My brother, David, lives in a turn-of-the-century house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver. The house was built in 1906, and became a historical landmark in 1991 based upon several factors:
The house’s architects, Marean & Norton, are some of Denver’s most reknowned architectural firms. Albert Julius “Steady” Norton and Willis Adams Marean designed some of the great landmarks in Denver during the first several decades of the 20th century. Their most well-known structures include the Colorado Governor’s Mansion, the YMCA at Lincoln & East 16th, the Shirley Savoy Hotel, and the Neoclassical Greek Theatre in the Civic Center, along with a number of residences in Denver.
The original owners of the home were William F. Robinson and Mary Byers Robinson. Mary was the daughter of William N. Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News. The Rocky Mountain News published its first issue in 1859 and its last in 2009, one of the dailies to close its doors in the past few years. Business Insider called 2009 “The Year the Newspaper Died.” In the 19th and most of the 20th century, though, the news business was big business. The founder’s daughter married a man she met at the paper, W.F. Robinson, and they eventually built a house on Pennsylvania Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
The house has beautiful, historic features that the current owner is in the midst of restoring.
When the current owner, Paul Sjoberg, bought the house in the 1980s, it had been sub-divided into 7 apartments. Paul is in the midst of restoring the house, beginning with re-joining some of the spaces. The house now holds two apartments and the rest of the house. David rents a basement room from Paul, who happened to be in Europe when we were coming through town. We want to give a big thank you to Paul for the privilege of staying in this beautiful, historic house. We hope to meet you some day, and thoroughly enjoyed your home.
We walked to Panera for breakfast and took a quick walking tour of downtown Denver: the Civic Center, the Capitol Building, the first Quizno’s in the nation . . . the important stuff. David lives in a beautiful neighborhood and Denver is a beautiful city: large enough to be convenient and definitely a big city, but small enough to be clean and to have historical residences close to downtown. Look at these fun bikes that you can rent on-the-spot at several locations in the neighborhood. It may also be interesting to note that the Molly Brown House, the home of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” is just a block up the street from David’s house.
Here’s a fun thing I found. It’s a Walking Tour Map for the neighborhood surrounding the Molly Brown House. It includes several important sites in the Capitol Hill neighborhood that are worth stopping by. #6, the Robinson House, is my brother’s house. Amusing!
After our walking tour, we got in the car to drive down to Colorado Springs. We did a quick drive-through at Glen Eyrie, the headquarters of the Navigators. My Uncle Rob & Aunt Connie and Uncle John Ed & Aunt Nancy have been on staff with the Navigators for many years, and we have supported Nav staff over the years, so it was fun to see these beautiful headquarters. The capstone is the Castle, built by William Jackson Palmer in the late 1800s.
We headed to Old Colorado City, the historic district, for lunch, and enjoyed a bit of French cuisine at La Baguette. Old Colorado City has lots of little shops and lunch spots. Stop by. It’s fun. We had ice cream after lunch at the Colorado City Creamery, a must-do if you’re in town.
After lunch, we headed to the Garden of the Gods, red rock formations in a park setting. We had fun walking around, though we may be “park-ed out.” It’s likely a good thing that we’re headed home soon. After a walk through the Garden, we headed back to Denver to have a barbecue at David’s with my cousin Brian and his wife, Amy, who also live in Denver. We had a wonderful evening reconnecting with them, hearing about Brian’s work for Vail Resorts, Amy’s work for the Denver Green School (really cool), and Amy’s upcoming spring-distance triathlon.
David, thank you again for a wonderful stay at your house. It was a great way to close out this adventure. And thank you to Brian and Amy for making time to get together with us. We miss you in the Chicago area, but totally get why you stay out here!