Location Number:

20

Address:

1426 Oneida Street

Hours:

Sat and Sun 10AM–4PM

Architect: C. Francis Pillsbury
Architectural Style: Residential Tudor
Year Built: 1937
Designation: Denver Landmark 1996

Structure
Built in 1937, this two-story firehouse was a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The station cost approximately $23,000: $10,500 from the WPA and $12,500 from the City and County of Denver.

It is faced with red brick, stands two stories high, and is accompanied by a side gable roof. There is a Tudor arched central entry door with a terra cotta panel over the door with the date and DFD No. 14 in relief. Outdoor decorative brickwork in a herringbone pattern is around the three tall narrow windows of the second story. Decorative brick lintels top the windows and doors, and a gabled dormer with Tudor-style half-timber details and brick corbelling can be seen above the arched entrance. This Tudor architecture blends into the neighborhood of the time, reflecting the popular English influence in architectural styles in Denver during the 1930s. It is an excellent example of the WPA residential style buildings.

The original tall vertical bi-fold bay doors, where Engine 14 leaves and returns, were replaced in 2013 with large overhead doors, complete with a narrow band of windows across the center. The door openings are topped by elaborate rough stone work, and there is terrazzo tile in the bay floor. The pole for firefighters to slide down from the dormitory to the bay is in use today, and the original wooden lockers are still inside the Station.

The People and Recent Owners
The building has been, and is currently, a Denver Firehouse. Properties that needed fire protection over the years included Colorado Women’s College, Fitzsimmons Hospital, and the Denver Municipal Airport.

Architect
Charles Francis Pillsbury was born in Denver in 1896, where he worked as an architectural draftsman before becoming an architect in ca. 1926. Pillsbury was one of a group of architects responsible for the State Capitol Annex building at 1375 Sherman Street, Denver, CO from 1939 to 1941. The Capitol Annex is now listed on the National Register. He also worked with G. Meredith Musick and Earl C. Morris on the design of the Denver Police Station at 1245 Champa Street, Denver, CO  from 1939 to 1941). The former police building currently holds the Commons on Champa, Denver’s unique gathering place for entrepreneurs. Pillsbury was active into the 1950s and died in 1979. He was also the architect of several elementary schools and other firehouses including the Art Deco style Fire Station #11 at West 2nd Avenue in the Denver Baker Historic District.

The Neighborhood
Montclair was established in 1898, and purchased and developed in 1885. Co-founders were Matthias P. Cochrane, originally from Montclair, New Jersey, hence the name,  as well as Baron Walter von Richthofen, a German nobleman. The community was originally designed to attract wealthier residents. To this end, homeowners were required to purchase and build on lots that were twice the Denver standard size of 25 feet by 125 feet. Homes were required to be at last three stories high, made of brick or stone. In addition, town trustees had to approve all plans and saloons and alcohol were forbidden.

Montclair was annexed by the city of Denver in 1903. The requirements that made Montclair exclusive at the turn of the century became a driving force behind the establishment of the district: the neighborhood includes grand old trees, large lots, and distinctive houses, including nineteenth-century Victorian architecture and Queen Anne Style architecture as well as TB houses, which were designed specifically for tuberculosis sufferers. However, during the twentieth century these original homes were joined by bungalows, cottages, Tudor revival, and modern Ranch-style houses.

References
Denver Landmark Application; archivigrid.com; Noel, Thomas J. and William  Hansen, The Montclair Neighborhood. Historic Denver, Inc. (c) 1999.

For more information, please go to www.denvergov.org/fire.