First National Bank of Denver
This building was the first permanent home of the First National Bank of Denver. Ebenezer Smith, a founding stockholder and director of the bank was involved in mining, banking and railroading. The founding stockholders Eben and Jerome Chafee used some of the money they made in Gilpin Country to finance the Fist National Bank.
The bank occupied the corner rooms of the lower story of this brick building. During it’s 10 year occupoancy the bank made improvements to the building. First bank installed gaslights and enlarged the director’ rooms. The third story fish-scale, slate, mansard roof was added in 1875.
Story Behind the Name
Here the state’s Constitutional Convention met during the winter of 1875-76 to draw up a state constitution in anticipation of Colorado being admitted to the Union as the thirty-sixth state. After this convention the building became known as Constitution Hall.
The Fate of The Building
The bank moved to a larger building at 16th and Larimer Streets in 1876. After the move the Constitution Hall was occupied by different businesses including the Inland Box and Label Company, Morris Brothers Brokerage Company and Goldberg’s Harness Shop. For years the structure was home to the Stores Equipment Company as one of their downtown locations. Stores Equipment Company was a supplier for restaurants and hotels.
The Demise of the Constitution Hall
On April 24, 1977 Denver’s third oldest building was seriously damaged by fire, and arson was suspected. The building sat gutted for 2 ½ years until the remaining walls were demolished.