Monfort Companies Identifies Solution for El Chapultepec Building

Since the news emerged that Historic Denver filed a landmark designation to save the El Chapultepec building at 1962 Market Street in Denver from demolition, Monfort Companies has identified a solution in collaboration with Historic Denver that prioritizes the preservation of the building’s distinctive corner and signage.

According to Monfort, a series of meetings held over the past three months between Monfort Companies and Historic Denver, stakeholders, and consultants, have significantly contributed to, strengthened and aligned their vision for the future of 1962 Market, and the direction of the redevelopment.

As part of this process, local architects Chris Shears with SAR+ and Richard Farley of Richard Farley Urban Design, both of whom are widely respected for their historic preservation work locally, were invited to join the meetings in a peer review capacity alongside the project architect Peter Koliopoulos with Circle West Architects, to ensure that the vision of all parties was being respected and fully realized while managing the realities of the existing building.

Monfort Companies and Historic Denver have identified a path forward that will honor the historical and cultural significance of the property while introducing thoughtful modern enhancements that meet current and future demands and support our vision for the 20th Street corridor.

While specific details are still being finalized, the new proposed design significantly preserves portions of the original brick and iconic signage on the corner of Market & 20th Street and a portion of the original materials of the north- and west-facing walls. Additionally, the building’s original envelope and silhouette will be echoed through a new glass structure with a brick pattern etched into the glass at the upper level to provide the impression of the 130-year-old brick continuing along the street but in a new and contemporary material.

Kenneth Monfort, executive vice president of Monfort Companies, said, “Though the building’s integrity poses significant safety issues, and many major elements of the structure remain impossible to save, we invested significantly in developing a solution that prioritizes the preservation of the building’s distinctive architectural elements. The new design bridges past and present, anchoring the building’s history through its most memorable design elements and representing the building’s original envelope and silhouette through a new glass structure. This will transform the previously dark, windowless building into a well-lit, pedestrian-friendly area for our Ballpark neighborhood.”

What are the next steps?

With a shared commitment to this project and to facilitate a streamlined approval process, Historic Denver has withdrawn its application for landmark designation and Monfort has pulled its original Lower Downtown Design Review Commission (LDDRC) application. This mutual step underscores a joint commitment to and collaboration on this project.

The new project design has been resubmitted to the LDDRC as of June 18. The design will now be reviewed by the LDDRC, a process that still allows for further committee edits or adaptations of the project design.

John Deffenbaugh, CEO of Historic Denver, said, “We are delighted to have worked alongside Monfort Companies on a solution that celebrates the rich history of 1962 Market Street and integrates elements of the existing building into an exciting new design. The ‘Pec means many things to many people and retaining part of the 130-year-old building will keep these memories alive and ensure that Denverites and visitors have an insight into the legacy of world-class jazz that once rang out from this corner. This is an example of the classic adage ‘where there is a will, there is a way,’ and we appreciate the energy and resources Monfort Companies committed to ensuring this unique piece of history lives on. This is the kind of win-win collaboration that Denver needs; the authentic character of our city will be sustained by the thoughtful combination of historic places and new developments.”

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