- Receiver moving to sell Bosler House.
- Bosler House had been facing foreclosure.
- The Bosler house needs $1.75 million in repairs.
A court-appointed receiver this week will move to sell the historic and severely damaged Bosler House in West Highland,
The 3,310-square-foot home at 3209 W. Fairview Place, needs $1.75 million in repairs, according to a 200-page assessment.
The receiver, David Cohen, will ask to the court’s permission to sell the house, instead of seeking to foreclose on it.
The potential sale of Bosler House marks a turning point in the city’s ongoing effort to save the historic landmark, officials said on Wednesday.
“This is a difficult situation,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development.
“The sale of this house is a last resort and an unprecedented move — but a necessary one,” Buchanan continued.
“Protecting our city’s most treasured historic assets is something we take very seriously, and something that Denver’s landmark preservation ordinance requires,” Buchanan said.
The house was built in 1875 and was designated as a city landmark in 1984.
The current owner, Keith Painter, bought it in 1987.
“For the record, I’ve been told to say this: We do not comment on ongoing litigation and that is what this is,” Painter said on Wednesday.
The city assesses the house at $559,700, about a third of the estimated cost to repair it. And the city values the 12,500-square-foot lot at $497,500 and the house itself only at $62,200.
Painter has faced a litany of complaints from the city going back more than seven years.
Timeline highlights of the Bosler House sage include:
- In September 2008, without permits, according to the city, Painter removed the roof and raised the roofline without the required review and approval by Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission. (In the past, Painter has claimed he had the needed permits.)
- In February 2009, the LPC ordered the original roofline to be restored to protect the historic character of the house. Painter did not comply with the order and the roof remains open. Painter had proposed demolishing the house, a request denied by the LPC.
- In May 2013, the city listed the property as a “neglected and derelict” building.
- In April 2015, History Colorado gave a $7,600 grant to fund a historic structure assessment, or HSA.
- In May 2015, Liens against the house reached 110 percent of the home’s value, then at $560,000. Discussions with Painter were unfruitful. The city filed an action to foreclose and appointed a receiver as a temporary caregiver.
- In June and July of 2015, the architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht assessed the house for the HSA.
- In December 2015, the National Trust for Historic Preservation approved a $7,000 grant to help fund construction plans to repair the Bosler House roof.
- In January, the HSA report was completed and indicated it can be saved, despite years of damage..
The HSA identified what it called critical structural problems caused by water infiltration from the open roof and from other recent alterations such as removal of structural beams in the interior.
Removal of structural, electrical and plumbing systems were done without building permits or inspections, according to the report. That is something Painter has denied in the past.
Despite the serious damage the house has sustained inside and out, the assessment indicates that the house can be restored by qualified engineers and historic preservation professionals performing major repairs.
Some key components are in fair to good condition, including the foundation and the brick masonry.
“Our goal is to save this irreplaceable city landmark, and we are hopeful that a qualified buyer with resources and expertise can restore the Bosler House and make it a point of community pride once more,” said Barbara Stocklin-Steely, principal city planner for landmark preservation;
The property is currently controlled by the receiver, who has handled basic maintenance in recent months and who will list the property for sale.
Information will be posted at historicdenver.org.
In addition, construction plans for roof repairs are currently being drafted by an architect, so that a future owner could use them to begin construction work right away. State tax credits are available for repairs to historic buildings such as the Bosler House. Those credits would be in addition to the $7,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Bosler House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It is significant not only for its Italianate architecture, but also for its history in the development of Denver and its association with Ambrose Bosler and W.H. Yankee, two early settlers of the West Highland area of Denver. The house was a functioning home from 1875 until about 2007.
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