Best surviving example of classic Cherry Creek chic (2000)

Ilona of Hungary building

Cherry Creek has undergone relentless change in the last ten years, and although the neighborhood has never been more alive with shoppers and residents, the new buildings being thrown up to accommodate them are...not so alive. Among the ugly new additions, however, is an elite but ever-dwindling group of gorgeous older buildings that have long defined Cherry Creek as a center of urbane luxury. None of these is more beautiful or more impeccably maintained than the Ilona of Hungary building. Designed by the Denver architectural firm of Frank & Lundquist, the white building has a muscular frame of exposed structural members that elegantly contrasts with the delicately pierced sunscreens that shelter it. The suave 1970s confection communicates the dedication to beauty that is the chief pursuit at Ilona of Hungary, a European-style spa and a health- and beauty-aids manufacturer. The company was founded by George Meszaros, a world-renowned beauty consultant, and his wife, Ilona. The two were 1940s emigrés from Hungary who met in this country and moved to Denver in the 1960s for our then-clean air. Hopefully, the just-announced plan to renovate the building will do nothing to spoil its swank character.

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