Mar 22, 2016
A court-appointed receiver has finalized the sale of the historic Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview. The sale agreement includes milestones to ensure that the house is secured, stabilized and made weathertight in a timely manner, and that other restoration work that follows also progresses swiftly. These provisions will ensure this city landmark is preserved in accordance with Denver’s landmark preservation ordinance.
Buyers Steve and Jan Davis — who currently reside in the nearby Berkeley neighborhood — plan to restore it and make it their own residence. Mr. Davis is a licensed contractor and plans to perform some of the restoration work himself. Mrs. Davis is a master gardener and plans to fully landscape the property.
“We have been fighting for this house for six years,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “Today we finally have certainty that this building will not crumble, but will stand as a north Denver landmark for future generations.”
The court-approved sale marks a major turning point in the story of the historic landmark, badly damaged beginning in 2008 when its then-owner removed the roof without proper building permits nor required approvals from Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission. Over the following six years, attempts to work with the owner to bring the property into compliance with property maintenance and historic preservation requirements were not successful, and the roof remained open. Ultimately, liens and fines on the property led the city to begin foreclosure proceedings on the house in May 2015.
The property sold for $375,000. Per the terms of its settlement agreement with former owner Keith Painter, about $150,000 will go toward the City and County of Denver for unpaid liens and fines. About $75,000 will be paid to the receiver for already-performed property management, maintenance and contracted architectural services. Mr. Painter will receive the difference.
The city’s February announcement about the potential sale of the Bosler House generated immediate interest among several potential buyers. The Davises were the first to make a formal offer, and had to demonstrate the ability to complete the rehabilitation of the house within prescribed timeframes.
“This is a spectacular opportunity for us,” Steve Davis said. “We’re excited and proud to be able to lend our passion and expertise to this historic landmark, while at the same time making it our home.”
The first step in building repair will be replacing the missing roof, required to be completed within four months. The house’s new owners will have access to construction plans for roof repairs that were recently drafted by an architect and paid for mainly by proceeds from the sale. The National Trust for Historic Preservation provided a $7,000 grant to help fund these plans. State tax credits are also available for repairs to historic buildings.
Earlier this year, an historic structure assessment — funded by a grant from History Colorado and performed by Hord Coplan Macht — concluded that unauthorized alterations over the last 20 years have left the Bosler House in fair to poor condition. The 200-page assessment identified critical structural problems caused by water infiltration from the open roof, and from other recent alterations such as removal of structural beams in the interior. Despite the serious damage the house has sustained inside and out, the assessment indicates that the house can be restored by qualified engineers and historic preservation professionals performing major repairs. Some key components are in fair to good condition, including the foundation and the brick masonry. All the recommended repairs could cost up to $1.75 million, due to the damage the building has sustained.
About the Bosler House
The Bosler House at 3209 W. Fairview Pl., built in 1875, was designated a Denver historic landmark in 1984 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It is significant not only for its Italianate architecture, but also for its history in the development of Denver and its association with Ambrose Bosler and W.H. Yankee, two early settlers of the West Highland area of Denver. The house was a functioning home from 1875 until about 2007.
BUILDING COMMUNITY: Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. CPD regulates planning, zoning, development and maintenance of private property in Denver. We're working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Visit DenverGov.org/CPD or follow us on Twitter at @DenverCPD.