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Designed in 1906 by Denver architectural firm Gove and Walsh, the Great Western Sugar Building lies in the heart of Denver’s original warehouse district. As the administrative offices of the Great Western Sugar Company, the building represents the rise of one of Northern Colorado’s most lucrative industries—sugar beets. The sugar beet industry, pioneered by Charles Boettcher (who brought the sugar beet to Colorado from his native Germany) encouraged the growth of northern Colorado as rural towns expanded to process crops and funnel the resulting sugar into Denver and beyond. As Colorado grew and matured, many of its business leaders expanded and diversified the local economy from one rooted purely in mining to include other industries such as agriculture and finance. This increasingly diverse economy supported a number of ancillary trades, including the transportation, utility, and construction industries.

As Colorado’s sugar industry flourished, the building was enlarged by Gove and Walsh in 1912. Two original Otis elevators still operate inside, possibly the oldest Otis elevators west of the Mississippi. It was in continuous use by the Great Western Sugar Company for almost 100 years until the building was bought by development company Urban Village. The building is now refurbished, but it remains a combination of office and retail use.


Sugar Building, Charles Boettcher, Gove and Walsh


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1530 16th Street
Denver, Co 80202

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