Constructed in 1891 as part of speculative neighborhood East of Denver, the Milliken House hosted the first Town Trustee (City Council) meeting for the Town of Fletcher, later renamed Aurora. The Milliken House obtained Local Historic Landmark status in 1987 for its role in the establishment of local government and association with Mayor Milliken.
Backstory and Context
The Milliken House was constructed in 1891 as part of the original development initiated by the Colfax Trust Company. After completion, the home hosted the first meeting of the Trustees of the Town of Fletcher which took place on May 27, 1891. At the first meeting, the town Treasurer, Recorder, and Secretary were elected. Trustees also elected to hire a Mr. Denison to draft ordinances for the new municipality and appointed Mayor Milliken a committee of one to establish meeting procedures. The Milliken residence continued to operate as the center of city government until the Fletcher School House opened in 1893, taking over city government meetings.
Under the Classical Revival inspired wrap around porch, is a classic example of Queen Anne architectural style in Colorado. The steeply pitched gable roof, bay window, integral porch (now enclosed), patterned shingle gable, and asymmetrical façade are all defining features of a Queen Anne. English architects, most notably Richard Norman Shaw, named and popularized the style in the late 19th century.
The use of the name in the United States is misleading. The English version of a Queen Anne featured late Medieval influences from the Jacobean and Elizabethan periods. The only American Queen Anne’s that resemble their English forbearers, are the half-timbered and patterned masonry sub-types. After the introduction of the Queen Anne in America around 1874, the style found little popularity among architects. However, pattern books, which allowed an individual to order Queen Anne plans, found success as the railroad network made nation-wide shipping possible. American interpretations of the English style known as Spindlework and Free Classic found popularity in developing communities of the Western United States into the early 20th century.
Freeman, Andrew, Wendy Freeman, and E. Johnson. “Milliken House, Aurora Landmark No. 6, Nomination Form,” City of Aurora, https://www.auroragov.org/things_to_do/aurora_history_museum/historic_sites/landmark_process
McAlester, Virginia Savage. A Field Guide to American Houses: The Definitive Guide to Identifying and Understanding America’s Domestic Architecture. Edition 2nd . New York. Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Aurora History Museum & Historic Sites