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Historic Denver Honors City's Preservationists, Projects

Confluence Cos. converted the former El Jebel Shrine into 24 condominiums.

Three commercial real estate projects received Community Preservation Awards from Historic Denver during the organization’s 48th Annual Dinner & Awards Program Oct. 24 at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa.

Confluence Cos. accepted an award for its work on the Mirador at Tennyson, a $12M project that converted the longtime home of the Shriners, known as El Jebel, into 24 condominiums. Though the building, constructed in 1930, is not a local landmark, Confluence recognized its historic and architectural value and decided to save it. The exterior of the building is largely the same and a giant walk-in vault remains on the Mirador’s first level as a reminder of an earlier era.

Historic Denver also recognized VanWest Partners’ redevelopment of a set of small-scale commercial buildings in Five Points dating from 1910. The buildings represent a typical streetcar commercial block from the early 20th century. The three buildings appear as one structure but, in fact, represent three different structural systems, demonstrating advancements in commercial and warehouse design from the early 20th century. VanWest brought the properties back to life by restoring their historic appearance and featuring small, local businesses.

VanWest Partners redeveloped a set of small-scale commercial buildings in Five Points.

The third project recognized with a Community Preservation Award was the Colorado State Land Board’s Dodge Building, a two-story structure at 1275 Lincoln St. that originally was a car dealership at the time Lincoln and Broadway served as an automotive row. After the dealership era passed, the building was home to the Colorado Ballet for about 25 years until the nonprofit moved to its own building on Santa Fe Drive in 2013. Renovations included exterior repair and painting, restoring and reinstalling the original stained glass, uncovering and restoring the coved ceilings in the original showroom, remolding most of the original pilaster capitals, new storefront windows, and upgrading floors, roof and mechanical and electrical systems. The building’s center fireplace and original paneling also remain intact.

A fourth commercial project — Snarf’s on South Broadway — took home Historic Denver’s ReMix Award for its adaptive reuse of the once-iconic Sinclair gas station at 1490 South Broadway. Restaurant founder Jimmy Seidel, also known as “Snarf,” and architect Shaun Minné took on the design of the 2,500 SF space, which now houses the fast-casual restaurant.

Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, pictured with her mother, Shirley Calhoun, was honored with Historic Denver's Molly Brown Award.

Other awards presented by Historic Denver include:

  • Keystone Award to former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and former Colorado state Rep. Wilma Webb for creating a legacy of public service that has revitalized Denver, emphasizing civil rights, affordable housing, cultural heritage and equality in education.
  • Ann Love Award to historian and architect Gregoria Alcaro, who runs the Auraria Casa Mayan Heritage Cultural Center, which works to make history relevant by increasing awareness of Auraria’s rich cultural legacy.
  • Molly Brown Award to Westword editor Patricia Calhoun. The Molly Brown Award was created to honor women who live in Margaret “Molly” Brown’s spirit today by devoting many years to civic life, actively engaging in politics, philanthropy, arts and cultural endeavors and historic preservation.