The A. M. Ghost Building
Backstory and Context
The Ghost Building was named after Allen M. Ghost, well known real estate developer in Denver during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1887, Ghost purchased land in the Highlands and divided the land into plots to sell. At the time a streetcar line was in development for the upcoming neighborhood so the various plots sold at an incredible pace. This area is now known as the Ghost Historic District in the Highlands.
In 1889 Ghost went on to build this structure at 15th and Glenarm in 1889 where it was located until 1979 when it was deconstructed brick by brick. The original architect for the building was Colorado local, William Lang. Lang was best known as the architect of the Molly Brown House in Capitol Hill. The Ghost Building is Lang’s only commercial building from the turn of the century that remains.
Before its removal and reconstruction, the Public Service Co. of Colorado signed a 20-year lease on the property that the Ghost Building stood. Preservationists at the time responded by placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places, however, the PSC’s control of the property trumped the National Register status. When this plan did not succeed, local architect Brain T. Congleton proposed dismantling the facade stone by stone and reassembling the building at a new location.
Congleton was quoted as saying:
“If they can move London Bridge to Lake Havasu, we certainly can move the Ghost Building”
The PSC agreed, incurring a cost of $25,000 to dismantle and store the bricks and pieces of the facade. These blocks sat in a warehouse for six years until the building could be reconstructed at the current location at 18th ST and Stout. The building features the original stone lay, arched windows, and columns.
- Parker, Penny . "Ghost Building made its way to 18th St." The Denver Post (Denver) February 22nd 2011. https://www.denverpost.com/2011/02/21/parker-ghost-building-made-its-way-to-18th-street/
- DiPierro, Amy. Historic office building finds a new Canadian owner, Business Denver. August 10th 2017. Accessed June 19th 2020. https://businessden.com/2017/08/10/historic-office-building-finds-new-canadian-owner/.
- Character Defining Features, A.M Ghost Historic District. Invalid date. Accessed June 19th 2020. https://www.denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/646/documents/landmark/design_guidelines/Character_defining_features/Character_defining_features-AM_Ghost.pdf.