Planning and Development and the city’s landmark preservation office, and as the National Western Center’s chief marketing officer. Burns will lead the nonprofit on an interim basis as the Historic Denver Board of Trustees continues its search for a permanent president and CEO. “This is a dynamic time in our city, and one in which Historic Denver is deeply engaged in advocacy, educational programs and preservation projects,” said John Lucero, chair of the Historic Denver Board of Trustees. “Bringing Andrea on during this critical time of transition for our organization will help us ensure we continue to deliver on our mission.” As one of the nation’s premier [...]

West Side – Exploring a Jewish Cultural Historic District

CURRENT ISSUES West Side Jewish Historic Cultural District Back to archive West Denver neighbors exploring potential historic district focused on Jewish history, culture In 2021, a handful of residents from Denver’s West Side began exploring the possibility of applying to the city designation of a local historic district that would reflect and preserve the cultural history of Jewish immigrants in the area. A view of Winona Ct, a street included in the potential district boundaries, north of W. Colfax Ave. the house with the fence around is 1565 Winona Court. Photograph by Ron Sladek. The residents partnered with Historic Denver, Denver City Council members Amanda Sandoval (District 1) and Jamie Torres (District 3), and Congregation Zera Abraham synagogue near WeSloan’s Lake. The group enlisted the services of Tatanka Historical Associates to research and prepare materials about the potential district. The group has also partnered with the Rose Community Foundation. Why It Matters East Europeans of Jewish descent [...]

Our Story, Our Work

In the 1970s, Denver’s historic structures faced demolition in alarming numbers. In true pioneer spirit, a group of citizens created Historic Denver Inc. to save one of our city’s most celebrated historic homes: the Molly Brown House Museum. This flagship example of our mission allows us to connect the past and present. With the support of our members, our work to safeguard the soul of the city continues at the Museum, through our diverse and engaging programs, technical resources, and through our advocacy for the historic places you love. 

Engage and Experience

Step into Historic Denver through our programs, events and exhibits that educate, entertain and inspire community engagement. Explore a historic neighborhood on our Walking Tours. Take a guided tour or see an exhibit at our Molly Brown House Museum. Attend a Re(garding) Denver forum to discuss current preservation topics. Volunteer for our Discover Denver survey to learn about our city’s unique buildings. Support Historic Denver and the Museum at our Annual Awards Dinner. Through our extensive offerings, you’ll learn the full story of our city’s past and the challenges facing its preservation today.

Saving Places

Historic Denver works with property owners, neighborhoods and partners to create preservation solutions that sustain and strengthen our communities. Take advantage of our experience and expertise to care for your historic property or launch your community preservation project. We offer guidance in the form of technical assistance, contacts, tools and incentives. Our Action Fund catalyzes innovative community projects that enhance Denver’s authentic flavor.  Follow our Current Issues page to see the latest news about our advocacy work, or peruse our easements, preservation projects, historic district designation, and demolition review information. Need help at home? We offer a Contractor Resource list exclusively for our members.