Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 31 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Dollhouse Furniture

This dollhouse furniture can be seen on display in the Historic Section of the Hotel Boulderado. What's so remarkable about them is that they look a lot like the antique furnishings and reproductions found in our guest rooms, but they have absolutely no connection to the manufacturer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 30 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Cash Register

This cash register lives in our lobby nowadays, but once upon a time it was used at a local hardware store, Valentine's Hardware, which was on Pearl Street from 1907 to 1970.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 29 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Christening Gown

Check out this christening gown that is currently on display along with other antique children's clothing and toys. This gown dates back to the late 19th century and was used by the same family for three generations of children, pictured in the antique photos you see.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 28 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Room 504

Welcome to Room 504! 504 is one of the rooms that was originally used as a salesman sample rooms, in addition to 501, 502, and 503. These rooms were rented out by traveling salesman to display their products in, like shoes, pots and pans, etc. To make these rooms more conducive to a "show room" atmosphere, they were designed to be extra-large and let in more natural light by way of large windows or skylights. As you can see from the photo above, the Colorado sunshine pours into the room.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 27 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Vintage Toy Display

In the North Wing of the Hotel Boulderado, there is a small display case found on the first floor, near the atrium with the other stained-glass ceiling. At the moment, there is a collection of children's toys and clothing in the display case. During the 365 Days of Boulderado Photos, I'll be sharing some of the most special items found in the case, some of which date back to the late 19th century.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 26 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Bedspread Pattern

What's this, you might ask? Intricate icing on a bride's cake, perhaps? Think again. It's a close-up shot of the pattern found on our luxuriously soft bedspreads.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 25 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Antique Organ

This is a Needham antique organ that lives on the 3rd floor of the Hotel Boulderado's Historic Section on the west side. Elias Needham was made famous for his invention of the upright organ, like the one you see here, that became popular in parlors. This particular organ came to the Hotel Boulderado thanks to our one-time owner, Winnie Hutson. Coincidentally, the organ was purchased in the same lot as the lobby grandfather clock we saw last week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 24 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Pipe and Sprinkler Head

This photo represents a lot more than just the pipe and sprinkler head you see above. To the casual passerby, it's just a pipe and sprinkler head. To me, it's what saved the Hotel Boulderado. During the 1960s, the city of Boulder was concerned about the lack of sprinkler systems at the hotel, mostly because of the giant wooden staircase that spans five floors (and the basement). If the staircase was ever to catch fire, the whole hotel could be in danger. The city brought their concern to the attention of the owner and manager of the day, Ed Howard. They gave Ed three options: install a sprinkler system, encase the entire staircase in sheet rock, or tear down the hotel in favor of a parking lot. Ed made the decision that saved the integrity and beauty of the hotel; he installed the sprinkler system. I'm reminded of this act whenever I pass by a sprinkler head.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 23 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Front Desk Safe

Many people checking in to the Hotel Boulderado ask about the large safe located behind the front desk.
  • True or False? The safe is the original from 1909.
  • True or False? The safe still uses the original combination from 1909.
    False! In fact, the combination was lost once upon a time when the Boulderado changed managers and the previous manager failed to pass along the combination code.
  • True or False? Guests' valuables are still kept in the safe.
    False! We have safety deposit boxes available for guests looking to store their valuables. Today, the safe acts as a sort of hotel "junk drawer" where we keep odds and ends that otherwise wouldn't have a home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 22 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Stained Glass Ceiling

A dazzling shot of our famous stained-glass ceiling. Expect more of these throughout the 365 Days of Boulderado Photos series. This one shows off the warm golden glow that filters through in the late afternoon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 21 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Vintage Fan Collection

The fan, along with spats, hatpins, monocles, knickerbockers, and garter belts have all gone the way of the dodo in the fashion world. For a limited time, we have a collection of fans on display thanks to a private collector who loaned us some. Click here if you're interested in speaking the "Language of the Fan."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 20 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Interior Courtyard from the 3rd Floor

Here's one of those "behind the scenes" shots I promised. Few people realize when they look up at the stained-glass ceiling in our lobby that the ceiling is no where close to the roof. In reality, there is a three-story "gap" between the stained glass and the roof. This gap was known as the interior courtyard when the Hotel Boulderado first opened in 1909, and back then, some of the rooms actually had windows that looked into the interior courtyard.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 19 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Staircase "Layers" Looking Up

Admit it. There are some things at the Hotel Boulderado that you can't capture in just one photo. Our cantilevered cherrywood staircase is one of those things. Expect to see one photo each month showing a different vantage point, angle, or detail of the staircase throughout the 365 Days of Boulderado Photos collection. The above shot was taken around the 3rd floor looking up to the top.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 18 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Boulderado Shaving Cup

We found this cup a few years ago when we were doing some spring cleaning behind the Mezzanine bar. Our General Manager, Sid Anderson, believes it was used in the barber shop to hold the brushes. You can see this shaving cup today in the display box at the Hotel Boulderado's south entrance.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 17 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Dual Light Fixture

This light fixture can be found in the Hotel Boulderado's Historic Section on the staircase between the 3rd and 4th floors. It's not original to the hotel, but it's an excellent example of the type of light fixtures that were installed here when we opened in 1909. Back then, people weren't all too sure that electricity would serve as a viable form of energy in Colorado; the high winds kept knocking the power lines down. To be ready for anything, light fixtures like the one above were installed that could run on either gas or electricity, depending on what was available.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 16 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Workboots

Surely, you're thinking why we would put such a falling-apart pair of shoes on display. The workboots seen in the picture above were actually found in the Hotel Boulderado's foundation in 2007 when the maintenance crew was renovating the ladies restroom on the Mezzanine. We believe them to be a remnant of the days when the Hotel Boulderado was under construction between 1906 and 1908, when some day laborer decided that the boots had worked their last day and kicked them off, only to be discovered a century later.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 15 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Lobby Grandfather Clock

This grandfather clock stands watch in the Hotel Boulderado lobby just to the left of the front desk. It still keeps terrific time thanks to a daily winding from our General Manager, Sid Anderson. I always know when Mr. Anderson take a vacation because the grandfather clock chimes on the wrong hour.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 14 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Room 500

Welcome to Room 500! This Deluxe Two Queens room can be found on our 5th floor on the northeast corner. Did you know that when the Hotel Boulderado finished construction and started furnishing the rooms in 1908, the management made a conscious decision to keep the northeast and southeast corners as open-air porches for the first year? There wasn't enough money in the budget to finish all the rooms, so what we know today as rooms 500 and 505 were held off for completion until rooms were being rented and money was coming in.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 13 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Mezzanine Bar Detail

Next time you're ordering a drink from the Mezzanine bar, you might take a moment to check out the elephant head detail. Few people see them, even though they're hiding in plain sight here at the Hotel Boulderado

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 12 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Historic Plaque

In 1977, the city of Boulder recognized the Hotel Boulderado as an official landmark, but it wasn't until 1995 that we were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our architecture and history helped, but the real reason we made the list was because of the community. It was the community that came together in the early 20th century to raise money and build the Hotel Boulderado. Since then, we have remained a site for the community to come together to meet and celebrate; in fact, the Chamber of Commerce and the Western Union office were both located here for many years.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 11 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ 505 Carvings

The above photo is of the window ledge on the south side of room 505. For decades, couples have been carving their initials and even some dates into the ledge. This isn't something that we ever encouraged or even mentioned to guests staying in 505, but it continues to happen, even over the past few years.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 10 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Community Bathrooms

When the Hotel Boulderado opened in 1909, only about one-fourth of the guest rooms had private baths. Most of the overnight guests used common toilets and common baths, located on each floor of the historic building. The toilets were called water closets. The user pulled a chain which allowed water to flow from a wooden tank into the bowl. The common baths featured a claw foot tub, which is a collectors item today. Pictured above are the last four remaining common baths. On the right is the original men's bath and water closet. On the left was the women's bath and water closet. By the early 1980s, all hotel rooms were remodeled with their own "private" bathroom. These rooms are now used for storage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 9 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Matchbooks

Take a look at this mini-collection of matchbooks from the 1980s. There's one of the hotel, one for Winston's Seafood Grille (the restaurant in the dining room at the time), and the original Mezzanine Lounge.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 8 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Vintage Fire Extinguishers

These beautiful brass and copper fire extinguishers are excellent examples of the early pump-type fire extinguishers from the early 1900s. (Don't worry -- this isn't our first line of defense against a potential fire, just an interesting antique we keep around!) It wasn't enough just to hold two cylinders of fire-fighting power; whoever designed this piece also included a large mirror as well as two sets of hooks for you to hang your hat or overcoat. The fire extinguishers were manufactured by Julius Pearse Supply Co. in Denver.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 7 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Lobby Drinking Fountain

The drinking fountain found in the Hotel Boulderado's lobby is no ordinary drinking fountain. At the start of the 20th century, Boulder residents purchased a direct pipeline that brought the fresh, cool water from the Arapahoe Glacier right into the town. Drinking fountains, like the one pictured above, were installed all over Boulder. Today, ours is the last remaining. Next time you're in the lobby, take a drink and marvel at the gold-plated spigot and marble details.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 6 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Train Spikes

In 2003, when Broadway was under construction, a former Boulderado employee unearthed a pair of railroad spikes at the northeast corner of Broadway and Pine, near the Trinity Lutheran Church. The Denver & Interurban Railroad began making hourly trips between Denver and Boulder in 1908, one year before the Hotel Boulderado opened. These train spikes are now housed in a display case found at the hotel's south entrance to the lobby.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 5 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ North Wing Stained Glass Ceiling

Many people are familiar with the stained-glass ceiling in the Hotel Boulderado's lobby. What they often don't realize is that the ceiling has a "sister" over in our North Wing. Marie Garcia, who was responsible for the stained-glass ceiling in the lobby, created this smaller, muted version when we added the North Wing.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 4 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Mezzanine Bar

The recent return of Music on the Mezz has put a lot of focus back on one of our most famous function spaces, the Mezzanine. The Mezz happens to be home to one of my favorite built-in fixtures at the Hotel Boulderado -- the gorgeous wooden bar.

Beginning in 1976, the managers at the Hotel Boulderado started removing hotel rooms on the Mezzanine level, and they started with the south area. They were looking to decrease the room inventory while opening up a new way of bringing in revenue: a lounge where people could enjoy drinks and listen to live music. While Music on the Mezz has been absent for many years, it was brought back late last year to recreate that same lounge atmosphere. And at the heart of that atmosphere is the bar. Next time you're on the Mezzanine for a private event, a Music on the Mezz night, or just exploring the hotel, be sure to take your time noticing craftsmanship and detail of the bar.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 3 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Antique Photo: Pearl and 13th St.

We keep antique photos all over the hotel, most of which capture what Boulder looked like in the early 20th century. The above photo is my absolute favorite in the entire building and can be found on the fifth floor of the historic section. Take a close look at it, and if you're familiar with downtown Boulder, you'll recognize the intersection of Pearl and 13th Streets. The left building now houses the Wells Fargo bank, and the building on the right is the site of the Boulder Cafe.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 2 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ The Fifth Floor Hallway

When Frank Day bought the Hotel Boulderado, the rooms on the west side of the historic section of the hotel were still located on the interior of the hallway. Each room, rather than having a window to the outside, instead had a window that overlooked the interior courtyard. When the first round of renovations occurred in 1980, the hotel rooms were "moved" to the other side of the hallway -- in a nutshell, the rooms became the hallway, and the hallway became the rooms. When walking down the hallway of the 5th floor on the west side, you can still see the arches that designate the spatial dimensions of the original hotel rooms, as seen in the photo above.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 1 of 365 Days of Boulderado Photos ~ Exterior in March

I've decided to start something new on this blog. Every day, for the next 365 days, I will be posting a photo of the Hotel Boulderado. It could be of anything in the building, outside the building, a detail in a hotel -- anything. In my time here, I've noticed that there are some things that people notice and are intrigued by. Items like the stained-glass ceiling, the cherrywood staircase, etc. But there is so much more history and detail in the building that no one outside our staff realizes. That is my mission in 365 Days of Boulderado Photos; to share the "hidden" details and histories.

One thing I've noticed in reviewing decades of archived photos is how little the exterior changes. The fashions and the cars are the biggest indicators of what time period you are looking at. Yet every day when I come to work, the building looks different to me, depending on the light, the weather, and the time of year. On the first day of each month, I will be taking a photo from the same spot at the corner of 13th and Spruce to show how these factors make the Hotel Boulderado look unique every time I walk through the front doors.

Hotel Boulderado Exterior ~ March