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Aspen Mall

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1970s, Hagman Yaw. 400 block of Hyman St., 300 and 400 blocks of Mill St., 400 block of Cooper St., 400 block of Galena St.

This five-block pedestrian mall is enlivened with native trees, sculpture, grass-lined watercourses, and a playground. In a mix ranging from Italianate to Post-modern, older structures abut recent ones that, encouraged by the local preservation ordinance, emulate but do not necessarily copy their elders. Mall shops include the Aspen Block ( PT20.1, 1886) (NR), 301 South Galena, with an iron front, made by Keystone Ironworks in Kansas City, that rises to a corner tower with a sunburst and round arch inside an ornate pediment. Across the street, at 501 East Hyman, the Romanesque Revival Cowenhoven Block ( PT20.2; 1890) (NR) showcases Peach Blow sandstone in the Silver City's finest hand-carved facade.

The Woods Building ( PT20.3; 1887; 1959 rehabilitation, Fritz Benedict), 432 Hyman (northwest corner of Galena Street), is an early attempt at mixing old and new architecture. Benedict dressed up the old-timer with Neo-Victorian kickplates and transom windows as the front for a sunken mini-mall. Riede's City Bakery ( PT20.4; 1885) (NR), 413 East Hyman, is one of only two remaining frame false-fronted buildings downtown. At Mill and Hyman, architect Travis Fulton and sculptor Nicholas De Wolf, an electrical engineer who helped develop microwaves, have created a valveless, computerized fountain. A block away on Hopkins, William Lipsey's Sculpture Garden is an unusual infill project, using earthworks, a fountain, and sculpture to evoke the jagged mountainscape.

The Red Onion, formerly the Brick Saloon ( PT20.5; 1892, Thomas Latta, builder), 420 E. Cooper Avenue (NR), is an old-time saloon behind a Victorian storefront on the mall, where pugilists are confined these days to their portraits on the walls. Local architects Gibson and Reno rehabilitated the two-story red brick building, retaining the long, narrow barroom with its clay tile floor. The delicate Eastlake back bar rises to mansarded domes at either end, and the oak front bar is equally unusual for its Gothic arches fronting inlaid wooden flowers. Johnny Litchfield, a veteran of the Tenth Mountain Division and Camp Hale, bought the saloon and renamed it the Red Onion. Under any name it continues to be one of Aspen's most storied settings.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel
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Citation

Thomas J. Noel, "Aspen Mall", [Aspen, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-PT20.

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 495-496.

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