Welcome to our first online virtual tour! You will see a variety of sites and structures in historic downtown Greeley. There will be historical and architectural information provided on each site. If you have further questions or want more information about a site, please contact the Historic Preservation Specialist via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (970)350-9222.
This is a virtual tour of the Historic Downtown, with information about buildings that are here now, and what used to be in the area. The sites include some non-commercial properties, including a church and a park.
The first downtown area in Greeley was located on 8th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, one block north of where you are standing. The buildings were adobe, wood frame or brick structures, and by 1879 the area had grown into a larger area, bounded by the railroad tracks and 9th Avenue on the east and west and by 7th Street and 9th Street on the north and south. However, most of the original commercial buildings have been replaced, mainly with brick buildings. There were several reasons for the use of brick, including that several brick factories operated in Greeley, and an 1880 fire destroyed a wood frame hotel known as the Greeley House.
All but two of the properties on this virtual tour are listed on the local historic register. Greeley Historic Register properties are designated on the register for significance in two of the three areas of historical, architectural and/or geographical significance. Click on the steps below to begin the tour.
Weld County Courthouse - 901 9th Avenue
Greeley became the county seat of Weld County after a five year dispute with Evans from 1872-1877. A controversial election made Greeley the county seat in 1877. The first Weld County Courthouse was a log cabin built in the 1860s located on a farm near Platteville. It is now among the exhibits at Centennial Village Museum here in Greeley. The second courthouse was built in 1883 in the same location as this courthouse and was razed in 1915 was considered inadequate and a fire danger to public documents The present courthouse was built between 1915-1917 and dedicated July 4, 1917. Well-known Colorado architect William N. Bowman designed the courthouse. The cost was $414,000 and was completely paid for by taxes.
This four-story courthouse exemplifies the Classical Revival style of architecture - also called Neoclassical style, which combined elements and ideas of Georgian, Adam, Early Classical Revival and Greek Revival styles. The Classical Revival and Neoclassical architectural movement was based on the use of pure Roman and Greek architectural forms and was built primarily in the 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. The movement partially stemmed from the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, which had a classical theme. Well-known architects of the times designed monumental classical style buildings around a central court, similar to a quad on a university campus. This inspired public and commercial buildings for the decades following the Exposition. Bowman wrote that "No other style carries so well the elements of dignity, simplicity and monumental repose" essential for public buildings.
The Weld County Courthouse is built of brick, marble, Indiana limestone and terra cotta, exhibiting characteristics of Neoclassical and Classical Revival Architecture. Characteristic features include columns with Ionic capitals and with Doric capitals under the pediments on the east elevation (pediments are the triangular sections), a symmetrical facade with bronze doors at the main entrance on the east elevation, and an elaborate entablature with a cornice with modillions and a wide frieze. The stained glass windows on the west elevation were restored, partially funded by a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund.
Lincoln Park Today!
Two opposing themes characterize Lincoln Park's history: First, that a centrally located public plaza is essential to the health and vitality of the people who live and work in Greeley. Second, groups have sought alternative uses for the two block park.
John Sanborn first platted the town in 1870 and included a two-block park, modeling it on the layout of Plainsville, Ohio. Town founder Nathan Meeker believed that businesses, school, and government buildings should surround the park. In 1882, Greeley High School, the Baptist and Congregational Churches, businesses and some residences surrounded the park, as Meeker had envisioned.
In 1872, the groups seeking alternative uses began their fight to bisect the park with 8th Street, to allow easier access to the businesses from the residences. They succeeded and an attempt was made to subdivide the park into business lots. An angry citizen wrote a letter to the Tribune, stating that "If anyone should seriously propose to dispose of the city parks, I think there are enough of the old guard left to hang him the next morning." The attempt to subdivide the park failed and the block of 8th Street that bisected the park was removed and landscaped in 1984.
Lincoln Park has always been a place for local activities and annual events, including band concerts, games of checkers during WWII, and Arts Picnic, the largest and most popular of recent events.
Historically, Lincoln Park had two lakes, each named for its shape. Lake Luna, located in the southern half of the park, was shaped like a crescent moon, and Lake Auricular, located in the northern half, was shaped like an ear. Lake Luna was used for ice-skating. Both lakes were drained after several years due to problems with mosquitoes and flooding in nearby buildings.
The Historic Preservation Commission designated Lincoln Park on the Greeley Historic Register in August 1996.
Old Park Church - 803 10th Avenue
The First Congregational Church, also known as Park Congregational Church, bought the lot on which this church stands in 1877, seven years after the First Congregational Church in Greeley was founded. The members built a new church in 1880-1883. By 1892, the First Congregational Church was one of 7 established churches in Greeley.
This church building was constructed for the First Congregational Church in 1906, enveloping the 1883 structure. The May 30, 1906 Greeley Tribune stated that "The building will be erected on the old site opposite the park, in fact, the old structure will form part of the new building. But so changed and improved will everything about it be that unless a person is thoroughly familiar with the old structure he will never be able to discover it as part of the detail of the new." The new church was built because the congregation had outgrown their 1883 facility. The renovations, including the installation of a $3,000 pipe organ, were completed in 1907.
The congregation continued to grow and built a second story addition over the south classroom in 1936, designed by T. Robert Wagner, an architect from Denver. This addition increased the capacity of the church to 700. Park Congregational Church occupied the building until they outgrew it in 1955, when they decided to build a larger church. The Swedish Covenant Church purchased the building in May 1955 and occupied the building on March 1st 1956. They eventually changed their name to First Covenant Church. First Covenant Church remained in the building until September 1984, when they closed the church due to low parish enrollment and financial difficulties. The Foursquare church purchased the building in 1986, after having leased it in 1985.
This Gothic Revival/Tudor Revival style church is an irregular-shaped, two-story brick structure with a three-tab asphalt shingle, front gabled roof. The roof is steeply pitched, characteristic of these styles and it has intersecting gables on the north elevation with fake half-timbering on the gable ends. Roof features include a parapet with castellation topped by stone caps. There is a wood cornice on the parapet on the northeast corner. It has a stone foundation and brick exterior. The main facade is broken into three bays and contains an off-centered entrance with the door to the north end of the east elevation. The one story, partial width porch has three gothic arches with rough-faced stone columns and concrete steps. The main porch connects with a smaller stairway up on the north end, which has a wood framed, gabled roof over it with wood supports and stone knee walls. It is facing north, and is located on the northeast corner of the building. Windows are multi-light, wood frame and have gothic arches and segmental arches. There are several stained glass windows, including a large multi-light stained glass window on the north elevation. It has decorative brick quoins on the sides, stone sills and a brick gothic arch. Some of the other windows also have stone sills and/or lintels. There is an octagonal turret with a wood top and decorative brickwork on the northeast corner and the octagonal southeast corner of the building also has decorative brickwork on the corners. There are brick quoins on the corners of the central bell tower, which also has a castellated roof line, and wood frame openings with gothic arches and stone sills.
The "lily window" on the north wall of the sanctuary was dedicated to Abel K. Packard, the original Union Colony pastor
Hawes Building - 810-812 8th Street
The Hawes building was built in 1903 for Mrs. Clementine Hawes after the death of her husband, well-known Greeley physician Dr. Jesse Hawes. Joseph and Frank Levin opened a clothing store, The Fair, in the Hawes Building in 1903. By 1906, the Condon Mercantile Company had moved in, with A.J. Condon as the president and manager. The store offered such goods as dry goods, clothing, shoes, and ladies' ready-to-wear garments. The Greeley Club and Dr. Wood's office were located on the second story that year. Condon occupied the building until at least 1910. Goodman & Neill Clothing Company had a short tenure from 1913 until about 1915, when Crockett - Moody Mercantile Company moved in. Crockett-Moody occupied the building from 1915 until 1935, although the name changed to Moody's Dry Goods in 1930. Various doctors and small businesses occupied the upper story throughout the years. The building was vacant from 1971 into the early 1980s, when it underwent a major renovation in 1981. Freeland Associates served as the architects on the remodel from August to December 1981, and the contractor was Professional Design Builders from Loveland. The building now houses the offices of Wheeler Management Group, Inc.
This Early 20th Century Commercial style commercial building is a rectangular, two-story, brick structure with a flat roof. Roof features include a decorative cornice with a pediment displaying the name of the building along with the year it was built. There is corbelled brickwork below the metal cornice. It has blond brick exterior walls with terra cotta trim. The main facade is broken into three bays and contains a recessed centered entrance. The entrance and first story windows do not appear to be original, although the recessed entrance is typical of the style. There are awnings over the entrance and each side window, which are retractable. Windows are wood frame, single light on both the first and second stories. The windows on the second story are arranged in groups of three vertical one light windows with an arched transom window over each group. The transoms have brick segmental arches over them.
The building is significant as an example of 20th Century Commercial architecture. The building was designated on the Greeley Historic Register for architectural significance as an example of 20th Century Commercial style of architecture, and for geographical significance for its location in the historic downtown and its proximity to Lincoln Park and other designated sites.
Greeley Tribune Building - 714 8th Street
Prominent Greeley architect Sidney Frazier designed the building in 1928 for the Greeley Tribune newspaper offices, which operated there for 57 years, until they moved to the current building in 1985. Originally published in 1870 by town founder Nathan Meeker, Charles Hansen consolidated the Tribune with a competing publisher in 1913.
The building also housed the offices of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (NCWCD) in the garden level. Charles Hansen served as publisher of the Tribune from approximately 1913-1953, and he also advocated for irrigation projects. He was involved with the development, construction and administration of the Colorado-Big Thompson (C-BT) trans-mountain diversion project, serving as the first board president of the NCWCD. The NCWCD was the agency responsible for the construction and administration of the C-BT project, and they stabilized and augmented the region's water supply for agricultural and municipal purposes, thereby serving an important economic function for northern Colorado. The NCWCD offices were located in the Tribune Building from 1937 through the early 1950s.
This Beaux Arts style commercial building is a rectilinear, two-story brick and concrete structure with a flat roof. It has a concrete foundation and red brick exterior walls with terra cotta trim. A large, terra-cotta faced base serves as a plinth, giving the impression of a platform. The main facade is broken into five vertical bays, including four bays of grouped windows and a central entrance with windows above. A semi-circular iron projection extends from the north facade, sheltering the entrance. Three brass doors are topped by a three-paneled transom featuring yet more elaborate iron-work. The entrance is framed by a terra cotta surround. Windows are vertical, single-light fixed pane with hopper style transoms above. They are grouped in threes and are framed by paired Composite terra cotta pilasters. The entablature above the pilasters features dentil and egg-and-dart molding above a smooth architrave and paneled frieze. The frieze is engraved with the words
"Greeley Tribune" directly above the central bay. The cornice features ogee molding with acanthus leaves in low relief. A brick and terra cotta parapet with decorative urns and an elaborately sculpted cartouche top the structure.
The Greeley Tribune Building is significant to the history of Greeley and Northern Colorado because of its association with Charles Hansen, who published the Greeley Tribune newspaper and served on the board of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and worked to bring water from the western slope with the Colorado-Big Thompson trans-mountain diversion project. It is also significant because it was designed by architect Sidney G. Frazier, who designed many other significant buildings in Colorado. It is also architecturally significant as the only example of the Beaux Arts style of architecture in Weld County.
The Greeley Historic Preservation Commission designated the Greeley Tribune Building, also known as the Hansen Building on the Greeley Historic Register in November 1997 for its historical, architectural and geographical significance.
Union Pacific Railroad Depot - 902 7th Avenue
This depot is the third depot which has served Greeley, an agricultural community founded on the Denver Pacific Railroad route. In 1880, the Denver Pacific Route was brought under the umbrella organization of the Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad has played a very significant role in the development of Greeley, as it provided passenger service and freight service for shipping goods to Greeley and shipping produce and cattle to urban centers. Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed this depot in 1929 to replace the 1883 stone depot. Mead and Mount Construction Company of Denver built the depot in 1930 at a cost of $88,000. The depot was heavily utilized for passenger service, but the demand for rail service around the nation and in Greeley declined, especially after World War II, due in part to the increase in air travel and the use of automobiles.
In 1972, Union Pacific handed over passenger service through Greeley to Amtrak. Greeley was a stop on Amtrak's San Francisco - Wyoming Route from 1972 until 1983, when Amtrak abandoned the line. The depot stood vacant from 1983 until 1991, when Amtrak once again placed Greeley as a stop on the passenger service route from Denver to Seattle. The City of Greeley purchased the depot and now leases it to the Convention and Visitor's Bureau and Greeley/Weld Chamber of Commerce.
"The depot is a well-preserved example of railroad-related architecture, built during the twilight of the railroads' passenger service era. The building's construction is strongly representative of suburban and small city depots built in the pre-Depression years. Designed by master architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the depot displays a strong horizontal emphasis with vertical accents. Extensive use of terra cotta accentuates the four main entrances and the double-hung windows on the west and east elevations." (Qtd from Memo to the Historic Preservation Commission from Ben Fogelberg regarding the Greeley Union Pacific Railroad Depot dated December 9, 1996) It is a one-story building with the main elevation on the west and a concrete foundation with brick veneer. Walls are brick with a soldier course of bricks every five rows and decorative brickwork around the entryways and in recessed panels under the windows. Windows include multi-light hoppers, eight-over-eight double hung windows, single light fixed, and four-over-four double hung windows. Some have brick sills and lintels and others have terra cotta sills and lintels. There are two entrances on the east elevation and two entrances on the west elevation. They have terra cotta arches and pilasters, decorative brickwork and the Union Pacific logo above each entrance. For more information, see the National Register of Historic Places Nomination form.
The Greeley Union Pacific Railroad Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 4, 1993 for architectural significance as an intact, representative example of a small city depot designed and built as rail passenger travel peaked in the United States. The depot was also listed as an example of the work of master architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood. It is the only known example of his work in Colorado. It was listed on the Greeley Historic Register for historical, architectural and geographical significance.
Buckingham-Gordon Building - 810-816 9th Street
G.H. Gordon of Greeley and George W. Buckingham of Boulder erected the building as a two-story, pressed brick commercial structure, beginning construction on March 1, 1907. It is historically important because it housed many businesses important for Greeley's development. Some important businesses included Clough Furniture Company, which occupied the building from 1909 until 1930, the Greeley Dry Goods Company from approximately 1934-1957, which was described as "one of the most modern dry goods firms in the state" after being "recently redecorated", and Hibb's Clothing Company from 1958 - 1976. The United Way of Weld County moved into the building in the early 1990s and purchased the building in 1997. They provide valuable services to the community in outreach to mothers with newborns, child advocacy, and other volunteer programs.
This 20th Century Commercial style building is a rectilinear, two-story commercial structure with a flat roof. The front facade was restored based on photographic documentation. The main facade is divided into three bays and contains a centered entrance and a separate entrance on the west end of the north elevation. The store front windows have a wood kickplate below and have a window transom above. A terra cotta belt course divides the first and second story and second story windows are divided into groups of three, four and three one-over-one wood frame windows. Brick pilasters divide the window groupings. A terra cotta band is located above the second story windows. Recessed brick panels are across the top, over the terra cotta band and under the corbelled brick cornice at the very top of the front facade.
The building was remodeled several times. A 1963 photograph shows the entire building encased in the metal facade. The Home Light and Power Company restored the east half of the building to the current appearance in 1977 and 1978, for which they received the "Eye Pleaser Award." The United Way restored the west half of the building based on photographic documentation in 2004.
It was designated on the Greeley Historic Register in February 1999 for architectural and geographical significance because it characterizes an architectural style associated with a particular era and/or ethnic group (20th Century Commercial style), it has a strong or unique relationship to other areas potentially eligible for preservation because of architectural significance, and because it has proximity to a square, park or unique area deserving of preservation. It is located near the State Register and Greeley Register listed Coronado Building, the National Register listed Weld County Courthouse and the Greeley Register listed Lincoln Park.
Coronado Building - 900 9th Ave
Prominent Greeley architect Bessie Smith designed the Coronado Building for original owners John Theodore Jacobs, Dr. Robert Graham, and Robert Steele. It was built at a cost of about $40,000 and was the largest of any downtown building when it was completed in 1906. The building housed retail on the lower floor, including the Coronado Pharmacy, Wood and Son's music store, R.G. Martin's grocery store and the Evans Fruit Company. Upper story businesses include law offices of F.I. Ewing, John T. Jacobs, and C.C. Townsend and offices of local doctors including Robert Graham and Dr. Ella Mead, Greeley's first female physician. Nellie Chestnut located a hairdressing salon upstairs and City Engineer O.F. Shattuck's office was also located there.
John T. Jacobs was a prominent Greeley lawyer and judge involved in the formulation of Colorado's irrigation laws, having received his law degree from the University of Colorado. He came to Greeley in 1887. The Coronado Building
"was considered to be a premier address for the wealthy professionals of Greeley, and several doctors had their offices in the building, including Ella Mae Mead, a respected physician and public health advocate." (Quoted from State Register nomination form.)
Dr. Ella Mead grew up in Greeley, having moved to Greeley when she was four. She attended medical school at the University of Colorado, graduating with a medical degree in 1903. She opened practice in Greeley after her internship in Denver. She also served as the City Health Officer, making her responsible for maintaining vital statistics for the city and Weld County. In this capacity, she served as a board member for the American Red Cross during World War I, and she began one of the first county-supported birth control clinics in the country in the 1930s. In 1947 the Colorado Medical Society honored her for contributions to medicine and public health. She retired from her private practice in 1953, and in 1958, she received the Medical Woman of the Year Award from the National Medical Women's Association.
Bessie Smith, Greeley's first female architect and the designer of the Coronado Building, grew up in Greeley and graduated from Greeley High School in 1899. She studied architecture through Scranton Correspondence School and then worked in the Bearresen Brothers architectural firm in Denver for several years before returning to Greeley. She worked at her father's contracting firm Hall & Smith, having an office in their building at 700 7th Street in early 1903. She designed commercial structures and houses. Although the Coronado Building is probably the only remaining commercial structure she designed, several of her houses remain, including 1601 11th Avenue, 1417 11th Avenue, the Southard House at 1103 9th Avenue, and the Plumb Farm House at 955 39th Avenue.
This 20th Century Commercial style commercial building is a rectangular, two-story, brick structure with a flat roof. Roof features originally included a cornice, which was removed and has not been replaced, and a parapet on the north, west and south facades. There are two skylights located in the northern portion of the roof. The walls are red brick, and the trim is dark green.
The large glass panels with aluminum frame storefronts on the first floor on the west and north elevations were installed in the 1960s, although the spacing follows closely to that of the original wood frame storefronts. Green and white striped awnings are mounted above the storefronts just under a metal band that is set into the brick. Three part double hung, wood frame windows are on the second story and have sandstone sills and lintels. The original cornice, which was taken down in the 1960s to install metal panels over the facade, has not been replaced.
An entrance on the south elevation has been bricked over. There is a large three part window on the second floor that fills the width of the office area hallway. On the east, along the back of the building, most of the double hung windows and doors are original. The doors are paneled with four lights, and there are large transoms above. Windows on the south and east are topped with segmental arches and sandstone sills.
This building is designated on the State Register for association with events that have made a significant contribution to history and for distinctive architectural characteristics of a type, period, method of construction or artisan and is significant in the areas of Community Planning and Development, Social History and Architecture. Association with Dr. Ella Mead, a public health advocate and with prominent female Greeley architect Bessie Smith also give the building significance.
It was designated on the Greeley Historic Register for historical, architectural and geographical significance. It was designated for historical association with Greeley's prominent female doctor Ella Mead. It was designated for architectural significance as an example of early 20th Century Commercial style of architecture, for its association with Greeley's master architect Bessie Smith, and for having a strong or unique relationship to other areas potentially eligible for preservation because of its architectural significance. It was designated for geographical significance for having proximity to Lincoln Park and the Weld County Court House and for being a visual feature identifying historic downtown Greeley.