Denver’s Historical Buildings


Downtown Denver is being revitalized with many new buildings recently completed and others that are still in the construction or planning phase. Now that the newly renovated Union Station is open, we started thinking about other historic sites in the Denver area and how they are faring. The National Register of Historic Places lists 289 properties and districts for Denver on their registry.

One of the more distinct landmarks in downtown Denver is the Daniels & Fisher (D&F) Tower. When it was constructed in 1910 as part of the Daniels & Fisher department store, it was the tallest building between the Mississippi and California at 325 ft. The tower was designed by architect Frederick Sterner and modeled after The Campanile (St. Mark’s Tower in Venice, Italy. One of the unique features on the outside of the building is its 20-floor clock tower with faces on all four sides. After the department store was demolished in 1971, the tower was saved and reopened in 1981 as renovated lofts and businesses.

Another interesting building is the Sherman Street Event Center that was formerly known as the Mosque of the El Jebel Shrine, the Rocky Mountain Consistory, and the Scottish Rite Temple. Never a mosque in Islamic terms, the historic building was constructed in 1907 as a meeting hall for the Shriners (El Jabel chapter of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine). The building was sold to the Scottish Rite Masons in 1924. In 1995, it was resold and is now a catering and events facility.

Our last choice of buildings to discuss is the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception that was started in 1902 and completed in 1911. It was designed by a Detroit architect, Leon Coquard, in the French Gothic style and influenced by the 13th-century Saint Nicholas Collegiate church in Moselle, France. The cost to build the large 800-person capacity cathedral was about $500,000.


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