One of the oldest homes in Park Hill could be preserved as new townhomes are built next to it

The property owner wants to build four to five townhomes on the lot.
3 min. read
3435 Albion St. Northeast Park Hill. April 8, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

UPDATE: Denver City Council on April 4 unanimously approved a rezoning application for 3435 Albion St.

Steve Davis wants to preserve a historic home in the city's Northeast Park Hill neighborhood. But he's not stopping there: He wants to build new housing on the lot, next to the 133-year-old home.

On Tuesday, a Denver City Council committee gave tentative approval for the Queen Anne-style home at 3435 Albion St. to become a city landmark. The home is owned by Davis, who specializes in historic preservation. The home was once used as a restaurant space, including Kate's Restaurant and The Garden.

The home's asymmetrical appearance and dominant front-facing gable are two primary elements of the Queen Anne style, according to city documents. These features indicate its age, making it what the city planning staff called a "physically distinctive and rare property."

"I think it's certainly deserving of that notoriety," Davis said about its potential landmark status.

Before Davis can build more housing on the lot, it needs to be rezoned. That process is pending, and a successful rezoning would allow for an up to two-story townhome complex on the 0.32-acre site on the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and East 35th Avenue. Right now, the house is the only building on the property.

Davis said he wants to build four to five, two-story townhomes on the lot. He envisions the homes facing the Park Hill Golf Course across the street, with a garage and a small room on the first floor, and more housing space on the second floor.

The full city council next week will consider the rezoning proposal.

After buying the property last year, Davis went to work. He's already removed a 2005 addition to the home he said was "not cohesive" to the home's original architecture before submitting a landmark application. He's done preservation work in the past, and his current home is proof. He lives at the Bosler-Yankee House in the West Highland neighborhood, a home he and his wife, Jan, restored starting in 2016.

Davis said Historic Denver reached out to him about preserving the home at 3435 Albion St., called The Robinson House. Last year, its former owners applied then withdrew for a certification that's basically a precursor to a demolition.

The Robinson House is one of the oldest homes in Park Hill, according to city documents. The home was built in 1889 by developer John Cook Jr. to lure more investors and create a new subdivision there, a plan that didn't quite work out, principal city planner Kara Hahn told lawmakers on Tuesday. Hahn said the home effectively represents the history of the city's boom in the 1880s and the bust during the 1890s.

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