The Lobby Atrium of the Brown Palace
It’s difficult to think of Denver in nearly any point in time without the Brown Palace coming to mind. The hotel has been a landmark since it was built in 1892. While the gold rush brought miners to the city, it also brought investors. The Brown Palace's story is similar to many prestigious historical Colorado hotels—when those with money came to Denver, they expected impressive accommodations that carried the same standards as established East coast hotels. The need was met and the standard has been kept for 118 years at the Brown Palace.
The most memorable feature of the Brown Palace is arguably its shape. Its unique triangular shape is due to the triangle-shaped plot on which it was built. An entrepreneurial carpenter with an incredible amount of foresight purchased the land. He gave a nearby plot to the city of Denver as a gift on which to build the State Capitol, but kept the surrounding land to be sold at a later date for an enormous profit after the Capitol building was built. His commission of the Brown Palace was further evidence of his real estate savvy. Architect Frank Edbrooke saw the shape of the plot as a welcome challenge and made the most of every square foot. Besides designing the building in lovely Italian Renaissance style, he added a bit of whimsy by having 26 different animals carved into the red Colorado stone façade. These are fondly referred to as the “26 silent guests” by hotel staff.
Inside, luxury abounds in both finishes and furnishings. The lobby atrium features Mexican Onyx, cast-iron balcony grillwork, a beautiful stained-glass ceiling insert that is a work of art in itself, and traditional wood furniture in dark finishes. The original fireplace mantel is now the entrance to the Brown Palace Spa. The fireplace was built to the grand scale of the atrium and heated the entire area before modern heating was installed.
The Brown Palace is well-known for hosting presidents and has, in fact, played host to every U. S. President since Theodore Roosevelt, with the exception of Calvin Coolidge. Several of the suites are named for the presidents who stayed there. Historical tour guides take pride in relaying that every guest need is met, obviously including presidential needs. The hotel has disassembled beds and switched out windows in order to meet requests and ensure the comfort of past presidents and their families.
The Brown Palace’s downtown Denver location ensures that a stay will mean plenty to do and see as visitors enjoy the city by day and evening and royal treatment in the Palace by night. The hotel is an ideal, easy-to-reach, luxurious weekend retreat.
Travel Information: Directions from Colorado Springs are listed on the Brown Palace’s website. Take I-25 North until you reach the Lincoln Broadway Exit (exit right on Lincoln). Continue on Lincoln approx 2 miles to 18th Avenue (turn left on 18th). Take 18th to Broadway and a soft left on to Tremont Street (follow the green sign). The Grand Entrance to the Brown Palace Hotel is on Tremont. A Doorman will be at the entrance to assist with valet parking.
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Examiner’s Note: Thank you to Shannon Hulsey of the Brown Palace for her invaluable help and hospitality.