An owner-opposed landmark designation application that would save a City Park West mansion from the wrecking ball will be voted on by the Denver City Council next month.
A council committee on Tuesday forwarded the application for 1741 N. Gaylord St., which dates to the early 1900s.
The vote was largely procedural, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the committee members will support the application in the final vote. That vote is scheduled for the April 24 meeting, and will come after the public is given a chance to speak.
The brick house at 1741 Gaylord St. dates to 1902. The three Denver residents who submitted the application argue it should be a city landmark for three reasons: its representation of Dutch Colonial Revival style, its being the work of notable architecture firm Gove & Walsh and its direct association with people who influenced Denver society.
The home was built for Edward Holmes Hurlbut, a local grocer, and later occupied by James and Edith Burger. James was a banker and state senator for four years, while Edith helped start Children’s Hospital Colorado, according to the applicants.
The application is opposed by Mike Mathieson, the developer who owns the property along with two partners. He wants to build a 37-unit apartment building on the site that he says would be priced so as to be affordable for those making 80 to 120 percent of the area median income, although the units wouldn’t formally be income-restricted.
“These are not executive-level, luxury units by any standard,” Mathieson told committee members, adding most of the building would be one-bedroom units.
None of the committee members asked the landmark applicants any questions on Tuesday. But several asked questions of Mathieson.
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, who represents the area, asked Mathieson about construction equipment on the property, which Mathieson said was there because of a 74-unit Sonder hotel he recently started building on an adjacent lot.
CdeBaca also said she’d received complaints from neighbors about a petition going around that apparently advocated against landmark designation.
“There were some folks who were misled about what they were signing,” CdeBaca said.
“I think that happens a lot of times with petitions,” Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval said.
Finally, CdeBaca pushed back against a reference Mathieson made to his planned apartment building being priced for those who might work in a nearby coffee shop.
“There’s unlikely a single coffee shop worker in the area making 80 percent of the AMI, and so when we have conversations about 80 to 120 percent of the AMI, we should talk numbers, so people recognize who can actually live in that level of affordability or unaffordability,” CdeBaca said.
Councilman Paul Kashmann sought to clarify one of Mathieson’s points. Mathieson argues that the Gove & Walsh firm itself should not be considered a “recognized architect,” in the wording of the application, because only firm co-founder Aaron Gove was truly notable. He says there’s no evidence that Gove himself designed the home.
Sandoval, meanwhile, asked Mathieson whether he received offers to buy the property from parties that might preserve the home. Such deals have been reached in the past following similar owner-opposed landmark applications.
Mathieson indicated that he hasn’t received any formal offers, and said he’s open to selling the property at cost to “a homeowner or a business owner” who wanted to fix up the building and personally use it. Mathieson said he’s not willing to sell to another developer at cost, however, even if that developer planned to preserve the home.
The city said it has received 70 letters, petition signatures or meeting comments in support of the application, including from four neighborhood organizations. The city has received 34 items opposing the designation.
The council has designated only one individual building as a landmark against the wishes of its owner: the former Beth Eden Baptist Church at 3241 Lowell Blvd. in 2014.