KEPHART

2555 Walnut Street

KEPHART

This single-story, rectangular building faces south towards Walnut and sits on the northwest corner of 26th Street. It is done in the 20th century Commercial style, as were many buildings from this time period across the U.S. Single-story height, decorative brickwork and flat unarticulated walls define the style and are all evident here. It is clad in the customary red brick of Denver’s warehouses but also features blond bricks in accents and decorative coursework bands. A utilitarian parapet rings the building’s flat roof but raises up to accent the corners of the front facade. Decorative panels of angled basket weave blond brickwork also accents the ends of the front façade. Most buildings in what is now the historic Ballpark neighborhood were built above street level just as Kephart’s building and others nearby. This was to align the storefronts and loading docks for ease of use, and to avoid the need for ramps and stairs that would impede valuable building space.

Warehouses and factories began construction along the northeast portions of Blake Street in the 1880s and this continued well into the 20th century. This building originally housed the Kuner-Empson Company, a cannery for produce like corn and peas. Unlike industrial plants designed by engineers, most of Denver’s warehouses were designed by architects. Companies wanted more prestigious buildings because they often combined their warehouses and corporate offices in one building. These more decorative brick warehouses have come to define much of Denver’s lower downtown area.

In 2009,the building was remodeled into an open office environment for the Kephart architecture firm which occupies it today.

References
Noel, Thomas J., & Norgren, Barbara S. (1987). Denver: The City Beautiful. Denver, Colorado: HistoricDenver, Inc.
City and County of Denver. (1994). Denver Landmark Designation Application Ballpark Neighborhood Historic District. Denver, Colorado.

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