Every morning, I look east to where the oldest house on our historic block once stood -- a Victorian bungalow that was delisted as a Denver landmark, then demolished and replaced by a gargantuan single-family home going up right on the edge of the bluff overlooking downtown, blocking many of the historic homes from view. This morning, when I looked over at that project, I thought of the Bosler House.
At 1 p.m. today, the city's Landmark Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing for economic hardship, considering owner Keith Painter's request that he be allowed to demolish the historic Bosler House -- one of the oldest in Denver, at 3209 West Fairview Place.
Here's the history of the home, courtesy Historic Denver:
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The Bosler House is one of the first and finest of the stately homes to be built in North Denver. Constructed in 1875, the same year as the incorporation of the Town of Highlands which originally governed this portion of Denver, it was built in the Italianate style at the West end of the current configuration of Highland Park by one of the Town's Founders, Ambrose Bosler. It is significant not only for its longevity, but also for its prominent site, its design, and its association with three significant figures from Denver's past.
The Bosler House's first owner and its namesake, Ambrose Bosler, was a pioneer to the North Denver area and a key player in the Denver and Union Ice Companies. Its second owner, William H. Yankee, was a Civil War veteran and a prominent miner and mine owner in Colorado. The third owner of significance was Dr. John H. Tilden, who utilized the home as a part of a larger complex which incorporated the neighboring early twentieth century Colonial Revival Buildings as part of a Sanitarium. Dr. Tilden's School for Teaching Health was a national model for a medical philosophy where patients cared primarily for themselves using dietary and hygienic methods.
But the current health of the house, which was made a landmark in 1984, is uncertain indeed; the owner stopped midway through replacing the roof, leaving the building largely open to the elements while he fought with city officials.
Want to get in on this demolition derby? The meeting is in room 4.F.6. at the Wellington E. Webb Building, 201 West Colfax Avenue.
Where are the Highlands Mommies when you need them? Read Melanie Asmar's piece on this powerful Highland neighborhood group here.