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Our Colorado: Old meets new in LoDo hotel project

Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 18, 2018

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DENVER — In one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, you won’t find that many old buildings. So when a new hotel was proposed, one of the last remaining landmarks in LoDo was saved.

A brand new hotel is rising in the LoDo/Union Station neighborhood of Denver, right next to one of Denver’s older historical landmark buildings. So instead of tearing it down, the hotel’s developer decided to incorporate it into the plans.

“It was a derelict building, but we knew it had a story to tell,” Josh Fine, the Executive VP of Focus Property Group which owns the property and is developing the project, told Denver7.

Denver’s Hose Company #1 sits on the corner of 20th and Chestnut and has been there since it was built in 1881. The building housed the volunteer firefighting force for the neighborhood then known as “The Bottoms.”

“One of the very first firehouses in Denver and the oldest one still standing,” Fine said.

“Horse and buggy pull up, load up, and go fight a fire,” the project’s architect Jim Johnson said.

The building is a historic city landmark, meaning any changes done to it needed the approval of the Landmark Preservation Commission. That commission approved the building’s use as a renovated space for the new Hilton Garden Inn hotel’s restaurant.

“People get excited about these historic buildings because they’re one of a kind,” Johnson said.

The architect and his team have since been working to replace some of the old bricks that are falling apart, stabilize the building, and add a skylight roof while keeping the history of the building intact.

“It’s not the easiest historic building I’ve had to renovate,” Johnson said.

“This building is about 20 or 30 years older than Union Station,” Fine added.

The hotel and restaurant are on schedule to open in the spring of 2019, according to the developer. At that time, the oldest building for blocks will be a new part of the newest building in town.

“We want to integrate the old and the new and celebrate both of them. Because it’s both the old and the new that makes Denver what it is today,” Fine said.