Monday, December 22, 2008

The Denver Club and Glenarm Place

The picture above illustrates the continuing changes that have befallen downtown Denver, both good and bad. It is difficult to believe but this is the SW corner of 17th and Glenarm, circa 1889. We know that change is constant but sometimes it is heartbreaking to see all that Denver has lost over the years with the onslaught of new development and parking lots. The two buildings shown include the First Congregational Church of Denver (1880) and the Denver Club Building (1889).

First Congregational had relocated to the "suburbs", leaving its home of many years near 15th and Curtis and building a new edifice on Glenarm Place for $41,000 in 1880. It was alone on a block that was otherwise filled with homes of everyday Denverites.

This picture, circa 1888, shows the Denver Club Building under construction. Taken from the Arapahoe County Courthouse (1883), notice the numerous single family homes that populate Glenarm Place, 16th Street and adjacent areas.

This picture, circa 1889, shows the newly completed Denver Club and a very smoggy city! Take note of the new Denver High School (1881) on the far right at 19th and Stout.

By 1891, the two buildings had a new neighbor on Glenarm Place. The destruction of the houses of the area continued as the Kittredge Building (1891) joined the neighborhood.

This picture shows the Kittredge Building under construction. We are lucky to still have this lovely building grace the corner of 16th and Glenarm. The other two buildings were not so lucky. Click here to see a current picture of the block taken from 16th Street. Although we certainly appreciate and love the Paramount Theater, it was built on First Congregational's site in 1930. The old Denver Club Building suffered a different fate. In 1954, it was replaced by the new Denver Club Building--a skyscraper. Along with the Mile High Building, it was one of the first modernist buildings constucted in Denver and therefore today, is in and of itself a Denver landmark. Modern sentiment however laments the loss of yet another Victorian building in the old Denver Club. Will the "new" Denver Club suffer the same fate? Unlikely, as it is part of downtown Denver's historic buildings district.

For additional information on Block 174, home of the Denver Club Building, click here to be taken to

All black and white historic photos are from the Denver Public Library's Western History Collection.