No Stars on Yelp
The hotel never ranked as one of the best hotels in Denver even when hotels were sparse. Heck, Shatner wouldn’t have promoted on Priceline. At $.50 to a $1 a day, only the most destitute travelers stayed there in the 1890s. It had a flophouse reputation throughout its lodging history.
The Roof… The Roof… The Roof is on Fire!
Pack lightly if you’re visiting the Columbia. It’s had three fires over its 112 year history. The first happened in 1923, where one guest stayed asleep even though the pillow over his head was on fire (He was rescued by firemen.) The second, in 1967, was the result of a resident smoking in bed. The fire claimed one life and forced many other elderly residents to be evacuated from the fourth by ladder truck. Only seven years later, fire struck the hotel again, with no loss of life, but considerable damage to the roof. The hotel was closed four years later.
Something old, something new
When the hotel was converted to offices, the property management company gave the new tenants access to a storeroom of antiques to decorate their spaces with. Some of these pieces can still be found if you look carefully around.
Another Brick on the Street
In the 70s, 17th street was the focus of a heated debate. Two camps; one that wanted the road paved, the other that wanted it left brick and dirt, was so polarized that it took years to finally settle. When the paver party finally won, the debate switched to changing the name, which eventually failed.