Victoriana, a Landmark Store in Larimer Square, Closing Up Shop

After 45 years, Victoriana will close in September.
After 45 years, Victoriana will close in September. Katrina Leibee
Longtime Larimer Square tenant Victoriana Antique and Fine Jewelry is closing.

Developer Dana Crawford started her legendary career when she bought a series of run-down Victorian buildings in the 1400 block of Larimer Street in the ’60s and created Larimer Square, which became Denver's first historically protected district in 1971. She helped start a number of businesses on the block, including Victoriana; in 1984, she sold it to current owners David and Veronica Prebble.

The business has survived economic downturns, a pandemic and multiple switches to various locations, including its current home at 1417 Larimer, where it's been since 2008. During that time, Larimer Square, too, has gone through many changes. Crawford sold it to Jeff Hermanson in 1993; in December 2020, Hermanson sold it to Asana Partners, a real estate and investment trust based in South Carolina.

Now 72, David Prebble had planned to sell Victoriana to its current manager, Zach Burk. But then he learned from Asana that the store would have to move to a location off Larimer that's half the size of its current 832-square-foot space. "It was a totally unworkable situation," Prebble says. "They have the right to make me move, but they're supposed to provide me with a comparable space. But they said there was no comparable space available."

So instead, the Prebbles decided to close the store. Burk may open a Victoriana-style store in another city.

Victoriana isn't the first legacy tenant to leave Larimer Square. After four decades there, Gusterman Silversmiths closed this spring; it's now a private jeweler.

Scarpaletto, a shoe boutique at 1436 Larimer Square, was recently given the choice of moving from its storefront to a slightly smaller space in the 1500 block of Market Street. Owner Phil Vivinetto says he's excited about the move, which will happen near the end of September.

"Victoriana and Scarpaletto are located in portions of Larimer Square undergoing extensive façade and interior renovations," according to a statement from Larimer Square management. "These spaces will be offline for at least 12 months as the team addresses deferred maintenance, implements utility upgrades, and makes other improvements to the block."

Victoriana is currently having a going-out-of-business sale, selling things at 20 to 70 percent off. Prebble says that the store has done about three months of business in the last three weeks because of the number of people coming in for a last look. Victoriana will soon start selling the store's fixtures and artwork.
click to enlarge
All the fixtures in Victoriana will have to be sold before the store closes.
Katrina Leibee
When Victoriana posted on Facebook that it would be closing, the owners saw an outpouring of comments from people who said they will miss the store. Victoriana has been a staple in the downtown retail community for decades; Prebble says that some families have bought wedding rings from Victoriana for generations.

"Jewelry becomes very sentimental because it's usually given for special occasions, and we've had people [say], 'I lost my original wedding ring, and I know I can't replace it, but I'll find something that looks just like it,'" he adds.

Prebble is sentimental about his jewelry store, too. He has roots in Larimer Square, where his father once laid bricks; he took pictures of the place for his high school yearbook. And then one day he saw an ad in the paper for a jewelry store for sale in Larimer Square.

"It's always been a very special place," Prebble says.

Victoriana's last day in business will be September 3.
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Katrina Leibee, a recent graduate of Colorado State University, is an editorial fellow at Westword, covering politics, business and culture.
Contact: Katrina Leibee