I took advantage of the sun of Saturday morning to head to Capitol
Hill in Denver in search of Art Deco. The Hill and surrounding areas
have many apartment buildings displaying mixtures of Art Deco,
Streamline Moderne and International Styles.
This beautifully landscaped entry way is from The Harwood, a building
actually further west in the area near the University of Colorado Hospital.
First I headed over to the famous Poet’s Row, a historic district with eleven uniquely styled, 3-story apartment buildings. This outstanding structure is the Mark Twain apartment building. It was built in 1938 by Denver architect Charles Strong.
Charles Strong worked for Harry Edbrooke between 1923 and 1926, before starting his own practice in 1927. He designed many buildings throughout Denver and other cities, and his style progressed from Art Deco and Art Moderne through the International style to the 1957 glass and aluminum, Mesian-style Denver Petroleum Building downtown, which has been significantly altered recently in a less than sympathetic manner.
I plan on doing more research into the many important designs of Charles Strong, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that he did the 1949 Aurora Fox Theater and the 1950 Mayfair Shopping Center on 13th!
The Mark Twain is one of two buildings on Poet’s Row to feature Streamline Moderne rounded corners. Here you can see that one bay of the building projects slightly further than the other, with the windows of this second bay recessing slightly for emphasis.
Poet’s Row on Sherman Street, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The Capitol is just a short walk down the street.
These modern urban apartment buildings were built between 1929 and 1956, and most were by Charles Strong. They are the first buildings ever constructed on the site, before that, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show once camped on the land in 1898!
The Mark Twain building features this unique off-center entryway
with alternating yellow and dark brick rounded panels. In this closeup,
you can appreciate the Art Deco lettering. Centered above the
entranceway is a stepped brick spire.
The Sherman Arms, constructed 1950, most likely a Charles Strong design.
It is interesting that even as late as 1950, the designs still make extensive use of vertical glass brick.
The angled brick windowsills of the Sherman Arms are typical of post-World War II construction. (if you click any of the photos on my site, you can see larger versions)
The Nathaniel Hawthorne designed 1938 by Charles Strong.
The Nathanial Hawthorne is the other Poet’s Row apartment building
using Moderne rounded corners.
The Art Deco entranceway of the Nathanial Hawthorne gives the
impression of a movie theater marquee.
This is the Eugene Field apartment building, designed 1939 by
The glass brick entranceway of the Eugene Field building is connected
to the roof with a stepped black spire.
The Eugene Field does not feature rounded corners and seems to be progressing toward the International style, as does the apartment building below.
The Panama Apartments, designed by Charles Strong, 1942. While the design is still sympathetic to the other Strong designs on the street, the simplification seems to lean toward the International style of architecture.
Poet’s Row and glass brick seem to go hand in hand. . .
As you head down Sherman Street from Poet’s Row to the Capitol, you come upon this grand example of Streamline Modern, the Colorado State Capitol Annex Building from 1939.
This building was a collaborative design by the Associated Architects for the State Capitol Annex, presided over by renowned Denver architect George Meredith Musick.
Then I headed over to Colorado Boulevard, in the neighborhood of the University of Denver Hospital where there are many interesting apartment buildings. I don’t know the name of this International style apartment building at 1100 Colorado.
I like the clean horizontal lines and the mixture of blonde and slightly pink brick (or is it tile?). The buildings corners are rounded, as are the recesses for the windows.
The entranceway features Moderne rounded corners and Art Deco
glass brick. I would assume this building is from the 1940s.
This entraceway to the South Hall on Colorado Blvd. features
vertical Art Deco glass brick, and nice black iron lettering.
Once again, the angled brick windowsills date this building to post-World War II.
And finally The Capri apartments on Colorado Boulevard. A beautiful post-World War II building that still features Art Deco elements.
Well, I ran out of sunshine by the afternoon, and so had to conclude my
Denver Art Deco search for the time being!