A Win for Preservation, a Win for Denver

Renovations are underwayMay 20, 2016 Bosler-Yankee house

Bosler-Yankee house
Fans of fine architectural craftsmanship and historic buildings are celebrating the fact that Denver’s Bosler-Yankee House will be saved. Jan and Steve Davis began major restoration work this spring on the stately brick, two-story, Italianate-style house, located at the top of the horseshoe-shaped Highland Park at 3209 W. Fairview Place in Denver’s West Highland neighborhood.  
The contentious struggle between the house’s previous owner and the building’s landmark status left the structure in derelict condition. A recent Denver Post article documented the story.  

Bosler- Yankee House 1983 32 years ago. Photo from the Undigitized Biography Photo Collection

32 years ago. Photo from the Undigitized Biography Photo Collection
Like so many buildings in Denver, the Bosler-Yankee house is connected to the story of its neighborhood, of Denver and Colorado. Built in 1875 for Ambrose Bosler and his family, the house was one of the first constructed in North Denver, an area known for its fresh air away from the crowded and dirty Denver city center.
William H. Yankee was the home’s second owner and resident. Yankee was the prosperous owner of the lucrative Yankee mine in Leadville. In the 1920s, Dr. John Henry Tilden based his Tilden School for Teaching Health in the house. Tilden’s school operated as a sort of alternative sanitarium for people with a variety of medical conditions. As the operation grew, Dr. Tilden hired Denver architect Harry W. J. Edbrooke to design patient housing on either side of the house. Those buildings are still standing, now as condos and apartments, completing the “campus” that grew out of the Bosler-Yankee house. 

Ambrose Bosler and Family circa 1890 The Bosler family – the house’s first residents

The Bosler family – the house’s first residents
Maintaining the 141 year-old Bosler-Yankee house for another century will not be easy or inexpensive, but keeping it around will enrich the identity of the Highland neighborhood, and the whole city of Denver. Preservation is dynamic – it takes energy and creativity. It strengthens our identity and helps create a strong sense of place. A balance of good design and quality construction from a variety of eras will make Denver unique and will preserve its fascinating history for future generations. Here’s to the next 141 years! You can follow the Bosler-Yankee house renovations progress on their blog. 

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