Three are a few important historical structures in Boulder; for such a small city, we have our share of history in our landmarks, from Macky Auditorium to Old Main to several residences all with a famous architect or a noteworthy design or story all their own. But perhaps no historical building is more recognizable and noteworthy than the Hotel Boulderado.
The Boulderado first opened its doors in 1908, with a New Year’s gala celebration. Its first guests stayed the next night, fresh in the year 1909. Ever since then, the Boulderado’s New Year celebration is famously one of the very best ways to ring in the new year in Colorado (certainly in Boulder).
Architecturally The Boulderado is described as a combination of Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival styles, designed by William Redding and Son. Like so many buildings in Boulder, the Boulderado stands out with its red colored brick. This is a theme of design all over Boulder (using our unusual red sandstone’s natural native beauty to good effect), and the bricks echo this theme, making the hotel visible even from several local hikes. One of the most beautiful architectural components of the Boulderado is its huge stained glass ceiling, too–which has a history itself of damage and refurbishing.
Of course it wouldn’t be an old hotel with history, if some of that history doesn’t turn to the supernatural. Like other old landmarks in the area (the Stanley Hotel springs to mind), the Boulderado is said to be haunted. Rooms 302 and 304 have been host to reported sightings of white ghostly humanlike figures, strange voices and other noises. Many Boulderado employees have reported unexplained phenomena as well. Perhaps a visit to rooms 302 or 304 would be in order this upcoming Halloween…
Not only is the hotel an icon in Boulder hotspots, but the bar below it is also storied in Boulder’s past. Erstwhile the Catacombs, now License no. 1 is the go to place to go for a comfortable, speakeasy-style atmosphere. In fact, their slogan is “serving since 1909; legally since 1967.” Of course there’s also Q’s and The Corner Bar as working parts of the Boulderado, but License No. 1 has a parallel history, and in fact now in its refurbished state has much of this history on display.
Image Credit: Boulderado Ceiling – via Creative Commons license, front view via Wikipedia