1441-1443 Larimer Street, Joe Replin Building
Joe Replin was the one hold out on Larimer Street that would not sell out to Dana Crawford. Lafitte’s restaurant was also hold out, but was bringing traffic to Larimer street. That was acceptable to Dana Crawford. Joe Replin owned a number of buildings downtown. This is were he hung out. In a May 25, 1994 Westword article Robin Chotzinoff interviewed Joe Replin about his businesses. Chotzinoff wrote that Replin owned numerous buildings in downtown, many in LODO, but Replin wouldn’t volunteer much information about them. His building wasn’t sold to the Hermanson Family, that owns Larimer Square, until after his death in 1999.
Joe Replin appears to be a character, and a bit of a hoarder. I bought and sold antiques in the past and it was not unusual to run across personalities like Joe Replin. Fun to talk to, always ready to wheel and deal but never giving anything away other than at their price. Bargaining was tough. I never had the chance to met Joe Replin or even enter his store. The times I was on Larimer Street never seemed to correspond to when his “office supply” store was open. But from the neglected merchandise you could see from the window, you knew it would be a treasure hunt if you could get in the building.
Joe Gershon Replin was born in 1910 in Odessa, Odes’ka, Ukraine. He married Marline in 1950 after his service in World War II. He is buried at Mount Nebo Memorial Park in Aurora.
When looking at old photos of the building on Larimer the fire escape stands out. Numerous buildings on the street had outside fire escapes. The Replin building was the last on the street to have one. The others were not needed as there is no residential housing in Larimer Square. You need a second escape route for residential buildings. Perhaps a clue to other uses of the building?
The building housed Graham & Weber Carpet and Oil Cloths in 1889. In 1894 W.H. Moore had a shoe store at this address. In 1928 the Western Store Fixture Company had the space. They were still listed in same location in 1937.
1970’s picture of the Replin building by Daniel Eitemiller.
1443 Larimer now houses one of the premier restaurants that Larimer Street is known for, TAG. The restaurant is named for the chef Troy Atherton Guard. Troy Guard worked at Zengo’s (now closed) for Richard Sandoval. He also worked at Ocean and 9-75.
Larimer Square is building a reputation for high quality dining by noted chefs. One wonders if Joe Replin enjoys going up-scale.
The Replin Building today.
For further research: Dana Crawford: From Larimer Square to Lo Do, Historic Preservation in Denver, by Dan William Corson, 1998.