HOTEL HISTORY: From Trolleys to Theatre
LOCATION: Hotel Teatro is ideally located in the heart of downtown Denver, directly across from the Denver Center for Performing Arts and just two blocks from the Colorado Convention Center. The 16th Street Mall, Larimer Square, and the nightlife of Lower Downtown “LoDo” Historic District are only steps from our front door. Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, and Denver Pavilions are also within walking distance. Denver International Airport is 25 miles away. The majestic backdrop of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the central Denver location makes Hotel Teatro the perfect choice for business or pleasure.
HISTORY: Hotel Teatro occupies a building originally built in 1911 as the Denver Tramway Building. This site was the first location of the Evans Mansion, home of John Evans, Colorado’s second territorial governor.
John’s oldest son, W. G. Evans, became president of the Denver Tramway Company and retained two of Denver’s up and coming architects, William E. and Arthur A. Fisher, to design an eight-story office tower and adjacent three-story car barn. The building’s design combined a modern steel skeleton and Chicago style office space with a traditional Renaissance Revival style edifice of glazed red brick and glazed white terra cotta. This style is carried into the lobby where the use of Tennessee light pink marble flooring and Vermont green marble base were combined with white Arizona marble wainscoting. The elegance can be seen today in the entrance to the hotel as careful attention was paid to preserve this detail.
After World War II, transportation by streetcar became obsolete in Denver. The University of Colorado at Denver (CU Denver) then purchased the Tramway Building as the nucleus of its downtown campus. The school faculty moved into the Tramway offices and the area where trolleys once parked was converted into classrooms.
By the late eighties, CU Denver had moved all of its facilities across Cherry Creek to the Auraria Campus. In 1991, Denver Center for the Performing Arts purchased the car barn portion of the building for the offices, workshop, and storage area. The tower part of the Tramway building stood vacant for several years.
In 1997, Astonbridge Partners and David Owen Tyrba Architects began the restoration of the building into the exquisite hotel that now stands today. The proximity to the Performing Arts Complex was the inspiration for the name Teatro, which means theatre in Italian. Hotel Teatro is designed to blend the grandeur of yesterday with the modern conveniences available today.