St. Elmo Hotel - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 45.080 W 104° 59.856
13S E 500205 N 4400158
This is a series of 33 Historic Markers placed throughout Lower Downtown Denver which create a walking tour.
Waymark Code: WM2YZ7
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 01/13/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member
Views: 73

The Plaque reads:

St. Elmo Hotel

The St. Elmo Hotel, constructed in 1896, joined a pantheon of grand and small hotels clustered in lower downtown to serve railroad travelers. In 1870, the first Denver Pacific locomotive pulled into Denver, and prosperity followed close on its wheels. During the Silver Boom of the 1880's, Denver became the hub city for wild growth and spectacular mining strikes in Leadville, Aspen, Georgetown, the San Juan Mountains and Cripple Creek. The paydirt flowed into Denver, financing a gilding of the Queen City of the Plains replete with Victorian opulence and civic improvements. Hotels, particularly those located near the bustling rail yards, provided a haven of rest for weary travelers, railroad workers and the local populace looking for luxury dining and civilized entertainment. The Windsor at 18th and Larimer Streets opened in 1880, billing itself as the 'finest hotel in the west.' The Albany took up the challenge for the title in 1885, then the Metropole opened in 1891. The long-lost splendor of the Inter-Ocean Hotel, Planters' House, Alvord House, the American Hotel, the Wentworth Hotel and the Gumry Hotel at 1725 Lawrence, destroyed by a boiler explosion fire in 1895, overshadowed the modest charms of the St. Elmo. With a location just two blocks from Union Station and advertised as a small. 'less expensive' hotel, the St. Elmo catered to railway passengers and workers. Its first proprietor listed in the city directory was Mrs. T. Haffbe. Typical of the construction of western towns, the St. Elmo Hotel began as a frame building, subsequently replaced by brick and stone to resist the ever-present threat of fire.

From the LoDo website:

Hotels, particularly those located near the bustling rail yards, provided a haven for the weary traveler, railroad workers, and the local populace looking for a place to get away from their everyday home life. The more spectacular hotels like the Oxford and the Brown Palace overshadowed the modest offerings of places like the St. Elmo. But with its location only two blocks from the railroad station and advertised as "less expensive," the St. Elmo catered to railway workers and passengers looking for more reasonable accommodations.

The St. Elmo Hotel was built in 1896 and has three stories and a basement. The walls are constructed of load-bearing masonry, with support of the first floor provided by cast-iron columns, typical of turn-of-the-century commercial buildings in Denver. The internal structure is load-bearing brick for the basement and first floor and wood-post beam framing for the second and third floors. The wood parapet along the roof, with a cornice box with frieze and brackets, gives the building a more ornate appearance than might be reflected in its clientele. The lines of the building are further softened by the chamfered corners with windows and the arch at the main entrance.

The building is currently undergoing renovation. A March 27, 2007 Denver Post article reports, "Mike Plante paid $4.1 million for the 18,214-square-foot building at 1433 17th St. He bought it recently from the Cage Williams Abelman law firm, which will lease back the property until it determines where to relocate. "They decided to put the property on the market to take advantage of some of the market conditions," said Darrin Revious, a broker with Frederick Ross who represented the firm.

Plante plans to restore the building's facade and list it on the National Register of Historic Places. He wants to start work in the next few months and finish the renovations by early winter. "It's one of those quintessential buildings in LoDo that's unlike any other," Plante said. "It's a corner (17th and Market streets), and it's unique in its size and appearance." Plante will present his plans to the LoDo Design Review Board on April 5.

When it was built in 1896, the St. Elmo Hotel joined a plethora of small hotels clustered in LoDo to serve railroad travelers. It remained a hotel well into the 20th century, then stood vacant for a number of years. When it was renovated in the 1980s, the building's first-floor facade was removed and garden- level windows were built in. Over the years, it has housed oil firms, small businesses and law firms. Plante also has completed historic renovations on Platte Street, including the A.H. Root Building, home to Sushi Sasa, and the Zang Building at the base of the new Highland Bridge. (by staff writer Margaret Jackson)

Group or Groups Responsible for Placement:
Lower Downtown [Denver] District

County or City: Denver

Date Dedicated: Unknown

Check here for Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

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WalkingDuo visited St. Elmo Hotel - Denver, CO 01/31/2010 WalkingDuo visited it