Should Golden Triangle’s Niles and Moser Cigar Company warehouse be demolished or saved?

The public has until June 9 to decide whether the former cigar warehouse should go up in smoke (metaphorically, of course).

The old Niles and Moser Cigar Company building at 900 Bannock St. in the Golden Triangle. May 20, 2022.

The old Niles and Moser Cigar Company building at 900 Bannock St. in the Golden Triangle. May 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
kyle harris

Golden Triangle’s 1951 Niles and Moser Cigar Company building, at 900 Bannock St., is the latest structure being considered for landmark preservation in the City of Denver.

Realtor Seth Berger applied for demolition eligibility earlier this month, and on May 19, the city responded with a report about why the structure is eligible for preservation.

The building was constructed in 1951 and served as offices and warehouse space for Kansas City’s Niles and Moser Cigar Company. That company had a presence in Denver since 1903, first at 18th St. and Glenarm Pl., before setting up shop at 900 Bannock St. from 1951 to 1968.

Over the years, other companies, including Mutual Furniture and Fixture Co, have used the building for similar purposes, though no historically significant companies nor individuals have been associated with the structure.

So why preserve it?

Landmark Preservation noted the building boasts typical traits of a Modern warehouse, including its low-lying structure, a street-side customer entrance and office, and a rear loading dock.

“The most ornamented portion of the building is the entrance, which is clad in rectangular tiles, stands slightly taller than the rest of the structure, and has a chamfered edge,” Landmark Preservation wrote. “This added height and the stylized sans-serif integrated sign that reads “Niles & Moser Cigar Company” above the entrance are also typical of modern design, where signage indicating use or the occupant is the height of ornament.”

The old Niles and Moser Cigar Company building at 900 Bannock St. in the Golden Triangle. May 20, 2022.

The old Niles and Moser Cigar Company building at 900 Bannock St. in the Golden Triangle. May 20, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The building could be preserved because it’s a familiar part of the neighborhood, with a prominent location near Speer Blvd. With distinctive text carved into the stone above the entrance, the building is a familiar spot in the Golden Triangle, that helps maintain the neighborhood’s history.

Finally, the building’s distinctive physical characteristics and rarity help the city understand and appreciate the urban environment.

“This structure is a rare example of the modern style in Denver, especially within the Golden Triangle neighborhood,” the report stated. “Additionally, the structure is an increasingly rare industrial/warehouse building in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, and perhaps one of the only examples of the modern style applied to this building type within the city.”

For example, this building has had all of its windows replaced, including two that are reconfiured and another that’s been enlarged. Some of the rear dock entrances have been altered and one has been removed.

“While these alterations do all negatively effect the integrity of design and materials for the structure, it is still able to communicate its design and style while retaining the majority of its historic materials,” the report stated.

While the building has sound structure and remains in its original location, demolitions and the redevelopment of the Golden Triangle degrade the warehouse’s “integrity of setting,” Landmark Preservation noted.

So what’s next?

The public has until June 9 to submit what’s called a Notice of Intent to File a Designation Application, which basically gives people a chance to signal to the city that they plan to push to preserve the property.

Three types of people can submit such notices: the head of Community Planning and Development, a member of City Council, or three residents of Denver.

If the city does not receive a notice of intent, it will allow the building to be demolished.

 

 

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