Mid-Century Buildings of Littleton Blvd.

Midcentury

Year Listed: 2014
County: Arapahoe County
Construction Date: Various – 1949-1967
Threat When Listed: Various – Development, Demolition
Status: ALERT

 

The Mid-Century Resources of Littleton Boulevard consist of number commercial buildings, and building complexes, that can be found along the Littleton Boulevard corridor, south of Denver.  While many building owners have embraced their mid-century buildings, a number have become vacant and received little maintenance of the fast few years.

These buildings are integral to interpreting the automobile movement of the 1950s in Littleton. While the town of Littleton started as early as the 1850s because of gold mining, the area exploded in the 1950s as Denver residents made the move south to live the American Dream. Life in the 1950s was surrounded around progressive thinking and a new modern era.

Mid-Century resources are under attack throughout the county. Often seen as dated and obsolete they fall victim to the wrecking ball and demolition by neglect. Many mid-century buildings can also fall into neglect due to improper construction methods from the start.

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Preservationists across the country are having discussions on how to preserve mid-century buildings that had improper buildings techniques originally. All of the modern styles were utilizing new and innovative construction methods at the time, which were not always fool proof or standard methods. However, this only adds to the story of the importance of mid-century building design and methods.

Awareness will help to educate people on the significance of these buildings. A survey would help access integrity and significance, while also giving the building owners the starting point for possible designation. Survey and designation would also help local organizations with a toolkit on how to help the public and interested parties mitigate future development pressure.

Additional Links:
Learn how to Help Save these resources with Historic Littleton, Inc. 

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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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