Location Number:

38

Address:

1515 Race Street

Hours:

Sat and Sun 10AM–4PM

Architect: None recorded                                                             
Architectural Style: Denver Square
Year Built: 1893           
Designation: Denver Landmark 1988
Photo Restrictions: No

Structure
As one of the earliest and most handsome examples of Denver Square style, the Milheim house is a two-story brick, visually square structure. It includes many of the Victorian details associated with the 1890’s period residences. Typical of the Denver Square style, the exterior is characterized by a hipped roof and bracketed eaves. The front, rear, and north side facades boast hipped dormers with brackets, shingles, and diamond pane casement windows. There is a full front porch with ionic columns, brick posts, brick base, and pediment. The pediment is over the entrance with wreath, shield, and festoon ornamentation supported on acanthus leaf consoles.

The fine example of Denver Square style is especially unique due to its detailing, which is the result of being constructed at the time of the Silver Crash and not after it. Many of the Denver Square homes built after the Crash were devoid of this detail due to the expense. 

Off-center golden oak double doors with beveled glass inserts and transom are located at the entrance.  First-story windows are double-hung, straight-headed, and their sills and lintels are stone. There is a second-story bay window with stone sill and cornice window head supported brackets, while other second-story windows are straight headed, double-hung with continuous sandstone sill, lintel, and cornice windows supported on consoles. On the north facade is a leaded glass double-hung window and transom. Other windows are straight-headed, double hung or single pane. Both the north and south facades boast two-story quare bay windows, and the home’s front steps are sandstone. Two chimneys and a wooden fire escape are on the south side. The interior has been restored to original condition.

The People
This $10,000 residence was constructed in 1893 for Denver prominent pioneer and real estate developer, John Milheim. A Swiss native, Milheim emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 14 in 1849, eventually making his way west to Denver in 1859. In Denver he established the first set of scales for weighing hay wagons and with his brother-in-law, J.J. Riethmann, opened Denver’s first bakery, the Empire Bakery, on Blake Street. In 1866, he began a highly successfully real estate practice, constructing many of the city’s early buildings. He was both a prominent business figure in the community and very active in politics. Upon his death in 1910, he was eulogized as one of Denver’s wealthiest and most respected citizens.The Milheims remained at this residence until 1929.

The structure was originally constructed and located at 1355 Pennsylvania Street, across from the Molly Brown House in the Capital Hill Denver neighborhood. In 1989 it was moved in tact from that location to the current 1515 Race Street, which, at the time,  was the largest (over 7000 square feet) structure ever moved in Colorado in one piece. Ralph Heronema and Jim Alleman were the owners of the house during its migration. Prior to their ownership, the building was owned by the Colorado State Employees Credit Union,  also known as known as TIORCO, Inc.

Recent Owners
This structure has been the home of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop (LWW) since 2011. LWW is the largest nonprofit literary center in Colorado and Rocky Mountain West. It currently has six classrooms in addition to a large ground level room that holds approximately 100 patrons for talks and events.

The Neighborhood
Capitol Hill, original location, is one of Denver’s most well known neighborhoods, home to many of the city’s most influential families of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Official boundaries are Broadway to the west, Colfax to the north, Downing to the east, and 7th Avenue to the south. It derives its name from the acceptance of Henry Brown’s donation of land for the construction site of the Capitol building.

References
Denver Landmark Application; City and County of Denver Ordinance DLM -173; Noel, Tom, Denver Landmarks and Historic Denver.