Opening Our Doors to Denver
Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design (R+B) opened our doors to the public for a studio tour and a virtual reality walk through one of our residential projects, during Doors Open Denver, Sept 21-22, 2019. We had over 150 people come through our doors this past weekend, and had a great time meeting the community and showing off our historic building. We are honored to be a part of the LoDo District.
If you haven’t been before, Doors Open Denver is an annual 2-day event hosted by the Denver Architecture Foundation (DAF), that engages participants in celebrating and experiencing our city’s built environment. DAF inspires the community to connect through self-guided or expert-guided tours of over 50 of Denver’s unique spaces – for free!
1830 Blake Street: Fast Facts
Architect: Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design
Architectural Style: Warehouse Vernacular
Year Built: 1892
Designation: Denver Landmark District
Neighborhood: Lower Downtown
Original Building: E.B. Millar Coffee
The building housing Rowland+Broughton Architecture / Urban Design / Interior Design is sited on the southeast of Blake and sits in the center of the block, halfway between 18th and 19th Streets. It is a remnant of the late 19th century building boom that gave lower downtown the large collection of warehouses that remain today. Spurred by silver mining and the then-recent connection of Denver’s rails to the transcontinental system, LoDo was built up relatively quickly to accommodate the expanding economy of Denver that thrived before the silver crash. The LoDo neighborhood’s unique character provided R+B with strong roots for the evolution at 1830 Blake Street. The re-imagined storefront is sensitive to the original character of the structure and continues R+B’s dedication to enhancing LoDo’s rich historic character and spirit of growth and vitality.
Over the course of a series of renovations, R+B completed a full tenant build-out highlighting the historic building materials, adding conference rooms, studio workspaces, a creative lab, and library throughout suites 100 and 200. The two-story building is made mostly of dark brick. The front façade has three large bays that hold storefronts on the street level. Above, subtle corbeling pushes the second level façade out slightly, defining the stone sills and emphasizing the vertical divisions in the window bands. A small, corbeled cornice occupies the top, hiding the flat roof behind.
Following a storefront restoration in 2018, R+B planned a reconfiguration and energy-efficiency upgrade to the interior on the ground floor. Previous non-historic partition walls and restrooms were removed and upgraded with more contemporary configurations and accessible restrooms that conform to modern code requirements. Consistent with a functional warehouse design, an open plan was implemented for the interior layout. Original columns, structural elements, high ceilings, brick walls and oak floors have all been left exposed. The interior now consists of two conference rooms, studio space and a library. Features like built-in shelving help to maximize the efficient use of space and energy-efficient occupancy, and daylight sensors and LED lights have been added to improve energy usage.
LoDo holds special historic significance as the birthplace of Denver and an architectural significance that was recognized officially in 1988 when it was named a historic district. Before the founding of Denver in 1858, mining settlements existed at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek for years. As Denver grew, it did so out of the heart of what is now LoDo. When warehouses were quickly built up, they were designed to be more than simple utilitarian spaces. Unlike industrial plants designed by engineers, most of Denver’s warehouses were designed by architects so that companies could offer more prestigious buildings to act as not just warehouse space, but also as corporate offices and showrooms.