A Burnham Hoyt designed residence comes on the market


While not a household name in Denver, Burnham Hoyt is one of the more influential architects during Denver’s mid 20th century. His most visible projects include Red Rocks Amphitheater and  the original north-wing/rotunda of the Central Denver Public Library set the foundation in my opinion for the Michael Graves addition.

Hoyt was known for his residences which combined the traditional conservative designs favored by the wealthy yet bringing in a modern aesthetic known as The International Style. While some of his homes are classified as mid-century modern, they are truly International Style as his practice shut down in 1955 and he passed in 1960.

While many of his private residences have been altered beyond recognition and a few gems including The Botcher School (1900 Downing) have been completely razed, a few commercial and residential building remain not significantly altered. His primary home at 3130 E. Exposition Ave from 1945 to 1960 remains intact. Another gem at 545 Circle Drivehas been lovingly restored by SempleBrown.

Within the last week another home attributed to Hoyt came on the market at 2125 E. Hawthorne Pl in the Denver Country Club neighborhood. A quiet street within the larger neighborhood, Hawthorne Place, like Circle and Westwood Drives are considered the pinnacle of addresses in the neighborhood.

2125 E. Hawthorne Pl while not as dramatic and bold as 545 Circle Dr is still a testament to the design tastes of Denver’s elite during the mid 20th-century. While many mansions were built in the neighborhood, the Hoyt design captures and flow and size of the neighboring mansions yet encapsulated in a more international style design yet softened by cornices and other exterior features. With its side entry and mature landscaping the house is not as visible from the street as 545 Circle.

The interior is typical Hoyt with square and rectangular functional rooms perfect for entertaining yet also for daily living. Even through multiple owners various interior elements literally bring the viewer back to the 1950’s (constructed in 1954)from the stair railings to the heating elements. The way the home integrates with the surrounding lot is a Hoyt signature understanding the mild climate and designing for our 300 days of sunshine/year.

If the house is ever available to view on an open-house be sure to visit. While we are blessed to have neighborhoods including Krisana Park known for its mid-century moderns, if you wish to see the foundation for such design in Denver, visit a few Burnham Hoyt structures, you will be amazed.



A Mansion from Denver’s Bygone Era Enters the Market

With few exceptions mansions from Denver’s bygone era of the original Gold Coast i.e. south of the State Capitol have been razed or otherwise altered into office, apartments and other uses. For an intact mansion to come on the market in turnkey condition is quite rare. For the first time in 22 years, 1350 Logan Street AKA The Cuthbert-Dines-Starkey Mansion is entering the marketplace.

Only only its 3rd owner is offering the 12,000+ SF Mansion for sale since construction in 1901. Mrs. Mary Starkey has operated The Starkey International Institute for Household Management within the mansion since her purchase from one of the members of the Dines family. The Mansion in its current iteration can be considered one large, multi-level immersive classroom experience. As The Starkey International Institute for Household Management teaches and trains those in the deluxe and luxury household and hospitality service sector, the Mansion has offered the perfect “hands-on” learning tool.

During Mrs. Starkey’s stewardship of the mansion she has not only respected and enhanced the historical elements of this rare building, she has also incorporated today’s technology concerning comfort and communication while staying true to the mansion’s design. Such upgrades include a central air-conditioning system similar to the design used in the Colorado Governor’s Mansion. The mansion’s 3rd floor once used as bedrooms for household staff is now offices including a server and high-speed communication used by The Starkey International Institute for Household Management.

The stately exterior remains true to its design; the interior offers formal proportions yet at the same time a sense of intimacy. The first level includes a traditional entry foyer, a formal living room, library, dining room (all three with fireplaces), a sunroom, a butler’s pantry, and a chef’s kitchen with breakfast eating area and caretakers office.

The 2nd level of the Mansion encompasses 5+ bedrooms including 4 en-suite baths and wood-burning fireplaces, two with attached summer sleeping rooms and all with expansive walk-in closets.

The top level once housed bedrooms for the household staff. At present those rooms have been converted to office use. Can easily be reconfigured to be bedrooms again and there are two additional bathrooms on this level.

The lowest level includes the former billiards room including the copper mantled fireplace, an additional family room (both now used as classrooms), a temperature and humidity controlled wine cellar, a commercial laundry room and various storage and mechanical rooms. There is a 3-car garage and auto court with additional parking. The rear and side yards are professionally landscaped and secured offering privacy and serenity within the heart of the city.

The marketing of the mansion is a unique proposition for the two brokers, Joseph Sobin of Engel and Volkers Vail and Jeffrey Hirschfeld of Antonoff & Co. Brokerage Inc. Joseph is handling the residential side, Jeffrey the commercial side. The mansion has an attractive C-MX-8 zoning.

From a residential perspective, few mansions of this caliber and condition exist within the city center of Denver. The location is attractive to those who may desire a mansion from the bygone era coupled with a city-centric location allowing an easy walk to the Capitol, the CBD, Broadway corridor and Capitol Hill. With the emergence of the CBD being a viable and desirable area for residences, the mansion offers the opportunity to own a 12,000+ SF residence few can compare.

On the commercial side many opportunities exist from corporate headquarters to office use to NGO’s and potential for consulate/embassy. In addition because of its design can easily be a live/work building with the public rooms on the 1st and lower levels and private residential space on 2nd and 3rd floors.

The mansion has a Denver Landmarks designation, the rear and side yards offers additional redevelopment opportunities which can leave the mansion alone or incorporate including potential for a new rental/condo building adjacent to or attached to the mansion coupled with below-grade parking.

The listing can be viewed at REColorado.com, MLS #3063126

Full disclosure, I am one of the brokers of record on the Mansion.

Update on The Tavern Uptown

Last week I wrote a blog post about the future of The Tavern Uptown, a fixture on the 17th Avenue corridor in the Uptown neighborhood just east of downtown Denver. The plan was to raze the building and redevelop the parcel to include a new Tavern Uptown and proposed 315 apartment units.

Recently Historic Denver, a NGO preservation group has launched an online petition campaign to save The Tavern Building which has a physical address of 538 East 17th Avenue. For more history about the Tavern Building, here is the link to Historic Denver’s “Historic Tavern Building” page.

While I will refrain from providing an opinion concerning The Tavern Uptown from my experience (both academic and professional) I am in general a fan of historic preservation. In many respects Denver has come to the game late concerning the preservation of our historic buildings. And I do not just reference pre WWII structures including the destruction of many gems within Downtown Denver under the guise of Urban Renewal; Denver has lost a few gems of mid-century modern architecture as well.

Yet I can also understand the owner of such a buildings position. While not technically a “taking”, placing Historic Designation” status on a building or neighborhood does place certain restrictions on future structural revisions. Yet I believe overall Historic Designations for buildings and neighborhoods overall retains and increases values when compared to the overall market.

While Denver has embarked on recognizing certain neighborhoods as historic i.e. Country Club and others, some would argue we are woefully behind versus cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia yet beyond the infancy of Los Angeles.

Concerning The Tavern Uptown (and again I have not reviewed the merits of the argument for historic preservation) I do hope the out-of-state developers are sensitive to the unique design of the building, its history in Denver and the overall urban fabric of the 17th Avenue corridor. A sensible solution may be the preservation of the facade or similar i.e. wrap the new development around and above the existing building.

For more information in addition to the link to Historic Denver above, check out the article in the Denver Business Journal.