Title: BOSTON BUILDING
Location Current Site: Denver CO UNITED STATES
Creator Personal Name: Andrews,Jacques,Rantoul
Creator Assoc Person Name: Dulan,Peter
Creator Assoc Person Role: Photographer
Subject.Image Description: Street scene
Creator.Personal Name Label: Andrews,Jacques,Rantoul
Description.Image Comments: 8-story office building now converted to 130 lofts. Battered stone base, round arch bays. Red sandstone from Kenmuir Quarry near Manitou Springs.
Style/Period: Renaissance Revival, Romanesque Revival
Style/Period Description: ROMANESQUE REVIVAL
The term refers to the 19th century revival of a European Medieval style characteristic of monasteries and churches from ca. 1000 to 1200. The earliest Romanesque revivals of the 1840s, such as the 1846 Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. by John Renwick, were referred to as being in the Norman or Round Style, and they were influenced by examples in England and Germany. Richardsonian Romanesque is a later style variant named after the work of American architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838?1886), who designed Trinity Church (1872) in Boston, Massachussets, and the Allegheny County Courthouse (1884) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Richardson was revered in his day, and many architects and builders emulated characteristics of his work: simple, bold massing; rock-faced masonry; heavily molded, round arches; contrasting dark brown and red stone surfaces; round corner towers; dormer windows; and short stone columns with Romaesque interlace carving on the capitals.
Almost every city in the United States has a building imitating Richardson's Romanesque Revival, although most of their designers exaggerated the style's more picturesque qualities by adding towers, color contrasts, and decorative elements. The Rookery (1886) in Chicago, Illinois, by Burnham and Root influenced office building design elsewhere. The Texas courthouses of John Reilly Gordon exemplify Romanesque Revival public buildings. Frank Edbrooke was largely responsible for spreading Richardson's influence in Denver.
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, general view
Description.Subject Report: BOSTON BUILDING, DENVER. This landmark at 828 Seventeenth Street dates from 1892. Denver experienced a building boom between 1880 and 1893, a period of prosperity and growth in Colorado and throughout the country. In Denver, dozens of masonry commercial blocks rose. "Money was poured like water on these structures," according to historian Jerome C. Smiley. "Everything in them is of the best -- granite, terra-cotta, pressed brick, marble, onyx, bronze, black iron work, silver, metal. They are fine examples of modern ideas in design and construction." Built for $300,000, the nine-story 110-000-square-foot building is in the Romanesque Revival style, with Renaissance Revival elements. Its architects were Bostonians Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul, who also designed the nearby Equitable Building. The main entrance facing Seventeenth Street has an elaborately carved arched doorway enriched by a carved foliage motif. The exterior is of orange ashlar sandstone from the Kenmuir Quarry near Manitou Springs. Two story tall pilasters have foliated capitals. The first floor has diamond patterned windows with Corinthian colonnettes. Several capitals are carved with women's faces. Constructed on the former site of Wolfe Hall, a woman's seminary, the Boston Block signaled Seventeenth Street's rise as the city's financial district. Early tenants included the Postal Telegraph and Cable, Colorado Midland Railroad, Denver Land and Water Storage, Colorado Coal and Iron Company, and real estate and insurance companies. In the 1920, the building was purchased by Dome Investment company, whose principal partners were Frederick G. Bonfils, co-owner of the Denver Post, and Claude K. Bottcher, whose business interests included concrete, sugar beet cultivation, and finance. The Boettcher and Company investment firm had offices in the building for nearly 70 years. In 1996- 97, the Boston Building was converted to 158 residential lofts with twenty percent rent subsidization. The project received a $100,000 grant from the State Historical Fund for restoration of storefronts and the entrance. The SHF is generated from gaming tax revenue and administered by the Colorado Historical Society. It has helped fund conversion of other downtown commercial properties, such as lofts or hotels, including the Joslins Dry Goods, Denver Dry Goods, and Tramway Tower projects. Sources: National Register of Historic Places Inventory, Nomination Form, 1975; Jerome C. Smiley, History of Denver, Denver: The Times-Sun Publishing Co., 1901. (Cathleen Norman, 1999)
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 35405
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
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