Legal fight? Food fight? Preservation can get messy.

USE farm house IMG_2823

Over the past few months, there have been many attempts to designate various properties by a person (or persons) who is not the owner. They respond to a listing of properties that are aiming for non-historic status, also sometimes known as the kiss of doom.

But recently, a farmhouse in Park Hill also has entered a different category. That’s because the owners who want to demolish what is termed the Quinn Farmhouse have sued the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission because the landmark staff cautioned commission members that there was not enough information to support a nomination. The commission members voted instead to approve the nomination.

So the owners sued – talk about the will to redevelop that piece of land.

The fate of the farmhouse, at 5335 East 36thAvenue, is on the commission’s agenda on Tuesday.

I missed the earlier meeting on this property, but this one should be interesting. That’s because the Tom’s Diner non-owner designation push is on the agenda, too. The owner of Tom’s Diner, Thomas Messina, wants to sell his diner; a developer already has designs on the property, with visions of an eight-story apartment building. The diner is at 601 East Colfax Avenue – impossible to miss those great stone walls.

Both properties are set for public hearings.

But first: the farmhouse. I swung by there this past weekend. It is a simple home, but with plenty of land. Throughout Denver, you can see the evidence of an historic home that at one point was the center of a large piece of property. Over time, other structures were built, but that earlier home still remains. I took photos because the ones included in the demolition request make it look pretty sad, though my photographs will never win an award.

I have to say that the application for designation for the farmhouse is pretty cut and dried, though there is interesting information about the Quinn family, which ran a dairy operation. The landmark staff again has denied the application, saying that there are sections not well fleshed out.  We’ll see what the commission does in Round Two.

In contrast, the application for Tom’s Diner, the application is quite rich and a fascinating read. It’s an example of someone researching who really digs in and portrays the history of the building, its stylish architecture and materials, and its importance to the community.

First are the links to the Quinn Farmhouse documents (new and previous) posted by the city, as well as a link to news coverage of the suit.

After that, I’ve added the links to the Tom’s Diner application information and staff report, a link to coverage on Tom’s Diner, and to the involvement of Historic Denver.

The Quinn Farmhouse:

Click to access 5335.E.36thAve.App.designation.072319.pdf

Click to access 5335.E_36thAve_Designation_StaffReport_%20LPC_6.18.19.pdf

Then, Tom’s Diner:

Tom’s Diner “potentially historic”: Denver gives community three weeks to save East Colfax building from demolition

Tom’s Diner

USE Side view of Farm House IMG_2826

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