Market Street Area - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 45.034 W 104° 59.832
13S E 500239 N 4400073
A series of plaques as part of a walking tour of lower downtown (original) Denver
Waymark Code: WM46F2
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 07/14/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Miles ToGeo
Views: 76

Market Street Area (The Columbia Hotel)

1320 17th Street

Built: 1878 (Converted to Hotel in 1892)

Hotels, as Henry James suggested in his book The American Scene, became "the synonym for civilization in a footloose democratic society. In the early days of the growth in the West, hotels were a spot of civilization, a haven for travelers that provided not only the necessities of rest and food, but also often offered luxury dining and entertainment for locals."

Originally constructed as a commercial structure in 1878 and converted to a hotel in 1892, the Columbia Hotel was noted for its ninety guest rooms, each with hot and cold running water. The building was heated by steam and had electricity throughout. Only four blocks from Union Station, it became a popular stop for travelers. It was one of the thirteen major hotels lining 17th Street by the 1920s and is one of the few still standing.

Note the corbeled brickwork beneath the bracketed cornice. The architect for the renovation, Frank Goodnow, came to Denver in 1887 from New York and is best known for the homes he designed, such as the John Palmer-Thom Hornsby Ferril House (1889); and the thirty cottages, built for $2,000 each for T. Freeman, at East 28th and High Street, some of which survive today. He left Denver in 1912.

The Plaque reads:

Market Street has on of the most colorful histories in all of lower downtown. It has seen three name changes, periods of splendor, decline and rehabilitation. Market began as McGaa Street, named for William McGaa, an original member of the Denver Town Company. In 1866, the street name was changed to Holliday, after the stage coach king who built the depot at Fifteenth and Market Streets, now downtown's oldest structure.

Many prominent businesses were located in this area, including the Mint, Constitution Hall on Blake Street, local newspapers and banks. The Inter-Ocean Hotel, located at 16th and Blake, was owned and operated by Barney Ford, a notable citizen of Denver's Black community. Ford, a former slave, was in influential pioneer.

In the late 1800s as the center of commerce relocated to Larimer and 16th Streets, Market fell into a period of decline. One of the more infamous establishments included the Palace Theatre, located on Blake, Denver's most notorious gambling house. Opium dens, saloons, gambling houses and brothels were commonplace. Shocked, the Holliday family insisted the street name be changed. Thus in 1887, Holliday Street was renamed Market Street.

By the 1970's, after decades of decline, Market Center in the 1600 Block of Market Street was rehabilitated. Across the street the Regional Transportation District located its headquarters and a transit plaza - where once bars, brothels and pioneer businesses flourished.

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 Market Street Area - Denver, CO 05/11/2013 WalkingDuo visited it