Built in 1889 for Isaac and Mary Large, the home that is currently referred to as The Molly Brown House Museum was constructed in a time when the well-to-do were rapidly constructing homes in the prestigious Capitol Hill area. Today, the home stands as a stunning example of Classic Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque and refined Neoclassical styles.
After finding their fortune in silver mining, the Larges commissioned architect William Lang to design their new home. The design included using rhyolite stone on the exterior in order to create a rugged façade, which is beautifully juxtaposed against smooth red sandstone. Other features include ornamental wood panels, stained glass windows and curved brackets.
At the time the Larges built their home, it contained all of the modern technologies of the day. These included steam heat, telephone lines, indoor plumbing and electricity. Unfortunately for them, the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act caused the Larges to lose their fortune and they were forced to sell their home on April 3, 1894. The home then came under the ownership of James Joseph “J.J.” Brown. Shortly after purchasing the home, the Browns added a retaining wall to the front porch and enclosed the back porch.
The home subsequently changed through many hands over the next several years, having even served as a rental property, the Governor’s mansion, a gentleman’s boardinghouse and a home for wayward girls for various periods of time. Over these years, the owners made many alterations to the home, resulting in the creation of twelve separate spaces for roomers.
During the 1960s, urban renewal era resulted in the demolition of many of the area’s finest Denver historic homes. A group of concerned citizens gathered together, however, and managed to save the Molly Brown House from demolition. The group was ultimately able to raise the funds necessary to purchase the home and to begin the restoration process, which resulted in a home that was fully restored to look precisely as it did in 1910.
Today, The Molly Brown House Museum is more than just a restored home with a rich history. Rather, the home also serves as a museum that houses ever-changing exhibits that are related to the home, its history and its owners. All tours of the museum are guided, with tours generally taking 45 minutes to complete. Tours start every 30 minutes on the hour and on the half hour on most days, though it is best to check the museum website http://www.mollybrown.org/ to confirm days and times.