Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Historic Preservation category.

Lower Downtown: Dairy Block Update #8

Workers are making good progress on the Dairy Block project in Lower Downtown Denver. Our last update was about two months ago, so let’s check in on this major project.

Below is an updated ground-floor plan, courtesy of McWhinney, the project developer. The yellow areas are retail/restaurant spaces. As you can see, Dairy Block will add a substantial amount of retail space to Lower Downtown, including numerous stores that will front the project’s pedestrian alley and Blake Street passage (blue). The reddish area in the upper right at 19th and Wazee is the project’s hotel, and the entries to the upper-level office spaces are in green. The block of yellow in the lower right at 19th and Blake is the historic Windsor Farm Dairy building, and the block of yellow in the lower left at 18th and Blake are also historic properties. Those historic buildings’ ground-floor spaces will be reconfigured to provide entries facing the street, the alley, and the Blake Street passage.


Let’s start at 18th and Wazee and work our way clockwise around the block.

Approaching the Wazee/18th Street intersection, with Coors Field two blocks beyond:


The corner of Wazee and 18th:


In the center of the Wazee block face—the area above the blue dumpster—is the main entry for the upper-floor offices.


Moving closer to 19th Street, we see the main entry to the Dairy Block’s hotel component, known as The Maven, an independent property managed by Denver’s Sage Hospitality. Note the difference in floor-to-ceiling heights between hotel uses (left) and office uses (right). Here’s an updated rendering of The Maven, courtesy of Johnson Nathan Strohe, the hotel architect.



Now at the corner of 19th and Wazee, we see The Maven is almost topped out.


Along the 19th Street side of the project, we get a good view of the pedestrian shopping alley and how the office floors span across the alley to connect to the project’s new Blake Street building.


The Blake Street building is the furthest along. Here are three views, moving from 19th Street toward 18th Street, of the new building’s integration with the adjacent historic properties.




From the corner of 18th and Blake, we look back at where we started: the 6-story office component at 18th and Wazee.


The Dairy Block will provide a major infusion of pedestrian activity and energy to a part of LoDo that’s been fairly dead (blame: surface parking lots). Here’s a final overview rendering, courtesy of Shears Adkins Rockmore:


Let’s wrap this up with two final images I took about 10 days ago from Coors Field that nicely illustrate the Dairy Block’s contribution to the healing and enhancement of Lower Downtown’s urban fabric.



We’ll check in again on Dairy Block’s construction progress this summer.

New Lower Downtown Project: 1701 Blake Hotel

Denver-based hotel developer Stonebridge Companies is planning a seven-story, 202-room hotel for the corner of 17th and Blake street. The project includes a small addition to the rear of the adjacent historic building at 1725 Blake and functionally incorporates that structure with the new hotel while maintain the historic building’s integrity and its Blake Street facade. Stonebridge’s recent hotel projects in Downtown Denver include the conversion of the historic Colorado National Bank building into a Marriott Renaissance and the adaptive reuse of an old Xcel Energy building into a dual-branded Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites.

Here’s a Google Earth aerial showing the project location at 1701 Blake:


The project was first reviewed by the Lower Downtown Design Review Board in November and received approval, with conditions, for mass and scale. The next round before the LDDRB—design detail review—is planned for February 4. All of the following images are from the project’s application materials submitted to the LDDRB for the February 4 meeting. Consequently, these images do not necessarily represent the project’s final design and are subject to further modification and refinement, with additional development review and approvals by the city planning office still to come. The project designer is Newman Architects.

View looking north at the corner, with 17th Street on the left and Blake Street on the right:



Here’s the same angle from Google Street View, showing the site’s current condition as a gaping hole in LoDo’s urban fabric:


The hotel’s porte cochere will be located where the new structure and the historic building meet, with vehicles entering from Blake and exiting via the alley. The development includes two levels of underground parking for approximately 75 vehicles. This next image, the ground floor plan, shows the porte cochere location and other ground-floor uses such as the hotel lobby/lounge and leased space for restaurant/retail in both the new and historic structures:


The upper floors of the new hotel building include a light well that allows the placement of hotel rooms around all four sides of the site. The second and third floors of the adjacent historic building will contain the hotel’s ballroom and meeting rooms. The small addition behind the historic building adds space for a fitness center on the second level and a conference room on the third. Here’s the plan for the second floor:


This view of the Blake Street side shows how the new structure’s urban form thoughtfully responds to its historic neighbor through the use of step downs from the corner and a step back on the upper levels. Vertical glass curtain wall elements above both the 17th Street and Blake Street pedestrian entries help break up the building’s massing, while the separate use of tan and gray brick on the Blake Street side also contributes to the appearance of smaller connected buildings similar in width to the historic 1725 Blake structure.


Overall, this is an exciting project for Denver! It eradicates an ugly surface parking lot and fills a void in LoDo’s urban fabric. Along with two other major infill projects in the heart of Lower Downtown—Market Station and the Dairy Block—the new 1701 Blake hotel will bring significant new pedestrian activity and vitality to the heart of LoDo.

New Five Points-Curtis Park Project: The Rossonian

Today you get two posts in one day from your friendly DenverInfill contributor. Since November 4th, I have had ‘The Rossonian’ sitting in my drafts waiting for final renderings and details. Seven months later, we can finally announce the project here on DenverInfill, with credible details!

Located at 2650 Welton Street, there is a bold vision to redevelop the site around the Rossonian Hotel while incorporating the original structure, built in 1912. According to the Five Points Business District, Tim Walsh of Confluence Companies announced the project specifications back in April. This development will feature 105 guestrooms, two resturants, a jazz club, fitness center, 60,000 square feet of collaborative office space, and 152 public parking spaces. Below is a rendering of The Rossonian project, courtsey of the Five Points Business District.


Here are some front and back photos of The Rossonian site. Some demolition will be needed to make way for the 8-story structure behind the 3-story historic hotel.

2014-11-14_Rossonian-01 2014-11-14_Rossonian-02

When I took these pictures back in October, fall-time was in peak and Denver was truly shining that day. Here is a bonus picture with all things city-like: trains, great urban fabric, and skyscrapers.


A construction timeline has yet to be announced but the ball is rolling as companies are lined up to make this project happen. We will keep you updated as we get more details!

New Union Station Project: Hilton Garden Inn

A new hotel is coming to Downtown Denver’s booming Union Station district.

Denver-based Focus Property Group is planning to build a 12-story Hilton Garden Inn on their property at 20th Street and Chestnut Place. The new hotel will have an L-shaped footprint that wraps around the historic Denver Hose Company No. 1 building that will be fully restored and incorporated as part of the project. Here’s a Google Earth aerial on which I’ve outlined the approximate location of the new hotel development:


The floors in the tower’s base will contain the lobby and registration areas, banquet and meeting rooms, a fitness center, and other hotel amenities. The tower’s upper floors will contain approximately 200 hotel rooms. Parking will be accommodated on two underground levels, and the hotel will also include a swimming pool and a rooftop lounge. Here is a rendering of the preliminary design, courtesy of JG Johnson Architects:


A really exciting component of this development is the restoration of the historic Denver Hose Company No. 1 building, which sits right at the corner of 20th and Chestnut. Built in 1883, the small 3,224 square foot structure served the Denver Fire Department until the early 1920s, after which it became a print shop and later on a welding shop. The building has been vacant and deteriorating for years, but in order for a full restoration and reuse to be economically viable, it had to be included as part of a larger project. Fortunately, that time has finally arrived. The Hilton Garden Inn’s restaurant will make its home in the historic building.

Here are a few photos from my recent tour of the site, thanks to Josh from Focus Properties. First, the outside of the Hose Company No. 1 building:



The Denver Hose Company No. 1 building is a designated Denver Historic Landmark, so the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission must give its approval to the project. So far, the LPC has approved the mass and scale of the new tower, with additional approvals for both the new construction and the restoration of the historic building still to come. The inside of the old building is currently kind of dark and scary, but one day in the near future it will be a beautiful, light-filled restaurant space.


A non-historic building, currently occupied by Home Run Self Storage, is also present on the site. The part of this non-historic building next to the historic Hose Company building will be demolished to make way for the new Hilton Garden Inn and its porte-cochere, while the part closer the middle of the block will remain on an interim basis and be leased as office space. Focus Property Group, which owns the entire block except for the Xcel Energy electric substation and a few slivers of right-of-way owned by the city near the railroad tracks, will ultimately build three projects on the block, all facing Chestnut Place. After the Hilton Garden Inn, the second project would occupy roughly the middle third of the block and would replace the remaining part of the non-historic building. One concept for the second project that Focus is considering is to build another hotel that could share the porte-cochere with the Hilton Garden Inn. The third project, perhaps an office building, would occupy the larger rectangular site at the 19th Street corner.

The proposed Hilton Garden Inn project schedule calls for the (partial) demolition of the Home Run Self Storage building this coming spring 2015, with construction on the hotel and restoration of the historic building getting underway by summer 2015. Completion of the project is targeted for late 2016.

We’ll keep you updated on this exciting project as the hotel design is refined and we get closer to construction!

Denver Union Station: Final Update – After Dark

This is it. The last ‘final update’ of the incredible Denver Union Station project. Today, we will be looking at each element of this project at night. Denver Union Station is great to see during the daytime, but it’s even better when the sun is down and the lights are on! So whether you are…

A kid (or adult) playing in the fountains at Wynkoop Plaza…

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-01 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-02

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-03 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-04

An observer watching the fountains from above…

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-05 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-WP-06

A passenger catching the California Zephyr headed for Chicago…

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-CRT-03 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-CRT-02

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-CRT-04 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-CRT-01

Or a passenger getting off the California Zephyr in Denver …

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-HS-02 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-HS-01

And are having your first drink at the Terminal Bar….


Or a late night commuter taking the light rail home, or to work…

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-LRT-04 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-LRT-03

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-LRT-01 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-LRT-02

Or a pedestrian, talking a night stroll through the city…

2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-Final-02 2014-08-03_DUSAfterDark-Final-01

This is what you see. Brilliant lights, illuminating a grand project. As I’ve said many times in the past: Union Station, you look absolutely incredible. I and many others are very happy with the outcome and are looking forward to the many great decades ahead!

Denver Union Station: Final Update – A Look Back

I didn’t start posting on Denver Union Station until Update 103, when construction of the project was in full swing. Before that, Rick Anstey was the Denver Union Station guru and avid poster. At the time Update 103 came out, the underground bus facility was capped from Chestnut to Wewatta, the old light rail station was long gone, the parking lots were torn up along Wynkoop Street, and construction for the North Wing Building had just started. It was still a whole different story than it is today; there was still a lot of dirt and not much vertical construction, as everything was still underground. In this post every ‘before’ picture will be accompanied by a present day photo. Let’s begin!

UnionStation8.10.5 2014-07-27_DUSGO-07

UnionStation8.10.6 2014-07-27_DUSGO-14

UnionStation8.10.4 2014-05-10_SouthWing-03

Update 103 was also the last time we had a look inside the historic station. Remember Ken’s Union Station tours? That particular day attracted a large crowd as he and Dana Crawford discussed the future of the historic station.

UnionStation8.10.2 2014-07-27_DUSGO-13

Fast forward to Update 105 and 106. I had my first hard hat tour of the project, which was very exciting for both DenverInfill readers and me personally. The foundation for the canopy had just started to go in and the underground bus facility was still a concrete shell.

USTour8.18 2014-05-10_ThePlatform-04

DUSBus8.23 2014-05-09_DUSGrandOpeningP2-05

Then things started to get exciting above ground. My favorite piece in the whole project, the commuter rail station canopy, started to go vertical.

DUS10.14 2013-11-28_DUSCanopy-01

DUSCanopy2.1.26 2013-09-01_DUSPlatforms-05

As months passed, there was a lot of visible construction which made for some exciting photos. In Update 115, Ken snapped a great picture of the first fabric pieces getting installed to the commuter rail station canopy.

2013-05-05_union-station-115-canopy 2014-07-31_DUSLB-01

Jumping to Update 121, the plazas were starting to take shape and the historic station was wrapped in scaffolding while it was undergoing a full restoration. The North Wing building had just topped out and the glass facade was peeking out from under the plastic.

2013-07-14_DUS-NorthWing-03 2014-07-27_DUSGO-08

Then the most exciting aspects of the project came around: sections were starting to open to the public. It was before my time reporting on Union Station when the light-rail station opened back in May 2012 however, I did get to witness the 17th Street Gardens, commuter rail train station, underground bus facility, historic station, and Wynkoop Plaza opening!

2014-07-13_UnionStation-01 2014-05-09_DUSGrandOpeningP2-09

2014-05-09_DUSGrandOpeningP1-02 2014-07-27_DUSGO-02


This project has completely transformed what was once a barren wasteland situated between two great neighborhoods. Denver Union Station is now the new hot spot in Downtown Denver and will continue thriving as the private sector developments keep rolling in. This was my personal experience from when I started covering this project to sitting here tonight typing up this post. Needless to say, it has been quite a ride. Welcome back to Downtown Denver, we are so glad you are back! I’m looking forward to hearing your experiences and stories during this project’s journey!

Denver Union Station: Final Update – Grand Opening

Here we are. After all these years we have finally made it to our final updates on the huge and incredible, Denver Union Station project. So how exactly do you wrap a project up of this scale? Instead of just wrapping up in a single post, we will have multiple posts throughout the week: revisiting some milestones of the project, sharing personal experiences, and of course providing ample amounts of photos in each post! To kick off the week, let’s start with the grand opening ceremonies that took place this last weekend!


Fountains! The new fountains on Wynkoop Plaza were a huge hit on Saturday. Throughout the day, children played in the water and ran back and forth on Wynkoop Plaza as the jets shot water high and low.

2014-07-27_DUSGO-01 2014-07-27_DUSGO-02

Wynkoop Street between 16th Street and 18th Street was closed allowing for tents, food trucks, and a stage. The activation of this entire space was as great as everyone would have hoped; pedestrians activating both the plaza and the street.

2014-07-27_DUSGO-06 2014-07-27_DUSGO-05

2014-07-27_DUSGO-04 2014-07-27_DUSGO-03

Here are some above views of the opening ceremonies. Most of the attention was focused toward the south and central part of Wynkoop Plaza, asking the question, what’s going on with the north end of the plaza? There are two main reasons for the lack of activation. One, the 18th Street Pedestrian bridge is still not open and two, finishing touches are still underway such as adding movable tables and chairs. There is no set timeframe for these two things however, like all newly completed projects, things can only get better.

2014-07-27_DUSGO-08 2014-07-27_DUSGO-07

Dana Crawford front and center! The short ceremony attracted a big crowd and as soon as the speeches were over, people lined up with their tickets to check out the inside of the historic station.

2014-07-27_DUSGO-09 2014-07-27_DUSGO-10

As expected, there were waves of people moving throughout the station. Visitors had full access to the ground floor with all of the retail in the Great Hall open. For a complete look around the historic station, head on over to our coverage from the soft opening!

2014-07-27_DUSGO-13 2014-07-27_DUSGO-14

What exactly is going on in the historic station? It’s part train station and part living room. There are benches, couches, and comfy chairs for passengers and passerby to relax, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy a refreshing drink. This is a concept that has never been done and is completely experimental. Time will tell how well this concept will work in the historic station but for the time being, it is incredibly neat!

2014-07-27_DUSGO-16 2014-07-27_DUSGO-15

Here is a sampling of the retail spaces along the Great Hall. The spaces are small yet very functional with a very large variety of commodities, from food to books to boutique outlets.

2014-07-27_DUSGO-18 2014-07-27_DUSGO-17

Because there are so many retail spaces around the station, there is a lot to explore! Have you found this awesome sign yet?


That’s a wrap on our grand opening coverage! Stay tuned for many more pictures, and posts throughout the week!

Denver Union Station Update #128: The Historic Station Opens!

As we near our final update on the Denver Union Station redevelopment, there is one final milestone in the project that has been reached: the historic station is now open to the public! On Saturday July 12th, Union Station had a soft opening, meaning only a portion of the ground floor retail and amenities inside the building are open. The grand opening and block party will be on July 26th!

To sum it up in a few words, the inside of the historic station looks absolutely incredible. Everything from the new benches and couches, to the historically accurate chandeliers, this building has gone through a complete transformation. I encourage you to head to our post from December 2012 to see the before photos!

2014-07-13_UnionStation-01 2014-07-13_UnionStation-02

2014-07-13_UnionStation-04 2014-07-13_UnionStation-06

2014-07-13_UnionStation-09 2014-07-13_UnionStation-08

There will be two bars in the station. One on the ground floor and the other on the mezzanine level. The ‘Terminal Bar’ on the ground floor will feature benches on the outside as well as a seating room inside the bar.

2014-07-13_UnionStation-03 2014-07-13_UnionStation-10

The second level bar will feature multiple couches and chairs along the eastern portion of the mezzanine. Bar seating is also available with a great view of 17th Street!

2014-07-13_UnionStation-05 2014-07-13_UnionStation-07

The ground floor retail outside the station is done incredibly well. The patios hug the station closely with entrances scattered throughout the wing buildings.

2014-07-13_UnionStation-11 2014-07-13_UnionStation-12

Last but not least, here are two views I was able to capture from the mezzanine level; one from a hotel room looking towards the Union Station neighborhood and the other from the mezzanine bar!

2014-07-13_UnionStation-14 2014-07-13_UnionStation-13

This project will be complete by July 26th! We will see you at the grand opening! As the date nears, we will provide you with more information and details about the event.

Denver Union Station Update #121

Good news has recently been delivered by RTD about the opening day for Denver Union Station: May 9th, 2014! While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are finally starting to see everything come together. In this update, we are going to take a look at the redevelopment from Wynkoop Street, Millennium Bridge, and the 18th Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Let’s start with the wing buildings. Over the past couple weeks the tower cranes have been removed from both sites and we can start to get a sense of scale for these buildings. Here’s the North Wing building. A lot of the brick facade has gone up and thanks to the wind moving some plastic coverings around, we can see the glassy portion facing Wynkoop Plaza.

Here is a view of how the North Wing building fits in along with the historic station.

Now that there are no tower cranes in the picture, you can see the South Wing building is very architecturally similar to the North Wing building.

Trees have been planted at Wynkoop Plaza and the plumbing for fountains has started to get filled in. Also, right now is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the entire historic station wrapped in scaffolding!

Here is something I have yet to do with these updates: A panorama of the progress being made behind the station. This first one is off of Millennium Bridge. Here we can see (going left to right) the new lightrail station and plaza, the Alta City House parking structure, Chestnut Pavilion, the new mall shuttle loop, Cadence, the 1650 Wewatta crane, the commuter rail canopy, and the South Wing building. Make sure you click to zoom! Click here for a super high-resolution version!

Here is another view off of the 18th Street pedestrian bridge. There are still a lot of empty parcels that need to be filled in but progress is being made quicker than we expected! Click here for a super-high resolution version!

May 9th is coming up soon! This will be the last summer we will be following the construction of this great project!