Six homes in the south Denver neighborhood of Rosedale are officially history.
The Denver City Council turned a cluster of six bungalows into a historic district Monday, essentially freezing the unique “Spanish revival”-style buildings in time (with city-approved changes allowed). It’s called the Vassar School Bungalows Historic District, named for the school that once sat on the plot, a block from South Broadway on Vassar Avenue.
The homes evoke a time just before the Great Depression when the streetcar neighborhood was thriving with a “working class demographic,” said Jennifer Buddenborg, a senior city planner with Denver Community Planning and Development.
Albert Luke Franz built the homes around 1925, in what was then the town of South Denver, after demolishing the school. (A bigger school was built nearby.) Franz used materials from the razed building to construct the bungalows, creating an “additional degree of distinctiveness and rarity,” according to the application.
Jennifer Kremer, the homeowner who initiated the preservation process, teared up as she testified in front of the council. She’s watched people move in and out of the complex since 2004.
“Each time one sold, we were afraid that the new owners would decide to demolish their bungalow and build a new home on the lot, destroying the cohesive appearance of our block,” Kremer said. “It’s been a long road.”
The council passed the designation 12 to 0, with Councilman Chris Herndon absent.
The bungalows fall in the district of Councilman Paul Kashmann, who helped secure the designation. He called them “a gift.”
“Historic preservation, whether it’s a district or a landmark, are so important to our community,” Kashmann said.