No Fooling: Hilton Garden Inn Around Historic Firehouse Set To Open April 1
The push is on for Alliance Construction to complete the renovation of one of Denver’s oldest landmarks in conjunction with the shiny new Hilton Garden Inn that wraps around it for the project’s grand opening on April 1.
The 12-story L-shaped hotel wraps around the long-deteriorating Denver Hose Company No. 1 building at 20th Street and Chestnut Place. The renovated hose house will become the Woodie Fisher restaurant, named for Denver’s first fire chief. A cocktail patio will be installed alongside the building on Chestnut Place.
“When we got our hands on it, it looked like a strong breeze would blow it over,” Johnson Nathan Strohe associate Heather Vasquez Johnson said.
The roof has been repaired, but the second level of the two-story building was too unstable to keep, so a steel skeleton was dropped into the building and supported by horizontal braces. The original windows, which had been stuccoed, have been reopened and the old fire doors through which the horses and buggies entered and exited are being rebuilt.
Built in 1882 for Denver’s then-volunteer fire department, the 3,224 SF building served the neighborhood known as the Bottoms, which today is part of the Central Platte Valley. The building served as a firehouse for 14 years until the tracks serving Denver Union Station blocked access to the city when trains were on them.
By 1922, it had been converted into a print shop and later a welding shop, a purpose it continued to serve until at least the 1980s.
The building’s architecture is representative of 19th century industrial construction and has been modified only slightly. Most of its significant exterior features are intact.
Focus, which has owned the property for more than a decade, in 2011 was denied a request to demolish the Hose building, one of only a handful of historic structures remaining in the area west of Union Station. It was identified in the Central Platte Valley Plan as contributing significantly to the character of the area.