I. W. Hunt Building

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National Register, Contributing Building to the Downtown District—1998

Hunt Building 1928 Exterior
Hunt Building, c. 1928.

In 1913 cars were becoming a popular commodity when Ivy W. Hunt opened his Ford dealership in Littleton. It was not long before Hunt knew he would need a proper building to showcase Ford's latest models. Hunt constructed the building in 1919 and it included the showroom, auto parts sales and offices. Hunt knew he had a growing business and later increased the capacity of the showroom to hold 75 cars and added a service garage and gas station to the site.

The single story building is constructed of red pressed brick and is typical of early 20th Century Commercial architecture. The simple style of the building is not without some detail. Brick piers project slightly above the roofline and are caped in concrete. There is concrete coping along the roofline. The entrance is composed of white enameled brick. Perhaps the most important original detail remaining is the enameled brick "H"s inset along the top and the plaque above the entrance "I. W. Hunt, 1919."

 HuntBuilding2015
Little Town Complex, 2015. Photo by Amelia Martinez.

Hunt's Ford dealership was not the only important commercial operation to occupy the building. The Red Comet Fire Extinguisher Company moved to Littleton in 1933 and purchased the building in 1949. They continued their operations in the building until 1963. Red Comet was one of the nation's leading manufactures of fire extinguishers and a major employer in Littleton. The proximity of their Littleton operation to rail lines allowed their extinguishers to be distributed worldwide. Ironically, a fire occurred in the building shortly after their acquisition. Although one of Littleton's most destructive fires, the $40,000 of damages did not prevent Red Comet from restoring the building.

In 1983 the building was renovated into the Little Town Complex. It now has a second story addition stepped back from the façade.  For a number of years the building housed offices of the Littleton Independent, the community's hometown paper since 1888.  The Hunt building is now the home of a variety of businesses ranging from real estate to law firms.

Bibliography

Front Range Research Associates, 1997 Inventory, Littleton Historic Buildings, Inventory Record for the I. W. Hunt Building, Colorado Cultural Resource Survey Inventory Form 5AH1264.

Inventory Sources:
Arapahoe County Assessors Records
Littleton Museum Files
Littleton Independent, July 11, 1938
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1893-1949
Littleton City Directories, 1932-1965
Rocky Mountain News, April 16, 1946
Littleton Sentinel Independent, December 3, 1986 and June 29, 1988
Littleton Times, "Littleton Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow," July 1990, pg 17

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

 


Compiled by Kris Christensen

Last revised May 2017