Batschelet Building

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National Register—Contributing building to the Littleton Main Street Historic District, 1998;
Local Landmark—1994

Edward F. Batschelet built the structure at 2569-2579 West Main Street in 1908. He had come from Missouri to Littleton by way of Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, about four years earlier. Here he engaged extensively in cattle trading and real estate and soon became one of the town's leading citizens. On 24 January 1908 the Littleton Independent announced plans for the "Batschelet Block," as the three-storefront building was called. It followed on 14 February with a sketch of the front elevation. This lot at the northeast corner of Main and Curtis (the spelling then) streets was considered one of the choicest business properties in town. The building was erected on the east side of the lot where it adjoined the Lilley Stables.

Batschelet Building 1917
Main Street, looking west, with the Batschelet Building at right, 1917.

George Anderson, whose office was on Main Street, drew the plans and served as contractor. The building front was constructed of red pressed brick. A wide staircase led to the second story which featured fourteen-foot ceilings and was used as an opera house and public meeting hall. In October 1908, at a Democratic rally in the hall, United States Senator Henry M. Teller and State Senator Ed Taylor addressed the voters.

The first floor storefront was originally the One Price Cash House Company (O.P.C.H.), a dry goods dealer. Later it housed clothing and auto supply businesses. In the 1950s the Heckethorn Manufacturing and Supply Company (HECO) occupied the building.

 Batschelet Building 2015
Batschelet Building, 2015.  Photo by Amelia Martinez.

The Littleton Historical Museum has described the building as one of the finest remaining turn-of-the-century structures in downtown Littleton. The building is an excellent example of 20th Century Commercial style. The ground floor has plate glass windows with wood kick plates and awnings, which enhance the retail use of the building. There are four entrances to the building, each with transom windows over the entry doors and large rectangular sidelights. The second story has a prominent continuous sill course under the double hung windows. A stringcourse above the windows mimics the sill course. The cornice is perhaps the most noteworthy feature as it projects from the building on decorative brackets with a dentil molding frieze underneath.

Batschelet befriended the young Ralph Moody by hiring him as a cowhand on his ranch and letting him race his horses at the local fairgrounds. Moody later wrote Batschelet into two of his books, The Home Ranch and Man Of the Family, as "Mr. Batchlett."

Edward Batschelet died in August 1912 of blood poisoning as a result of a wound to the head which he suffered in an altercation with three local men. He is buried in the Littleton Cemetery. At that time he apparently no longer owned the "Batschelet Building." It was called the Nickel Building.

 Batschelet2015
Batschelet Building, 2015. Photo by Amelia Martinez.

In 1994 the building was given historic landmark status by the city. At that time it was occupied by Georgio's restaurant and an appliance repair shop on the first floor and by offices and an artist's studio upstairs. Building owner Reeves and Associates reconstructed and restored the first floor exterior storefront by removing the frame and cedar shingle awning and replacing it with a glass, wood, and metal storefront facade similar to the original. In doing so, the original, decorative motifs above the first floor were discovered and retained. The windows on both floors were restored to full size. A cloth awning was installed above the first floor for the length of the building. Fritters restaurant occupied the west end of the newly reopened first floor space.

The building now is home to two different businesses.  One is a men's specialty clothing store called Austin Hauck.  Founded by Doug Hauck and Bill Austin, this clothing store opened in 2001. The other business is the Smokin' Fins Restaurant which opened in 2015 and serves fish and meat that is house smoked.

Bibliography

Batschelet, Henry Earl and Evelyn Roberts Batschelet. Batschelet History. [n.l.]: Evelyn Roberts Batschelet, 1975.

Littleton Historical Museum. "City Boards and Programs: Historical Preservation Board. Batschelet Building, 2569-2579 West Main Street." Littleton, Colo.: The Museum, 1993.

Littleton, (Colo.) Independent. Littleton, Colo.: The Littleton Independent Publishers, 1888- .

"Littleton Historical Building Survey (Main Street.) (Notebook.) Batschelet Building, 2569-2579 West Main Street. Littleton, Colo.: The Museum, 1992.

Littleton Museum. Photographic Archives and Biography/Place Name Files.

Moody, Ralph. "My Home Town." Article in Littleton (Colo.) Independent. Ninetieth anniversary edition, 20 July 1978.

Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Littleton Cemetery. Littleton, Colorado. Littleton, Colo.: Mount Rosa Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1983.

Inventory Sources:
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1908-49
Littleton City Directories, 1932, 1939, and 1953-1963
Littleton Museum Files, Photograph Collection, #2006, 2621, and 583, and People and
Places File, C.E. Stephenson and Roy E. Batschelet
Arapahoe County Assessor records
Littleton Independent, 22 July 1938, 20 August 1948 and 8 July 1971

Photographs courtesy of the Littleton Museum unless otherwise noted. To order copies, contact the museum at 303-795-3950.

 

Compiled by Doris Farmer Hulse
Edited by Kris Christensen (Colorado Digitization Project) and Phyllis Larison

Last revised May 2017