The Hope Hotel, 1402 Larimer Street
The Hope Hotel was one of two hold outs on Larimer Street against Dana Crawford. When Dana was buying buildings on the street Laffite’s restaurant was doing fine. Laffite’s was named after Louisiana pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte. It was given a New Orlean’s theme and a stucco covered façade. The restaurant brought seafood to the rocky mountain region. In the middle of its success, in 1963, George and Rose Mary Brown brought suite against the restaurant for letting them wait for a table, even though they had a reservation, while others were seated. George was a city councilman and took his case to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. It survived this incident and some lousy reviews to stay in the Larimer Street location until 1983. The restaurant was sued for $16,000 in unpaid rent by A.H. Cook Company. It was eventually sold to Larimer Square. When the stucco was removed it was found the original façade was in restorable condition. The north west facing entrance was removed, as were the New Orlean’s inspired railings in front of the windows.
Laffite’s bright neon sign was effective in bringing tourists and locals to Larimer Square. The building looks larger in its white wash. The building and the lots on either side were added to the Larimer Street Historic District in 1994.
Picture of City Hall Pharmacy and the Hope Hotel. The event was the Elks Convention. This picture is from Tom Noel’s book on Larimer Street. The picture is taken from History Colorado’s Collection. Notice the angled entrance of the building.
The Hope Hotel building now houses offices and retail. On the ground floor is a pet store, Dog Savvy. I wonder how a frilly pet store would have played out a hundred years ago.
The beautiful brick work of the Hope Hotel. There is some confusion on the address on this building. In my notes I have the original address of the hotel as 1404. The Sanborn maps confirm this. Then, in 1900 the address changes to 1406. Now it is back to 1402.
There were meetings of the G.A.R., the Grand Army of the Republic, at 1404 Larimer in the 1880’s. The G.A.R. was fraternal organization open to those who fought for the Union Cause. Three million fought in the Civil War, in 1890, at its peak, the G.A.R. had 500,000 members. Denver had nine G.A.R. Posts of a nationwide number of 8,000. The headquarters and Post #4 called 1404 Larimer their home. The organization petered out as the veterans passed on, the last post disbanded in 1949. The last member was Albert Woolson, he died in 1959 at 109 years old, the last of the millions who fought in the Civil War.
Additions, comments and corrections are welcomed.
Source also used: Lost Restaurants of Denver by Robert and Kristen Autobee.