Former newspaper building makes landmark list
The original home of Glenwood Springs’ first newspapers, the Daily Avalanche and weekly Avalanche Echo, has been added to the city’s list of historic local landmarks.
City Council recently approved the request of Mei Chu (Jessica) and Kuang Chuang Ting, current owners of the HJH Building at 412 Eighth St., to be included among such notable downtown structures as the Durand Opera House/Odean Theater (Eagles Lodge) on Seventh Street, the Kamm-Dever Building at 731 Grand Ave., and the Kinney House and John Edinger home on Blake Avenue.
According to Gretchen Ricehill, senior planner for the city and staff liaison to the Glenwood Historic Preservation Commission, the HJH Building met the criteria as a landmark due in part to its original ownership by HJ Holmes, founder and editor of the Avalanche and Echo newspapers and owner of the HJH Print Shop.
“The building was constructed in 1893 with the newspaper operations located on the first floor and Holmes, his wife, Mary, and their four daughters residing on the second floor,” Ricehill explained.
“The newspapers were an important part of early Glenwood Springs, reporting national events and, more importantly, the local happenings in and around Glenwood Springs,” she said.
As editor, Holmes was said to promote public health and education issues, local business and low taxes.
“He enthusiastically wrote about a strawberry festival to promote local agriculture; and event which turned into the annual Strawberry Days,” according to Ricehill’s narrative that accompanied the application.
Holmes later moved to California but continued to lease the newspaper to other editors. It ceased publication in 1927 after Holmes’ death.
The building itself was designed by prominent Austrian architect Theodore von Rosenberg, who also designed and constructed the Hot Springs Pool, Bathhouse and Natatorium for Richard Devereux.
Originally from Vienna, Austria, von Rosenberg came to the Glenwood Springs area as a bridge engineer for the Midland Railroad. He is also credited with designing the hydroelectric plant (Center for the Arts) in 1888, the original Grand Avenue bridge and several private residences, and he served as city engineer and county surveyor.
The HJH Building stands relatively unaltered from its original design by von Rosenberg, and meets the city’s other local landmark criteria, Ricehill said.
In addition to the previously mentioned properties, other local landmarks include the Pioneer/Linwood Cemetery above 12th Street, the First Church of Christ, Scientist at 10th and Cooper, First Presbyterian Church on Cooper, the Coryell House at 911 Pitkin Ave., the Glenwood Springs Sanitarium on Bennett Avenue, and the Cardiff Schoolhouse in Glenwood Park.
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