Saturday, August 25, 2007
Steamboat Springs A two-story red brick building that hugs the banks of Soda Creek was named this month to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Steamboat Laundry Building on Eleventh Street was built in 1910, Laureen Schaffer said. She is the historic preservation specialist for the city of Steamboat Springs.
The building is owned by Curt Weiss. It houses two restaurants, Giovanni's Ristorante and Creekside Cafe and Grill, in addition to five professional offices on the second story.
Weiss said he realizes the historic designation could subject him to some constraints if he ever undertakes renovations. However, he said he takes pride in the recognition and what it means.
"It's important to preserve buildings that have historic value," Weiss said. "This is a special historic building based on where it is located and how it is built. There are a lot of special buildings on Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street that I'd like to see preserved."
The original building was built at a time when the population of Steamboat Springs was estimated at 2,000 people. Construction on the new laundry building began a year after the first passenger trains of the Denver, Salt Lake and Pacific Railroad came to Steamboat.
In research Schaffer undertook with colleague Ginger Scott, she notes that the laundry had been in business for as many as seven years before the brick building was built.
"The Steamboat Springs Steam Laundry is noted to have been in operation as early as 1903 with William Fischer acting as proprietor," she wrote in an application to the register of historic places.
Schaffer said H.D. Moller purchased the property in 1904 and continued to own the property until his death in 1919.
Moller changed the name of the business to Steamboat Springs Steam Laundry, Cleaning and Dye Works in 1908. Advertisements from the era reflect that the laundry was unable to keep up with demand, a circumstance that prompted the new building.
By 1920, the building looked as it does today, with the one-story brick addition that now houses Creekside Cafe.
Weiss said he bought the building in about 1977 with partners David Travis and Kris McGee. They undertook renovations of the electrical and plumbing systems at that time. Restaurant owners also have remodeled the interior throughout the years, he said.
Weiss is the sole owner today.
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