DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION OF A
DENVER ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITY By
Per M. Hogestad
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the School of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture
This thesis for the Master of Architecture degree by
Per M. Hogestad has been approved for the Architecture Program School of Architecture and Planning
. Prosser, AIA
Faculty Advisor: Gary J. Crowell, AIA
Date September 1, 1988
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction and Problem Statement
II. Analysis of Denver's Architectonic Identity
A. Defining Denver's Architectural Mass
A Comparative Analysis of Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago
B. Defining Denver's Architectural Proportion--A Comparative Analysis of Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago
C. Defining Denver's Nineteenth-Century Architectural VitalityAn Analytic Study of Western Richardsonianism
D. Defining Denver's Architectural Identity in Terms of H. H. Richardson's Western ExperienceAn Analytical Study of the Ames Memorial
E. Defining Denver's Architectonic Elements Through Western MythologyA Discussion of the Architectonic Implications Related to Western Mythology
F. Defining the Western ClimateA Discussion of Architectonic Considerations
G. Defining Denver's Construction MaterialsA Discussion of Context and Appropriateness
III. Summary and Thesis Statement
IV. Architectural ProgramSite, Zonej Code
Denver, one of the great nineteenth-century cities, produced through its rich architecture a readily perceivable identity. Today, if Denver is to recapture its role as a major city, it will need to renew its sense of place and identity through contemporary architectural forms. The longevity of Denver's rebirth can be assured if Denver begins to look to its own traditions and resources as a basis for future development.
Denver is a unique city, possessing an architectural and cultural heritage that stems from the manner in which the city developed, its material resources, location, and spirit.
I believe that it is possible to develop an architectonic language specific to Denver. By defining architectonic elements specific to Denver design, criteria can be established. The criteria collectively can be called an architectonic language. The language, when used, will produce architecture that is specific to Denver.
Much of the study will be based on comparative analy-
sis . Chicago and Kans as City have been selected as the
bas: is for demonstrating relationships and differing levels
of quantity. Chicago has been sell ected because of its
tradition as a center for architectural innovation and
influence, bearing directly on Denver's architectural development. Kansas City's developmental history, similar to that of Denver, and the city's relative location with-' respect to Chicago and Denver are the basis for the use of the city in the comparative studies.
A brief discussion of each architectonic element expected to be found through the study and the means for qualifying each element will serve to clarify the parameters and methods of the study.
Denver's architectural mass will be defined by conducting a comparative study of building surface and building penetration. It will be shown that because of the lack of urban density and considerations of sun shading, Denver's architecture is comprised of window openings that occur with less frequency and display a decreased dimension relative to the architecture of Chicago and Kansas City. A greater ratio of building surface to window area produces a visual massiveness that is characteristic of Denver as a place.
Denver's proportional uniqueness will be proved by comparing the city's column width to building height with that of Chicago and Kansas City. The comparison should produce ratios that define the respective cities' architectural proportions. Denver's building proportions by way of the comparison will show that Denver is a low-rise city with extreme exaggeration of column width. The findings of
the analysis should reaffirm and be consistent with the
city's urban plan initiated at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The vitality of Denver's architectural forms will be seen by an analytical study of H. H. Richardson's architecture in the West. It will be established that although not directly learned from Richardson, the Richardsonian style became a familiar model for Denver architects. Evidence will show that Richardsonian architecture in the West produced an architectural style that through modification expressed a vitality specific to Denver. It will be demonstrated that Denver's Richardsonian architecture can serve as a contemporary model not necessarily in its form but by the attitude toward an expressive and nature-based design theory.
Less tangible but essential in the formulation of a Denver architectonic language will be the analysis and interpretation of mythic perceptions of Denver's pioneer experience, the West as the theater and the mountains as the stage. By analyzing images of the West as they have been represented through paintings and literature of the past and present, an understanding of the notion of the West can be established. The notion of the West as a place both real and imaginary will produce an expression of architectural permanence, independence, continuity of space, and the power of a building to embody a heroic attitude.
Denver's climate is of essential importance in developing an architectonic language because of its role in
characterizing both environmental needs and identification
of place. Building orientation and choice of building materials will become evident through the study.
A study of local building materials and the area's mineral resources will yield an understanding of historic material use and possible interpretations of the area's mineral wealth.
The following is an in-depth study of the architectonic elements previously described. Included in the study is the interpretation of each element and the formulation of design criteria based on each element.
In order to develop an architectural language specific
to Denver, it first must be determined that Denver possesses an architectural uniqueness. By conducting a comparative analysis of Denver, Kansas City, and Chicago, it can be demonstrated that, in fact, Denver's historic architecture is unique. It is evident that Denver's ratio of building height to column width is substantially less than Chicago's or Kansas City's. The smaller ratio demonstrates that the columns of Denver's architecture are much wider in relation to the building's overall height, thereby producing a low broad massive appearance.
Because the majority of Denver's historic commercial architecture dates primarily from 1880 through 1915, it is necessary to compare Denver with other cities that exhibit a similar collection of historic architecture. It is also necessary to compare cities with similar developmental histories. Chicago and Kansas City have been selected because of their similarities with Denver's history and architecture.
A column-to-building-height ratio is the basis for the comparison of cities. The column magnitude will set a standard for estimation of a building's mass and proportion as a whole. A column through its shape and dimensions
will indicate something beyond its intrinsic purpose of structural support. In the case of Denver, the column dimension indicates a sense of strength and solidity.
For the purpose of this analysis, a clarification of the term "column" must be established. Any vertical section having a base, shaft, and terminated by a capital will constitute a column. The use of the word "column" will refer to all columns and will include piers and pilasters, both structural and nonstructural with no minimum amount of reveal from the building surface.
The building heights included in the analysis were established by setting up a standard floor-to-ceiling height. The floor-to-ceiling height will remain constant in measuring all of the cities. By multiplying the floor-to-ceiling height with the number of stories, a building height will be established.
In the case of Denver, a physical measurement of columns was conducted, while the columns of Chicago and Kansas City were scaled from photographs. The scaling of the photographs was achieved by using a standard brick dimension of eight inches if a brick course could be found in the photograph. A standard six foot height represented by a person was used when no discernible brick course was found in the photograph.
Chicago's building height is, of course, considerably greater than the two other cities because of the necessity to meet the economic demands of Chicago's real estate
values. It should be noted that because of the magnitude of the city's building height, its columns are more slender by ratio. The slenderness of the columns continues to shrink in size as the development of skeleton construction becomes the state of the art in commercial design. Although massive masonry construction continued to be widely practiced, much of this design theory was replaced by the turn of the century by steel skeleton construction. Whichever style architects choose to practice, the new steel skeleton approach or remain content to practice in the old traditional method, the functional problem of low-light levels in a dense city produced designs of minimal building structure.
In a search for symbols of urban maturity, Kansas City welcomed outside influences of firms such as Burnham and Root of Chicago. The architecture of Kansas City, while not as tall as Chicago's buildings, displays a marked Chicago influence. Because of Kansas City's lower building height with respect to Chicago's, the column-to-building height ratio reveals a column wider than Chicago's and yet more slender than the columns of Denver's architecture. The demand on real estate in Kansas City was not as great as it was in Chicago, thereby allowing a less dense pattern of urban development to occur. The lack of density thus allows for a greater degree of wall surface to window area.
As Chicago's architectural influence moved westward, the architecture becomes abbreviated, shrinking in height proportionally to the distance traveled. As the structure
diminishes, its columns begin to extend outward. As Chicago's influences reached Denver, the forms were further modified to meet the needs of a low-rise frontier city. An example of the modification of eastern architecture as it moved westward can be seen in a comparison of the first steel skeleton construction building in each of the cities.
Chicago's Home Insurance Building of 1885 by William L. Jenney, Kansas City's Wainwright Building of 1891 by Adler and Sullivan, and Denver's Symes Building of 1905 by J. R. and R. H. Hunt of New York will be used in the comparison. There is a time delay of 20 years in the transfer of the new architectural technology to Denver. The buildings decrease in size from 12 stories in Chicago to 9 stories in Kansas City and, finally, to 8 stories in Denver. The column-to-building-height ratio decreases as the architectural style moves west. Chicago's Home Insurance Building has a ratio of 1 foot of column width for every 28 feet of building height. The Kansas City Wainwright Building has a ratio of 1 foot of column width for every 25 feet of building height. Denver's Symes Building has a ratio of 18 feet of building height to every foot of column width. It can be seen that by either a selection of building construction types or by the random selection of a group of buildings (see Appendix), the hypothesis of a scale and proportion modification occurs as architectural styles move westward holds true.
There was a conscious effort to adapt architecture of the east to fit the goals and aspirations of Denver.
Advocates for height restrictions in Denver argued that tall buildings would not only block sunlight, fresh air, and mountain views but also would increase sidewalk crowds and create a ragged skyline.
Denver's first height ordinance, a 1908 charter amendment stated: "No building, part of building or other structure hereafter or at present erected, except campaniles, spires, domes, water towers or smoke stacks shall be of a height no more than one hundred and twenty-five feet or more than nine stories high, figuring from the grade line at sidewalk up to top of front parapet wall or roof." (Revised to a maximum height of twelve stories, December 1908.) Volume one of The Denver Plan 1929 reaffirmed the commitment of the city beautiful era to low buildings and low density.
"The cities of the east are ant hills where the teaming population piles upon itself, while the cities of the west follow the same plan as the prairie dog towns of the plains. . . . Let us
continue our present policy and build a city of spacious beauty.
Through the comparative study, it has become evident that as the influence of the Chicago school of architecture moved west, it was adapted by each city to meet their own specific needs. The argument is not where the architectural style originated but how the forms were modified to suit a particular location and philosophy. It is in this modification that Denver's architectural identity can be found. The exaggeration of column width to an enormous proportion well beyond that of classical proportions or the proportions set forth by Chicago's architects is a fundamental symbol of Denver's architecture.
To propose a column size equal to that of existing Denver architecture would be to defeat the purpose of the The essence of the study is to recognize an
exaggeration of scale and proportion. The findings of this analysis must be presented in such a manner as to make it easily perceivable. Based on the findings of the analysis, I propose that a ratio of four feet of building height to every foot of column width be employed as a part of a contemporary Denver architectural language.
"'Thomas J. Noel and Barbara S. Norgren, Denver The City Beautiful and Its Architects 1893-1941 (Denver, Colorado: Historic Denver, Inc., 1987), 123.
Andrews, Wayne. Architecture in Chicago and Mid-America. New York: Harper & Row, 1968.
Brettell, Richard. Historic Denver 1858-1893. Denver, Colorado: Historic Denver Inc., 1973.
Cohen, Stuart E. Chicago Architects. Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc., 1976.
Ehrlich, George. Kansas City, Missouri An Architectural
History 1826-1976. Kansas City, Missouri:
Historic Kansas City Foundation, 1979.
Noel, Thomas J. and Norgren, Barbara S. Denver The City Beautiful and Its Architects 1893-1941. Denver, Colorado: Historic Denver, Inc., 1987.
CHICAGO COLUMN/HEIGHT ANALYSIS
Fig. 1. Woman's Temple
Scaled by Person 11 Stories @ 14' = 156' Column = 8'0"
156' 4- 8' = 19.5':1'
Fig. 2. Chapin & Gore Building Scaled by Plan 1:40 8 Stories @ 14' = 112' Column = 4'0"
112' 4' = 28'
Fig. 3. Mondadnock Building Scaled by Person 16 Stories @ 14' = 224' Column = 6'0"
224' 4- 6' = 37':1'
Fig. 4. YMCA
Scaled by Brick 4 Stories @ 14' = 56' Column = 32"
56 2.67' = 20.9':1'
Fig. 5. Rookery Building Scaled by Person 10 Stories @ 14' = 140' Column = 6'0"
140' 6' = 23.3':!'
Fig. 6. Auditorium
Scaled by Person 11 Stories @ 14' Column = 7'0" 154' 4- 7' =
22' : 1
7. First Leiter
Scaled by Plan 1:50 7 Stories @ 14' = 98' Column = 6'0"
98' -r 6' = 16.3' : 1 '
8. Tacoma Building
Scaled by Plan 1:40 13 Stories Â§ 14' = 182' Column = 5'0"
182 -r 5 = 36.4' : 1 '
9. Pontiac Building
Scaled by Plan 1:40 14 Stories @ 14' = 196' Column = 9'0"
196' 9' = 21.8' : 1'
10. Fisher Building
Scaled by Plan 1:30 14 Stories @ 14' = 196' Column = 3'0"
196' 3' = 65.3' : 1 '
11. Marshall Field
Scaled by Person 9 Stories @ 14' = 126' Column = 6'0"
126' -f 6' = 21 : 1'
12. Art Institute
Scaled by Person 3 Stories @ 14' = 42' Column = 210"
42' f 21' = 2':1'
Scaled by Brick 17 Stories @14' = 238' Column = 6'0"
238' + 6' = 39.7':1'
Fig. 14. Sears
Scaled by Person 8 Stories @ 14' = 112' Column = 56"
112' 5.5' = 20.3':1'
Fig. 15. E-Z Polish
Scaled by Brick 5 Stories @ 14' = 70' Column = 4'0"
70' 4' = 17.5':1'
19.5':1' 28.0 ':1' 37.0':1' 20.9':1' 23.3':1 22.0':1' 16.3' :1 36.4':1 21.8' :1' 65.3':1' 21.0':1'
2.0':1' 39.7 :1 20.3':1' 17.5':1'
391 -r 15 = 26' : 1 '
2,102' 15 = 140'
Greatest Height--238' Smallest Height--42'
Greatest Ratio39.7':1' Smallest Ratio--2':l'
KANSAS CITY COLUMN/HEIGHT ANALYSIS
Board of Trade Scaled by Brick 6 Stories Q 14' = 84' Column = 80"
84' -r 6.67' = 12.5' :1 '
Emery, Bird, Thayer Co. Building Scaled by Person 5 Stories @ 14' = 70'
Column = 26"
70' 2.5' = 28':1'
Federal Building Scaled by Person 15 Stories 6 14' = 210' Column = 6'0"
210' 6 = 35':1'
R. A. Long Building Scaled by Person 14 Stories @ 14' = 196' Column = 6'0"
196' 6' = 32.6':1'
First National Bank Scaled by Person 3 Stories @ 14' = 42' Column = 4'0"
42' -r 4' = 10.5' : 1 '
Stine and McClure Building Scaled by Brick 2 Stories @ 14' = 28' Column = 40"
28' 3.33' = 8.4':1'
Folly Theatre Scaled by Brick 3 Stories 6 14' = 42' Column = 32"
42' 2.67' = 15.7' :1'
Average Ratio Average Height
12.5 1 ' 84'
28.0' 1' 70 '
35.0' 1 ' 210'
32.6' 1 ' 196'
10.5' 1 ' 42'
8.4 ' 1 ' 28'
15.7' 1 ' 42 '
142.7' -r 7 = 20' : 1' 672' 7 = 96'
Greatest Height210' Smallest Height--28'
Greatest Ratio35':1' Smallest Ratio--8.4':1
DENVER COLUMN/HEIGHT ANALYSIS SCALED BY MEASUREMENT
3 Stories @ 14' = 42' Column = 5'8"
42' 5.67' = 7.4':1'
18th & Wazee 4 Stories @ 14' = 56' Column = 5'8"
56' -r 5.67' = 9.88' : 1'
17th & Wazee
2.5 Stories @ 14' = 35'
Column = 5'0"
35' -r 5' = 7' : 1'
Sugar Building 4 Stories Â§ 14' = 56' Column = 68"
56' -r 6.67' = 8.3' : 1'
Windsor Farm Dairy 2.5 Stories Â§ 14' = 35' Column = 7'11"
35' 7.9' = 4.4':1'
19th & Blake 3 Stories Â§ 14' = 42' Column = 6'0"
42' ^ 6' = 7' : 1'
Fig. 7. Public Storage Co.
5 Stories @ 14' = 70' Column = 6'4"
70' 6.33' = 11 :1'
Fig. 8. 15th a Market
1 Story @ 14' = 14' Column = 2'5''
14' 4- 2.42' = 5.8' : 1'
Fig. 9. 17th & Lawrence
2 Stories @ 14' = 28' Column = 4'0"
28' 4-4' = 7' : 1'
Fig. 10. M. L. Foss Co.
2 Stories Â§14' =28' Column = 5'0"
28 4- 5' = 5.6' : 1'
Fig. 11. Bayly-Underhill Co.
5 Stories @ 14' = 70' Column = 5'
70' 4-5' = 14' : 1'
Fig. 12. 20th a Curtis
2.5 Stories Â§ 14' = 35' Column = 56"
35' 4- 5.6' = 6.4' : 1'
Fig. 13. Colorado National Bank
3 Stories @ 14' = 42' Column = 83"
42 4- 8.25 =5.1':!'
Fig. 14. Denver Tramway Co.
8 Stories Â§ 14' = 112' Column = 6*3"
112' 4- 6.25' =
Fig. 15. Denver Tramway Co.
3 Stories Q 14' = 42' Column = 10'3"
42 -r 10.25' = 4.1 : 1 '
Fig. 16. Boston Building
8 Stories @ 14' = 112' Column = 9'3"
112' 9.25' = 12.1':!'
7.4 : 1 9.9':1' 7.0' :1' 8.3':1'
4.4':1 7.0':1' 11.0' :1' 5.8':1' 7.0' :1 5.6': 1' 14.0':1 6.4':1'
132.1 16 = 8.3' :1 ' 819' 4- 16
Greatest Height112' Smallest Height14'
Greatest Ratio--17':l Smallest Ratio4':1'
In order to understand the Richardsonian style in the context of the West, we must consider the style as it was implemented in Denver. We must also consider how Richardson perceived the West and how it was expressed in his work.
Many published Richardsonian buildings are from the West and Midwest. The reasons for the rural concentration of Richardsonianism is due to the architect's influence on Chicago's architecture and the search by westerners for a grand scale for their architecture.
In Chicago Richardson's Marshall Field warehouse and the McVeagh house had a lasting effect on architectures of the Chicago school. The development of Chicago's monumental architecture in the 1880s was well known to all major American cities and its fabled skyscrapers provided prototypes for America and especially western commercial architecture.
Westerners always had been very conscious of the grandness and largeness of their land. Landscape paintings of the mid-century had given the West an image of heroic scale and awesome magnificence. Westerners wanted buildings in keeping with the monumental splendor of their land, and they consciously sought a strong and vital architecture. This sentiment is expressed in an article entitled "The City
House in the West," which appeared in the October 1890 issue of Scribner's Magazine:
In Denver we have on the one side the broad expanse of the plains and on the other the high mountains. No architect is qualified for the best class of work in Denver who does not take these two great facts into consideration. Denver architecture should be^ characterized by strength, solidity and richness.
A great many western Richardsonian architects learned Richardsonianism not from Richardson himself, but from other Richardsonians. By the late eighties the beautiful and wildly romantic architecture of Leroy Buffington, the most prominent architect in Minneapolis, was perhaps the most widely published Richardsonian architect in the United States, in spite of the vast difference between his imagistic work and Richardson's solid and brooding architecture. It is probable that Buffington, Root of Chicago and the innumerable minor architects whose work was published in the national press, provided the provincial city of Denver with its Richardsonian models.
By examining local Richardsonian architecture, it can
be seen that the Richardsonian style of the West is much
more exuberant than the actual work of Richardson.
Denver's Richardsonianism was more decidedly high Victorian in its complexity, its juxtaposition of forms, its active silhouettes and its picturesque surface activity.
The Mining Exchange Building of 1889 by Kirchner & Kirchner of St. Louis was the most visible and the largest of the buildings in this mode built in Denver. The Exchange is almost a catalogue of Richardsonian features placed in an almost totally un-Richardsonian context; the rusticated stone arch, the stumpy columns, the exaggerated classical moldings, the neo-Romanesque capitals and the horizontal or vertical groupings of windows formed continuous compositions. The building had an exuberance which seemed to hark back to the then old-fashioned Denver of the 1870s the sober and righteous aspects of Richardsonianism--the style of substantial institutionscountered the more literary use of Romanesque as a style of the past which the architect could combine with other
styles to form a new and active whole. Whether used alone or in combination with other styles,
Richardsonianism prevailed in Denver through the decade before the crash of 1893.
The Denver Athletic Club by Varian and Sterner is in its basic form a commercial street front building, with a Denver inspired Richardsonian facade.
The first two levels are rusticated stone cut in monumental blocks reminiscent of the Allegheny prison in Pittsburgh. The upper levels are typically Denver in style, constructed of local brick laid in Richardsonian arches. The local style of the upper floors acknowledges its debt to the national style of the lower floors.
Denver's use of the Richardsonian style can be seen as a manifestation of a boom town's philosophy and identity. The interpretation of the western Richardsonian style can be summarized as the ability to borrow freely from what was then the current national style and to modify the style to suit the new and quickly developing city. A contemporary interpretation, therefore, can be stated in the same terms.
Richard R. Brettell, Historic Denver, The and Architecture 1858-1893 (Denver, Colorado: Denver, Inc., 1973), 151.
2Ibid., p. 156.
3Ibid., p. 180.
4Ibid., p. 187.
RICHARDSON'S AMES MEMORIAL
The monument to Oaks and Oliver Ames was a commission that came to Richardson through the patronage of the Ames family. On March 10, 1875, stockholders of the Union Pacific meeting in Boston authorized the construction of the monument. No action was taken until 1879, possibly because of continued litigation between the Union Pacific and the Credit Mobilier. After 1879 F. L.
Ames, as a member of the Union Pacific Executive Board, expedited the project and may have been responsible for including Oliver Ames II in the memorial. Oliver Ames II had served as acting president of the Union Pacific from 1866 to 1868 and as president from 1868 to 1871.
Originally the monument stood 300 feet south of the Union Pacific main line at its highest elevation, 8,247 feet above sea level. But the line was moved south to eliminate unnecessary grades in 1901.
The monument was designed as a simple two-stepped pyramid measuring sixty feet square and standing sixty feet high. It is built of rough hewn local granite, joined with mortar and occasional (concealed) metal clamps. At the base each stone measures about five feet by eight feet. The lower portion of the monument is laid up in random ashlar, but the upper section is straight courses.
Two medallions, each measuring nine feet in height, are located thirty-nine feet above the base: One on the east face is the bust of Oaks Ames and the other on the west face is a bust of Oliver Ames. They were carved by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
Understanding the underlying inspiration behind the design of the Ames monument is necessary in order to understand the later, more personal work of Richardson.
In the process of creating the Ames memorial, we see Richardson move away from a European academic tradition of design to a process based on natural imagery.
At the onset of this study it was my intent to prove that a relationship between Denver's Richardsonian architecture and Richardson's western experience existed. Through the study of Richardsonian architecture in Denver, it has become apparent that Denver's use of the Richardsonian style is not strictly based on Richardson's own work but is a modification of a Midwest Richardsonian style.
It is important to note that in Richardson's western experience, he gained in his architecture what has always been an intrinsic part of Denver's architectural identity, a land-based inspiration.
Although there is no evidence that Richardson traveled farther west than St. Louis, it can still be posed that the architect was influenced by the West.
It can easily be assumed that Richardson had visual images to work with in order to create the form of the monument.
The discovery of America by Americans reached its climax in the era of exploration following the Civil War, as the railroad bound west to east and the search for mineral riches became intense.
This era is distinguished by the unrivaled land forms that were revealed beyond the one-hundredth meridian by geologists, painters and photographers, who flooded the east with a plentitude of astonishing images. Reacting to these new images Emerson in The Young American observed that "the nervous, Rocky West is intruding a new and continental element into the national mind, and we shall yet have an American genius. ... I think we must regard the land as a commanding and
increasing power on the citizen, the sanative and Americanizing influence, which promises to disclose new virtues for ages to come."
New western imagery was common knowledge found in\ government scientific reports, limited-edition photographic portfolios, stereographic view cards, and illustrated popular publications. Richardson would have known about the western discoveries merely by being alive in the 1870s and 1880s.
For the specific site, it is most likely that Richardson relied on photographs taken of the construction of the Union Pacific by A. J. Russell.
In 1869 Russell issued The Great West Illustrated, a photographic album of views taken of Union Pacific construction and natural formations found along the railroad route. The photographs in Russell's album were but a small selection of those he took of the Union Pacific between 1867 and 1869. The remainder were known in New England from The Illustrated Course of Lectures on the Scenery Between Omaha and San Francisco Taken for the Union Pacific Railroad given throughout the northeast during the 1870s by S. J. Sedgwick who seems to 3 have gained control of Russell's negatives.
Included in the catalog of Sedgwick's stereographic cards is a view titled "High Rocks, Near Sherman Station," (see Appendix, Skull Rock) and Reeds Rock (see Appendix), which he describes as a pile of granite about a quarter of a mile west of the station (at Sherman) and within a stone's throw of the tracks, raising from the ground as clean and regular as though made by man.
Reeds Rock was the granite formation used as the quarry 5
for the memorial and most likely as inspiration for the monument itself.
Richardson's intention to use geological references at Sherman summit cannot be seriously questioned, he sought to create a manmade form as
permanent as the natural forms it conventionalizes. Olmsted in a letter to Van Renssilar after the architect's death wrote that he never saw a monument so well befitting its situation or a situation so well befitting the special characteristics of a particular monument. (It is) on the peak of a great hill among the great hills. ... A fellow passenger (in the Union Pacific car) told me that. ... It had caught his eye. (But) he had supposed it to be a natural object. Within a few miles there are several conical horns of the same granite projecting above the smooth surface of the hills. .
At times the monument is under a hot fire of little missiles driven bythe wind. But I think they will only improve it.
Following the design of the Ames monument, Richardson produced a series of houses for suburban or rural sites in the satellite areas of Boston.
For these residential designs he seems to have extended and modified the creative process based on natural imagery. He had learned for the monument. Since these eastern sites offer no stiff competition from neighboring geological forms, as was the case at Sherman, he could afford to permit his designs to ^volve easily out of their inspirational sources.
At the Gate Lodge at North Easton Richardson relied on geological imagery. There is little or no reference to architectural history in the design. "The bold plasticity of its boulder-built is as remote from the Romanesque as from Queen Anne. A similarly absolute originality of a more gracious order can be seen in the Fenway Bridge of 1881 in Boston.
At the R. T. Paine house of 1884, Richardson's architectural detailing is elemental, as in the primitive arch at the salient angle of the house. Olmsted provided a terrace formed by low, serpentine, boulder walls. The architect and landscapist here collaborated to interweave architecture and environment into one geological image.
Richardson's Gurney house of 1884 is situated near the top of a ridge, with irregular features composed of sloping roof and locally quarried granite
walls. Contemporary newspaper accounts describe the house as "built of rough stones with their moss on, and presenting a most picturesque and unique appearance, the external walls seemed the work of nature's trowel."
''Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, H. H. Richardson Complete Architectural Works (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press,
1982), p. 212.
James F. O'Gorman, H. H. Richardson Architectural Forms for an American Society (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1987), p. 94.
^Ibid., pp. 99-100.
4Ibid., p. 100.
The Ames Monument, Wyoming Historical Department Quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 2, No. 3, January 15, 1925, p. 51.
0'Gorman, Richardson Architectural Forms, pp. 100-101.
7Ibid., p. 104.
Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New York: Penguin Books, 1977),
^O'Gorman, Richardson Architectural Forms, pp. 108-110.
The concept of a mythological West used in part as a basis for the creation of an architectonic language is in essence a cultural rather than elemental concept, but it must be emphasized that the cultural perception of the West, as a place, directly bears on the way in which architectural forms were conceived.
To assume that the architects and builders of Denver were not aware of the bigger-than-life myth of the city of which they were a part would be to assume that the myth did not exist at all. We will see in the study that the myth did exist and still exists today.
The cities of the East were influenced by fantastic accounts of the mineral wealth and of great individual feats of heroism. The West could not help but recognize and live up to the expectations of the myth that they themselves had created.
The question here is how the architectural forms were conceived out of the myth. It can be seen that the architects of Denver chose in part to ignore a classically inspired architectural language. A personal expression not altogether dependent on formal rules of architecture was adopted by Denver's architects. Through the myth of the West, architects and builders were influenced whether
consciously or unconsciously to create a new architecture for a new frontier. Although the architecture was not a true and complete break from the past, it did embody a' heroic individualism and boldness that could confront the wilderness head on and did not diminish the bigger-than-life myth of the West.
In order to understand the implications of the western myth, it is necessary to define and trace its development and understand how it has been handed down to us.
The West of the early nineteenth century is the starting point of the mythology as it applies to Denver.
Most of the maps of the western United States in the 1820s and 1830s that were available to and were viewed by the public included much misinformation that was based on fancy rather than of fact. Before the 1840s the federal government had surprisingly little accurate terrain information about this region in its topographical bureau files. Most of the bureau's activities were directed to surveys for internal improvements in the populous eastern United States.
At this time of increased interest in the unknown Western Frontier, American painters became interested in portraying the lands beyond the frontier. Although the influence spread far beyond the Hudson Valley, the style became known as the Hudson River school. Inspired by the nature writings of such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Cullen Bryant, American painters began to look at their native scenery with a new sense of pride. The romantic paintings of Fredric Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt portrayed awesome mountains and wilderness. Other less well-known and unknown painters chronicled the West from
their eastern studios. Although not pictorially accurate, the paintings filled a crucial need of their time by depicting the scenic wonders of a new landscape that Americans up
till this time could only read about.
By the 1850s the federal government initiated a major program of systematic exploration and mapping of the West. This program included exploration to determine accurately the precise location, extent and composition of primary land form features, exploration and surveys of principal river systems, and exploration and surveys for civilian and military transportation. The principal
published product of these explorations was a thirteen volume document entitled Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the pacific Ocean published by the federal government.
"Engravers took liberties with the manuscript presumably in
the interests of better composition and perhaps even to
satisfying their own urge to be final editor." It can be seen that from the very beginning, information reaching the eastern United States was filled with exaggeration and misconceptions that begin to build the myth.
By the mid-nineteenth century the image or public impression of the area west of the Mississippi River was undergoing decisive and far-reaching change. The flood of people into the area beyond the frontier intending to settle newly found fertile valleys and to search for mineral wealth created a new source of information for easterners hungry for news of wealth and opportunity. Accounts of incredible wealth and prosperity were continuously published in eastern
The West was able to produce enough miracles to give substance to stories coming out of this fabulous land. Just when eastern confidence began to weaken, an enormous nugget would be discovered in some remote mining area, or the longest fullest head of wheat yet seen would go on display.
In 1869 traveler Samuel Bowles wrote that the irrigated gardens of the Denver area "riot in growth of fat vegetables. Think of cabbages weighing from fifty to sixty pounds each. And potatoes from five to six pounds. g. Yet here they grow, and as excellent as big."
In recalling an 1879 visit, Walt Whitman describes the
incredible wealth of silver to be found in Denver:
And cash! Why they create it here. Out in the smelting works, I saw long rows of vats, pans, cover'd by bubbling-boiling water and fill'd with pure silver, four or five inches thick, many thousand dollars worth in a pan. The foreman who was showing me shovel'd it carelessly up with a little wooden shovel, as one might toss beans.
Then large silver bricks worth $2,000 a brick, dozens of piles, twenty in a pile. In one place in the mountains, at a mining camp, I had a few days before seen rough bullion on the ground in open air, like the confectioner's pyramids at some swell dinner in New York.
Not all accounts of Denver were as optimistic as Whitman's.
In 1859 Horace Greeley wrote that he found:
. more brawls, more pistol shots with criminal intent in this log city of 150 dwellings, not three-fourths of them completed, nor two-thirds of them inhabited, nor one-third fit to b^ than in any community of equal numbers on earth.
addition to newspaper accounts, fiction went on the market. Bored
a great deal of easterners living
quiet, uneventful lives escaped momentarily into a vicarious West. The more this mythic West sold, the more of it there was on the market.
The emergence of crowded eastern cities, tenement living, and a reduction of the everyday American
to a nameless, faceless non-entity who was at the mercy of forces over which he had little control and who was possessed of few choices found in popular literature an escape. The stories that these entrapped people were reading suggested that the West was a place of opportunity, a big land that bred large men, a sanctuary possessed of an atmosphere that breathed American ideals and hinted a fulfillment of the American dream. Of course, the man on the street was shackled in many ways, unable to try for the chance to live the western myth. However, that did not prevent him from finding the dream in the readings available to him. The West of the mind did indeed exist.
Between 1860 and 1898 Beadle and Adams published what
would come to be called "dime novels." Over 3,000 titles
were published with sales running up to 5 million copies.
Ned Buntline wrote over 200 novels for Beadle and Adams,
most featuring the exploits of William Fredrick "Buffalo
Bill" Cody. Buffalo Bill also starred in Buntline's play,
"Scouts of the Plains." In 1872 the beginning of a show-
business career, which culminated in his famous Wild West
Shows that further propagated the western myth, Buffalo Bill
was featured in over 800 dime novels, and in hundreds of
other novels famous cowboys, such as Wild Bill Hickock and
Billy the Kid, fixed the image of the Wild West for the
The color of cowboys, calvarymen, stagecoach drivers, wild Indians, spectacularly rich miners added to the legend. Their contribution led to the creation of a mythical land, a sort of sagebrush Shangri-La where everyone was prosperous, happy and young. In general western settlers were characterized as highly individualistic people given to personal solutions of problems. Their ability to innovate got ^hem out of trouble where ordinary mortals failed.
"During the 1970s writers were still talking about the
mountain states region as a place where the pioneer ethic of
rugged individualism seems to be greatly cherished." Americans had found comfort in the ideals of the western myth. The stories of rough-hewn individualists who confronted the elements of the vast western plains and mountains serve as the basis for mythologizing of the Wild West. Tent shows, circuses, rodeos, movies, and television were and still are a melodramatic call to the West. The myth of the West attracts a slew of writers who romanticize the cowboy's life for an American public ever hungry for some of the excitement and adventure of the Western Frontier.
Americans in the light of increased industrial technology have sought to find roots, tradition, a past who's values can be leaned on. Older nations have their legends, and for Americans the great westward sweep wit^ all its implications had been the nation's epic.
The search for an identity is keeping the myth alive. People have a need to believe that they are set apart from the rest of the world by something peculiarly theirs. They need to know who they are, individually and collectively, an identity with the plains and mountains. The land itself, its great distances, its feel of great forces that will not be tamed and its beauty, form an identity, a collective experience ||d by our need to discover and invent who we are.
The western historian Ray Billington enumerates three main reasons for the persistence of the western myth today; a strong back to nature urge, a growing resistance to the strictures of conventionalism and a desire for a greater individual expression in highly industrialized and technical society.
In architectonic terms nature and an identity with the land can be expressed by obvious imagery of the mountains,
or it can be based on the pure spirit of the mountains as in an expression of reaching to the sky or as a linking of the earth and sky. The identity with nature also can be\ expressed architectonically by borrowing the colors of the mountains and plains. The architecture can express the plasticity of natural forms. The use of natural materials that have not been excessively refined, such as rough-cut stone, can reinforce our empathy with nature (see Ames Memorial).
Individuality and unconventionalism can be expressed by architectural elements that are not dependent on inherited architectural notions of traditional forms or philosophy. Self-expression and inventive forms should be encouraged (see Western Richardsonianism). The subscription to current architectural trends and styles that have no basis in the philosophy or legacy of the West should be avoided.
The interpretation of great size and distance can be demonstrated, as described earlier in the study, by the exaggeration of mass and proportion (see Mass and Proportion).
Based on the understanding of the western myth, it can be seen that the design process and ultimately the finished product can be influenced by cultural beliefs and an awareness of place.
^Herman R. Friis, "The Image of the American West at Mid Century 1840-60," in The Frontier Reexamined, ed. John Francis McDermott (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1967), p. 50.
David Redder, The Story of America Painters of a Virgin Land (Pleasantville, New York: Reader's Digest
Association Inc., 1975), p. 376.
Friis, "Image of the American West," p. 54.
4Ibid., p. 58.
^Robert G. Athearn, The Mythic West in Twentieth-Century America (Lawrence, Kansas: The University Press of Kansas, 1986), p. 252.
David Lavender, The Rockies (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1968), p. 224.
'Ibid., p. 378.
G. E. Kidder Smith, Architecture in America (New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1976), p. 625.
Athearn, The Mythic West, p. 254,
: Harper & Row
"^Athearn 9 The 1
12t. Ibid. , P- 265
13t,., Ibid. , P- 255
14Ibid. , P- 272
The presence of large deposits of brick clay immediately adjacent to the city became invaluable in the building of Denver as soon as the abundance of trees along the shores of the Platte River and Cherry Creek became scarce.
Wooden structures of the early 1860s failed to survive fires, floods, and Indian raids. After the fire of 1863, construction of new wooden frame buildings was prohibited in the business district.'*'
Denver's streets had a remarkable grandeur and urbanity in the late 1860's. The buildings were solid and well-built, and the warm orange-red of the brick was attractive on the parched, treeless plains. Denver was making a self-conscious attempt to become law-abiding and secure, and this movement was reflected in the city's architecture.
The architecture of Denver during the 1860s consisted of
repetitive bay construction, simplistic brick cornices, and
brick arches. Denver was beginning to establish itself as a
permanent city, no longer a city based on the patronage of
miners and travelers seeking temporary shelter.
The brick architecture of the 1860's was anything but exuberant and exciting. Buildings were constructed of one material, in one color, and with few exceptions in one style. The city's architecture expressed its cultural isolation with amazing clarity and success.
The architecture derived a great deal of its character from the brick of which they were constructed. The bricks were the same size and the
same color throughout the 1860's, and their uniformity must have been a key factor both in the regularization and the uniformity of the buildings constructed with them. The brick industry, very lucrative in the city of the 1860's, had very little sophistication. Bricks were not designed and specified by the architect of the building as they were in later yearsarchitects did not exist in Denver in the 1860's. Rather, both buildings and bricks were designed by the contractors and bricklayers who built the buildings, and the uniformity of design and construction materials is obviously attributable to the existence of a small group who created thg buildings from parts manufactured in the city.
Although the advent of the railroad in Denver began to change the isolationistic attitude toward construction materials, brick continued in popularity and economy until the present time.
Denver's builders of the 1860s used stone supplied by
Levi Booth's quarry located at the present-day intersection
of Leetsdale and Holly streets and George Morrison's quarry
on the hogback area near present-day Morrison. The use of
the stone was limited to foundations, quoins, and lintels
because of the difficulty in transportation.
In 1870 with the arrival of the railroad to Denver, attempts were made to convert stone quarries into a profitable industry. In 1871 the Denver Rio Grande had come south through Douglas County. As Silas Medge developed his lava stone quarry near Castle Rock, the railroad decided to put in a siding to the quarry. By 1873 the Medge quarry was
shipping 1.2 million pounds of stone.
As the railroad network in Colorado expanded, markets opened, and the rail companies saw the opportunity to
develop quarries in the 1880s. The Union Pacific developed
quarries in Fort Collins and formed a stone department
within the corporate structure. The Denver, Utah and
Pacific laid track from Longmont to Lyons to exploit the
high-quality red flagstone.
While the quarries around Denver developed, the architecture of Denver did as well. During the 1880s and until the silver crash of 1893 Denver experienced continuous growth. The Union Depot, Boston Building, Masonic Building, and the Brown Palace exemplify Denver's development of stone construction.
Denver's reliance on stone and brick as a major building material can be identified as a desire to build a solid, stable, and lasting citya city that would appear permanent and complete.^
Today the use of brick and stone can be seen as a continuation of a building tradition, a tradition based on an abundant supply of local resources. The use of these materials can take on a greater meaning than just the utilization of local resources. The materials can take on the spirit of the land, the color of nature, an affinity with the mountains, and the power and intent of nature to produce materials that are uniquely the Rocky Mountain West. As nature creates a sense of place through mineral deposits and formations, so, too, can the architect create a sense of place by the use of these materials.
Nature's ability to create a sense of place is limited not only to materials associated with building but also to precious metals. Denver's very existence is based on the* search for precious metals. The stories of large gold and silver strikes in the mining towns west of Denver conjure up visions of stacks of gleaming bullion. The concept of shining metallic wealth can be interpreted architecturally by the use of contemporary alloys. For example, anodized or polished aluminum can remind us of Denver's heritage as a gold and silver rich city, where small investments could produce grand returns. Success stories, such as that of H. A. W. Tabor's rise from shopkeeper to millionaire, still exist today, perhaps only in the mind, but the images, real or not, give Denver a sense of place. The imagery is not so much based on the minerals themselves but on their shine and promise of wealth and prosperity.
In summary, it can be seen that there is a choice of intent in the use of materials. The materials can affirm a sense of place by referring to the city's building resources and the spirit of nature, or the intent can be to evoke an image of promise and prosperity.
Richard R. Brettell, Historic Denver The Architects and the Architecture 1858-1893 (Denver, Colorado: Historic Denver, 1979) p. 2~.
2Ibid., p. 3.
^Ibid., pp. 4-5.
Ibid., p. 5.
Joseph D. Bell, A Look at the Development of Stone as a Building Material in Denver, (Unpublished), pp. 2-4.
Ibid., pp. 4-5.
Ibid., p. 4.
Brettell, Historic Denver, p. 33.
SUMMARY AND THESIS STATEMENT
Based on the findings of the study, it can be stated that a contemporary architectonic language specific to Denver can be created. The study presents criteria based on defined architectonic elements. The use of these elements will yield architectural forms that are specific to Denver. The study also has presented evidence which concludes that Denver is a unique city possessing a specific heritage, location, philosophy, and spirit that only could have developed because of particular circumstances which are common only to Denver.
In this time of renewed interest in the development of the city, it is timely that a set of working design tools specific to Denver be defined and presented for use in future development. The design criteria presented will enable us to develop a sense of place, to create a mythology out of the facts and dreams of our past, and to affirm the aspirations for our futurein short, to anchor ourselves in space and time.
During the second phase of the study the newly formulated architectonic language will be put into practice through its use in the design process. A commodities exchange facility with allied office space has been selected as a building type to exemplify Denver's architectural
identity and to personify the city's future economic leadership role. A site has been selected on Fifteenth Street between Arapahoe and Curtis streets. The site is situated\ between Denver's downtown and the historic lower downtown district.
As an expression of Denver's future, the Exchange Building will become a linking element between the past and present, both physically and ideologically. The site context includes a nineteenth-century commercial block and the landmark Central Savings Building contrasted by the behemoth Central Bank Building and Brooks Tower. The site's close location to the Sixteenth Street Mall will have a significant influence on the design of the Exchange Building.
SUMMARY OF ARCHITECTONIC ELEMENTS AND INTERPRETIVE DESIGN CRITERIA
Affinity with Nature
Individuality and Unconventionalism
Heroism, Great Size, and Distance
Local Construction Materials
Use of a massiveness equal or larger than the greatest ratio recorded.
Use of a proportion equal or smaller than the least ratio recorded.
Use of exuberant expressive forms, personal expression, or animated forms.
Use of imagery of nature, environmental colors, plastic forms of nature, and natural and rusticated materials.
Use of inventive forms, self-expression, rejection of current styles, and trends.
Appropriate use of mass and proportion.
Use of sun-shading devices or sun-collecting devices.
Use of environmental colors and materials. Use of materials that connote Denver's mineral wealth.
Lot between 14th and 15th streets and between Arapahoe and Curtis streets.
Current use as open below-grade parking.
200' x 265'.
Proposed Building Use Commodities Exchange, trading
in precious metals and energy
contracts. Fifteen member
traders and space. allied office
Building Size Approximately 185,000 sq . f t.
Building Height Approximately 150 ft.
SQ. FT. AREA
15,000 TRADING FLOOR
3,500 LOBBY AND RECEPTION
350 VISITOR INFORMATION
3,500 VISITOR GALLERY
250 PUBLIC RESTROOMS
37,500 MEMBER TRADING COMPANY 15 0 2,500 SQ. FT
1,500 MEETING ROOM 3 0 550 SQ. FT.
15,000 HOLDING COMPANY 6 0 2,500 SQ. FT.
1,200 MAIL ROOM
50,000 SPECULATIVE OFFICE SPACE
600 BOARD ROOM
5,000 MEMBER CLUB ROOM
2,000 COMMUNICATION MECHANICAL ROOM
2,000 MECHANICAL ROOM
1,200 MAINTENANCE ROOM
1,200 SHIPPING AND RECEIVING
147,300 SUB TOTAL
36,825 CIRCULATION 0 25%
1 SPACE PER 500 SQ. FT
SPACE # /
USE TRAD/vq r^Lcx^r^
AREA REQUIRED (SQ. FT.) /<0}000
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS r'RAV>iHJCf p'tT'S (7)
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VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION X
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS X
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT x
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FLOOR LEVEL X
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS X
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT X
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS X
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VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION X
AREA REQUIRED (SQ. FT.) I^CO SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
HIGH MODERATE LOW
FLOOR LEVEL X
VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION X
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS X
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT X
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS X
AREA REQUIRED (SQ. FT.) 50;000 SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
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SPECIAL EQUIPMENT /
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS /
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SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS x"
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HIGH MODERATE LOW
COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS X
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT X
CITY OF DENVER CODES AND ZONING SUMMARY
Occupancy Classification (DBC 500, 602, 702, 1601, Table
This building has several occupancy classifications:
FI for restaurants F2 for offices
All of the following code requirements are based on the preceding classifications.
Fire Ratings and Construction Requirements (DBC 1710, 1803, 3803, Table 5-B)
The exterior wall of the building must be of two-hour construction, and the interior use separations between occupancies must be of one-hour construction. Type I or Type II construction may be used. A parapet that extends a minimum of 30 inches above the intersection of the roof and the wall is required except when the roof has a slope equal to or greater than 4:12.
A sprinkler fire protection system is rqpuired for every floor with an area greater than 1,500 ft. Sprinklers are also required in unenclosed vertical openings between floors.
Maximum Height and Floor Area (DBC 505, 506, 1715, 1726,
Tables 5-C, 5-D)
The maximum floor area allowed for this site is essentially unlimited for Type I and Type II construction. The maximum height is 75 ft. or six stories for Type II construction and is unlimited for Type I construction. Atriums and mezzanines are allowed, but there can be no more than two mezzanine floors in any room. The total square footage of all mezzanines in a room can add up to no more than one-third of the square footage of the room they occupy.
Egress (DBC 3302, 03, 04, 05, 15, 16, 20, 3908)
Exits--There must be two exits from every room with an occupant load of 30 or more people. There must be a minimum of two exits from every floor, and they must be independent and remote from each other. The minimum distance between exit doors is 25 ft. In the retail section, at least one-half of the exits must be accessible without going through the checkout stands. The maximum travel distance to the nearest exit door from any point in the building is 150 ft. if it is not sprinkled and 200 ft. if it is sprinkled. Revolving doors may not be used as required exits. Any mezzanine floor greater than 2,000 ft.2 is required to have two stairs leading to the adjacent floor below.
Exit Door Leaf Dimensions:
Min. width = 3 ft. Max. width = 4 ft.
Min. height = 6 ft. 8 in.
1,200 in. of wire glass 1/4 in. thick required
Min. width = 44 in. Min. height = 7 ft.
Max. dead-end corridor = 20 ft., 50 ft. if it is sprinkled
Min. width = 44 in. Min. clearance = 7 ft.
Max. rise = 7 1/2 in. Min. run = 10 in.
Max. vertical distance of single flight = 12 ft. 6 in.
Max. variation in rise in single flight = 1/4 in.
Landings must have a minimum depth equal to the width of the stairs but are not required to be deeper than 5 ft. The maximum vertical distance between landings is 12 ft. 6 in. Where stairs continue from above grade to below grade, a barrier is required to force exit from the stairs at grade level. Handrails are required on each side between 30 and 34 in. above the nose of the treads. At least one set of stairs must extend to the roof unless the slope is greater than 4:12. The opening at the roof must be a vertical door with a minimum opening of 3 ft. by 6 ft. 8 in.
Openings (DBC 1707, Table 17-C)
Openings are not allowed in walls that are set back less than 20 feet from a property line or from the center line of a street or alley.
Toilet Facilities (DBC 509)
The ratio of facilities between the sexes must be 50-50. The minimum dimensions of water closets are 30 in. wide and 24 in. in front of the fixture. Facilities shall be located no further than 200 ft. from occupied areas on the same level or more than one floor removed from the occupied area. Service sinks are required on each floor that has toilets and must be separate from the toilet room. See attached Table 5-E.
Handicap Access (DBC 6401)
Access to all parts of the building for the handicapped must be provided by means of a ramp or elevator. Ramps must be the same width as stairways, and the slope must not exceed 1:12 and cannot have a rise of more than 30 in. without a landing. Landings must be the same depth as the width of the ramp. On each floor above the first a wheelchair refuge area of 25 in. x 42 in. must be provided in each stairwell.
The minimum corridor width for two-way passage of wheelchairs is 60 in. All floors above the first floor are required to provide a refuge area in each stairway with minimum dimensions of 25 in. by 42 in.
Doors to toilet facilities must be at least 32 in. wide, and there must be a clear space with a minimum diameter of 60 in. within the room. Access to the stalls must be at least 48 in. wide. Inside the stalls, a minimum space of 42 in. by 48 in. must be provided in front of the fixture. Grab bars must be installed. See attached tables and diagrams.
Zone (59-362, 59-380)
The site is in a B-5 zone, but it is on the border of the new B-7 zone Historic District. The B-7 zone allows a wide range of uses, but design of new structures and demolition of old structures are subject to strict guidelines. There are no ground-level setbacks required in either zone. The requirements of both zones are presented below.
Floor Area Ratios
The basic maximum floor area ratio is ten times the area of the site.
Premiums--There are many floor area prenuums:
Unenclosed Plaza--12 ft. for each ft. of unenclosed plaza continuously open to the street.
Enclosed Plaza--12 ft. for each ft.~ of enclosed plaza that has an entrance at least 20 ft. wide.
Unenclosed Arcade--5 ft.^ for each ft.*" of arcade at least 12 ft. deep.
Atrium--12 ft.~ for each ft. atrium.
Off-Street Parking--500 ft. for each parking space in a parking structure beyond 70 percent of the spaces required for the building.
Bicycle Parking--1 1/2 ft. for each ft. of off-street bicycle parking.
Retail uses10 ft. for each ft. of street-level retail.
The basic maximum floor area ratio is two times the area of the site and may not exceed four times the area of the site with floor area premiums. Calculation of the floor area does not include street-level retail space.
Premiums--Most of the normal floor area premiums have been eliminated in this zone. The remaining premiums are as follows: Floor area may be increased 1 ft. for every ft. of parking provided at least 10 ft. below grade up to two times the lot area. The other premium is a low height premiumone floor area may be added to a building that does not exceed 60 ft. in height, excluding cornices and HVAC equipment not visible from the street.
Parking (59-585, 586)
The parking requirements are as follows:
One space for every 600 ft. of theatre, studio, or studio office space. ^
One space for every 200 ft. of retail and restaurant space.
One space for every 500 ft. of office space.
One space for every 1,000 ft. of floor area.
Two percent of the required spaces must be sized for handicapped parking. No parked car may extend beyond a property line. Spaces for compact cars may not exceed 50 percent of the required spaces.
Parking space dimensions: Full size--19 ft. by 8 1/2 ft.
Compact--15 ft. by 8 ft. Handicapped--19 ft. by 12 ft.
Loading requirements are also the same in both zones. One space is required for retail, and one space is required for all other uses. These loading spaces are required to be 10 ft. wide, 26 ft. long, and 14 ft. high. They must be off-street and off-alley.
Required Minimum Design Guidelines for the B-7 Historic District
Fenestration and Articulation
New construction must maintain the rhythm and vertical proportion, with elements such as windows, doors, and columns, established by the historic context and the existing street frontage in the vicinity of the site. Each floor must be articulated. Street facades should reflect the historical development pattern of the area, generally two to four lots. Street entrances should occur in each two- to four-lot facade; corner lots should maintain entrances or entrance features on both street frontages. Windows must be set in at least one brick width from the exterior building face. Sills and lintels must be articulated through color, materials, or other means.
Setbacks and Rooflines
The first two stories must be built to the property line fronting on the street. Buildings over 60 ft. high must be setback 15 ft. along the front lot line that is part of the long dimension of the block at a height between 20 and 60 feet that approximately equal to adjacent buildings. Buildings may not exceed 85 ft., excluding cornices and HVAC equipment.
Materials must be in context with the color, proportion, and scale of the existing historic patterns such as brick and sandstone, iron storefronts, and vertical windows and doorways. Black, bronze, and reflective glass is not permitted.
MEMBER CLUB ROOM