Lemcke Meat Market

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Local Landmark—1993

Two Potters Building 2003 Facade
Two Potters facade, c. 2003.

The one-story building at 2516 West Main Street in downtown Littleton was built about 1929. Information at the Littleton Museum indicates it was originally a laundry. In about 1936 Rudolph Lemcke purchased the building and moved his meat market there. Lemcke's Meat Market became a fixture on Main Street for the next fifty years. Mr. Lemcke was its proprietor and did everything from processing deer to selling pizza. He expanded the building towards the back of the lot in about 1939 and again in 1943. About 1968 he remodeled the front facade and installed a more modern red stone "brick" which was mortared between the original upright brick columns. Other than that, the building is essentially in its original form.

In 1997 it was the home of Two Potters, a pottery manufacturing and sales business. The name, Two Potters, has a long-time association with ceramics manufacturing in downtown Littleton. The original Two Potters were Macy Dorf and Larry Wright who occupied the lower floor of 2510 West Main Street, next door east of the Lemcke Meat Market, from Fall 1967 to 1971. They were followed by Sara Molyneaux who continued to use the Two Potters name. In about 1986, after the close of Lemcke's Market at 2516 West Main, she purchased the Lemcke building and expanded her pottery studio into it, thus occupying two store fronts.

 Lemcke Building front 2015
Lemcke Meat Market building, 2015.  Photo by Amelia Martinez.

The Grays were the first downtown property owners to apply to the Colorado Historical Society and the City of Littleton for matching grant money for historic preservation work. They wanted to improve the Lemcke building facade with fresh paint and a new sign.

The building first had to receive the City's landmark designation. It qualified because of its part in the context of Main Street and of that particular block, as well as its historical use as an institution significant to a way of life that was important in the history of Littleton. People still came into Two Potters and reminisced about how their parents had regularly visited Lemcke's Meat Market. It had been part of a Main Street where people participated in daily shopping, going to movies, or buying a car.

Mr. Gray remarked that it might be considered a rather nondescript building, but that it was indicative of the West, where people built what worked at the time and didn't use a lot of frills. It was functionally oriented and had important strength. Museum Director Robert McQuarie said that it was a good, solid building, not in the highest category of architectural value, but that it had proven itself to be a good building and a good business. It was designated an historical landmark in 1993, and soon afterward the Grays were granted matching funds for the new sign.

The simple, single story building has a flat roof with brick coping. The bricks are painted and wire drawn. Under the store front windows are courses of roman brick that act as a kick plate. The entrance is off center with a brick pier dividing the building. The glass and wood entry door is inset from the façade. Next to the entrance is a single plate glass window with clerestory and there is a group of four windows on the other side of the brick pier.

The intent of the builder appears to have been to construct a functional and perhaps temporary structure. The Two Potters is similar to a building type frequently referred to as a "tax payer," intended as inexpensive construction to generate enough revenue to cover property taxes until a more profitable use for the property could be found, or a larger building constructed. Although typically a row of stores built in a strip, Two Potters with its limited lot space is most likely an example of this style of architecture, which became popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

In the interior decor they used memorabilia from the meat market, such as chopping blocks, signs, and meat racks and hooks. Outside the entrance they erected a handsome three-dimensional hanging sign in character with the style that was commonly found on Main Street at the time the building was constructed. It features the mark of their trade: three handmade pots.

The Lemcke Market building now houses the Ancient Art Health Center, a business dedicated to health and balance through holistic medicine.

Bibliography

Dorf, Macy. 6465 South Prince Street, Littleton, Colo. Telephone interview, July 1997.

Gray, Franklin., Littleton, Colo., Telephone interview, July 1997.

Littleton Historical Museum. Biography/Place Name Files.

Littleton Historical Museum. "City Boards and Programs: Historical Preservation Board. Two Potters, 2516 West Main Street." Littleton, Colo.: The Museum, 1993.

Littleton Historical Museum. "Littleton Historical Building Survey (Main Street.) (Notebook.) Two Potters, 2516 West Main Street." Littleton, Colo.: The Museum, 1992.

Liebs, Chester H. Main Street to Miracle Mile (Baltimore:Ê John Hopkins University Press, 1995), page 229.

Inventory Sources:
Arapahoe County Assessor Records
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1921-1949
Littleton City Directories, 1932, 1919, 1963-1965
Littleton Historical Museum Files
Littleton Independent, 20 August 1948
Rothstein, Mildred, Research on 2516 W. Main, September 1997
Rocky Mountain News, 9 May 1994

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

Last revised May 2017