HOTEL BOULDERADO
HISTORY APPRECIATION

Explore History

  • Boulder Before The Boulderado

     

    This 1882 photo of Boulder shows the future location of Hotel Boulderado at the intersection of Spruce and 13th streets.

  • Early Hotel Renderings

     

    In early 1906, members of the community and Boulder’s Commercial Association quickly became stockholders as they contributed to the local fundraising efforts needed to build a new hotel. As they reached their first set of goals, the Boulder Hotel Company was formed and began scouting sites and reviewing designs. Hotel Flagstaff was one of the early names considered for the Hotel during the architectural concept phase.

  • A Bold Design

     

    The Boulder Hotel Company’s board of directors tasked local architects with providing two designs per firm – one design was required to fit the budget available and one design that the architect was inspired to build. In 1906, one of two designs submitted by architects William Redding & Son was chosen to be built, which represented a hotel that the community dreamed of having.

  • Groundbreaking Starts

     

    After fundraising, the Boulder Hotel Company had enough to start groundbreaking. Construction would take more than two years to complete. Postcards like this one were printed before the building was finished in anticipation of opening.

  • The Jewel Box of Boulder

     

    Architects William Redding & Son designed the hotel around a central court, following late-nineteenth-century trends. The original stained-glass ceiling was made from glass imported from Italy and was meant to create a focal point for the central court where guests could relax and enjoy the building’s architecture.

  • 1st New Year’s Eve Gala Ball

     

    On New Year’s Eve 1908, the night before the hotel’s grand opening, Hotel Boulderado hosted a Gala Ball. Since that time, the hotel has celebrated the original grand opening each year with a New Year’s Eve celebration.

  • Grand Opening Day

     

    Hotel Boulderado welcomed its first guests on January 1st, 1909.

  • The Hotel’s Hub

     

    Early on, guests would gather in the hotel’s picturesque lobby to read the daily newspaper and relax in oak chairs. Today the hotel lobby is still a favorite place for guests and locals alike to savor our history.

  • Historic Dining

     

    In 1909, the hotel opened a dining room for guests to socialize and enjoy a meal. To this day it remains Boulder’s oldest continuously operated restaurant. The location currently operates as one of Hotel Boulderado’s in-house restaurants, Spruce Farm & Fish. While reproductions have since replaced the stained glass windows, the floor tiles are the originals installed in 1909.

  • Hotel Boulderado’s 1st Christmas

     

    Hotel Boulderado celebrated it’s first Christmas in 1909, offering guests an exclusive menu that featured Mock Turtle Soup, Roast Young Turkey Stuffed with Oysters, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie. 

  • 1910 Construction

     

    The hotel went under construction in August 1910 to finalize the original design. Corner porches were enclosed and dormers were added to 5th-floor rooms.

  • Boulderado’s 1st Wedding

     

    Leila and Lee Woods took their vows on the Mezzanine landing in 1911. Since that beautiful day, the hotel is honored to have been a part of thousands of love stories.

  • 4th of July 1912

     

    Holidays have always been a festive time at the hotel. In 1912, hotel guests watched as the Knights Templar Band marched past in a town parade.

  • Thanksgiving 1926

     

    Thanksgiving at Hotel Boulderado featured a decadent feast including Oyster Soup, Pork Tenderloin Sauté with Jelly, Snow Flake Potatoes, Black Walnut Ice Cream, Fruit Cake, and more all for $1.

  • Perfect For Photos

     

    The hotel can be found as a backdrop in many historic photos showing the community’s pride of the luxury property. In this 1932 photo, the Boulder Fire Department posed for their annual photos in front of what is now the main hotel entrance.

  • Wedding Gift

     

    William G. “Bill” Hutson Jr and Rosemary “Winnie” Hutson were given the Hotel Boulderado as a wedding present from Bill’s father in 1940. Hotelier William Hutson Sr only paid $40,000 for the surprise wedding gift, which was added to his chain of Hutson Hotels.

  • Boulderado Coffee Shop

     

    The Boulderado Coffee Shop opened in the dining room in 1946. By the 1950s, Winnie and Bill Hutson were personally managing the dining room and coffee shop.

  • Stained Glass To Plexiglass

     

    After a snowstorm in September 1960 broke through two panels of the imported Italian stained-glass ceiling, Winnie Hutson decided to replace all of the panels with something new: red, white, and blue plexiglass.

  • Ed and June Howard

     

    A few years after Bill Hutson’s passing, his wife Winnie leased the hotel property to friends Ed and June Howard in June of 1961. The Howards took over management and ushered in new changes to update the hotel. Ed would later help install the hotel’s sprinkler system and June redecorated the lobby.

  • New Hotel Entrance

     

    The brick portico over the main entrance was removed in 1967 due to weather damage. Hotel owners moved the entrance to it’s current location on 13th street. The original portico sign is currently displayed in License No. 1.

  • Louis Winterberger

     

    The Howard Hotel Company sold Hotel Boulderado to Court Plaza, Inc. in 1967. Louis Winterberger (pictured above), a member of the group, took over as manager. Much like the Howards, his goal was to keep the rooms authentic to their historic charm.

  • Boulder County Is No Longer Dry

     

    After 60 years, prohibition was lifted in Boulder County in 1967. The Hotel Boulderado was one of the first properties to receive a liquor license.

  • Catacombs Restaurant Opens

     

    The hotel basement, which included old storage and utility rooms, was renovated in 1969 to welcome the new Catacombs Restaurant allowing the hotel to sell beer and liquor for the first time.

  • Boulderado Plaza, Ltd. Purchases The Hotel

     

    Louis Winterberger is quoted as being sad about selling the hotel in 1976 as he created so many fond memories on the property. However, he knew by selling the property to Boulderado Plaza, LTD it was going to good owners who valued historic preservation.

  • City Landmark Declared

     

    In 1976, the Boulder Landmarks Board approved Hotel Boulderado as a city landmark.

  • Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall Opens

     

    The four-block space along Pearl Street had been revitalized to create a downtown area that attracted locals and tourists alike.

  • The Ceiling Is Restored

     

    Marie Distel Garcia joined the hotel in September 1977 to help restore the ceiling in the historic lobby. She lived and worked at the hotel cutting the frames and installing the fifteen-hundred square feet of new leaded stained-glass panels. Each 2×2 foot section contains 40 pieces of glass. The design was based on old photographs of the original ceiling.

  • Owners Change

     

    The historic property was purchased by Boulderado Landmark, Ltd introducing Bart Bortles as managing general partner and Sid Anderson (pictured above) as hotel manager.

  • New Partners

     

    In 1980, Boulderado Hotel, Ltd purchased the property. With the leadership of new managing general partner Frank Day, the hotel went under a complete renovation to restore it to its original glory. (Sid Anderson and Frank Day pictured above.)

  • An Afternoon To Remember

     

    On June 13, 1982, locals were invited to tour the refurbished hotel showcasing Frank Day’s dedication to renovating Boulder’s historic luxury hotel.

  • North Wing Groundbreaking

     

    On January 16th, 1985, Mayor Ruth Correll kicked-off the construction of 61 new rooms in the North Wing.

  • North Wing Expansion

     

    Additional construction was done to add 48 more rooms and an Event Center in 1989.

  • National Register of Historic Places

     

    Hotel Boulderado was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

  • Our Centennial Year

     

    Hotel Boulderado celebrated the big 100-year anniversary with a grand gala reception in 2009.

  • The Corner Bar Renovations

     

    The Corner Bar went under renovation and re-opened in the Spring of 2014 offering expanded patio and indoor dining. Bruce the Moose joined the bar this year and can still be found overlooking the indoor dining space today.

  • License No. 1 Opens

     

    License No. 1 gained it’s name due to Hotel Boulderado receiving the first liquor license in Boulder after prohibition was lifted in 1967. The new speakeasy cocktail lounge replaced Catacombs Restaurant in Hotel Boulderado’s basement.

  • Spruce Farm & Fish Opens

     

    Spruce Farm & Fish opened in Hotel Boulderado’s original dining room. The chef-driven restaurant features design elements from the original dining room including the floor tiles and replica stained-glass windows.

  • 2017 Renovation

     

    Renovation of the lobby and Mezzanine spaces took place in 2017 and was led by architect firm Rowland+Broughton. The original hotel front desk moved to the gift shop, which created an intimate computer bar with the original hotel key boxes and safe preserved. The Mezzanine was opened to offer flexible meeting and event space.

  • Best of 2018

     

    Hotel Boulderado was awarded Best of 2018 from Colorado Meetings + Events.

  • Certificate of Excellence 2019

     

    Hotel Boulderado was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor in 2019.

  • Travelers’ Choice

     

    Hotel Boulderado was awarded the Travelers’ Choice award from Tripadvisor in 2020.

  • Awards of Excellence

     

    Laurel McKown, Hotel Boulderado’s Director of Housekeeping and In-House Historian, was awarded Hotel Historian of the Year as a part of Historic Hotels of America’s Awards of Excellence in 2020.

Activities

The Story of Hotel Boulderado

This historic property was the first luxury hotel built in Boulder. The name comes from a combination of Boulder and Colorado, designed so guests would always remember where they had stayed. Thanks to being a part of Boulder’s rich culture, Hotel Boulderado is a City of Boulder landmark, proud members of Historic Hotels of America, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The hotel opened it’s doors in true elegance and style with a Gala Ball on New Year’s Eve in 1908. The first guests began arriving on New Year’s Day in 1909. Since then, the hotel has celebrated it’s original grand opening each year with a majestic New Year’s Eve celebration.

Designed by local architects, William Redding & Son, the five-story brick building incorporates both Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival architectural styles. It follows a trend of open-court hotels started by the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and carried over to Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel, built-in 1892. In 2018, Hotel Boulderado was awarded Best Renovation Project from Colorado Meetings + Events as a result of the extensive updates completed in the lobby and mezzanine spaces.

Early guests included conservationist Enos Mills, actress Ethel Barrymore, actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and evangelist Billy Sunday. Some who followed were Clarence Darrow, Helen Keller, Robert Frost, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong, as well as a generous representation of today’s political figures, speakers, entertainers, and musicians.

Whether it’s experiencing the luxury of the hotel’s rooms and suites, enjoying dinner and drinks at the in-house restaurants or bars, or riding the original Otis Elevator that is still in operation today, guests are always welcome at Hotel Boulderado.

Beyond Our Past
Hotel Package

The whole family can enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt for Boulderado history, Boulderado coloring sheets, and reading your own copy of Silvia Pettem’s Legend of a Landmark. Take a tour of the hotel and go beyond the history of Hotel Boulderado with a trip to the Museum of Boulder.

Award-Winning
History Tours

Learn the history of an iconic building through self-guided or guided tours for individuals and groups.

The history tours have been curated and developed by Hotel Boulderado’s award-winning in-house historian, Laurel McKown.

Contact Us

Reach out to us with your questions. Reservations are required for guided history tours at Hotel Boulderado. If you would like to reserve a guided history tour, please send your contact information and availability.
Thank you!

Call 303-442-4344 ext. 4211 or email us below!

Hotel Boulderado

 2115 13th St
Boulder, CO 80302

 (303)442.4344

 info@hotelboulderado.com

www.boulderado.com