The Joslins Building – Discover the Heritage of our Downtown Denver Hotel
The historic landmark, now known as the Joslins Building, was built in 1887 by local developer George Tritch and designed by the prominent local architect Frank E. Edbrooke. The building that now acts as home to our Denver hotel was originally erected for the Joslins Dry Goods Company, founded in 1873 by John Jay Joslin. The booming company provided consumers with everyday household goods and the latest fashions. Customers in the early days of the store included famous local personalities such as Horace Tabor, Baby Doe Tabor, Molly Brown, and stars of the stage who wandered across Curtis Street form the Tabor Grand Opera House. Another notable personality involved with the store was national retailer J.C. Penney, who began his career as a stock clerk at Joslins.
The store transformed in 1927 with a major building renovation; a fifth floor was added, the main façade windows were enlarged and the building was painted white. The conversions brought the building into the mainstream of the 20th Century Denver architecture with its “Chicago Style” windows and streamlined facades. The transformation continued in 1964 with a second major renovation. This “facelift” was driven by the post war cultural movement, and was touted as a very progressive move for its day. The last chapter in the Joslins story unfolded in 1995 when the store closed due to declining downtown sales.
In 1996, the building was converted from a department store into a downtown Denver hotel. This new era involved massive changes: the exterior cladding was removed, the interior was completely redesigned with a new lobby, conference facilities, atrium, elevators, stairs and guestrooms, and the old roof was removed and a new sixth floor added, requiring extensive structural improvements. Historians and architects analyzed the building and recommended improvements that complemented its inherent historic character and in 1997 the Joslins Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Colorado Historical Society and National Park Service reviewed all aspects of the design and approved the completed renovation.
The Courtyard by Marriott Denver Downtown opened in February 1998. The renovation of the Joslins Building has resulted in one of the most unique and inviting hotels in Denver, providing visitors with a memorable experience in the cultural heart of the city.