The History of the Alliance Center
The Kennicott-Patterson Transfer and Storage building, also known as the Otero building, is also what we now call The Alliance Center here at 1536 Wynkoop Street. Erected c. 1908 with Denver building permit #1329, the building was originally used as a warehouse, in the heart of an area of Lower Downtown Denver that was the center of the wholesale business activity in the early 20th century. The Alliance Center features the architecture of a 20th century commercial building; even its loading docks and rail spurs are still visible.
By the early 1920’s, Merchant Transfer and Storage Company was using the building for warehousing. They stayed in the building until 1933. It sat vacant for a year during the depression, after which Gate Rubber Company took over the building until 1939. During that time, in 1936, Morey Mercantile expanded its business onto this site from its location next door, and for three years shared the space with the Gate Rubber Company. Morey continued to use the building through the World War II years, until its sale to Consolidated Food Products in 1956.
In the early 1960’s, despite an economic downturn, 1536 Wynkoop continued to be occupied by a variety of small businesses. From 1975 to 1983 however, no businesses were located in the building. In the 1970’s, BNC Engineers bought the aging building and began a major renovation to turn the building into office space. This is when most of the significant changes to the building were undertaken, including the addition of an elevator. Presumably, the original windows were replaced with aluminum windows at this time.
In 1990, Joyce Meskis of Tattered Cover purchased the building, as a part of a larger purchase of buildings along Wynkoop and 16th Streets as part of her growing Tattered Cover Bookstores business. From this warehouse location and the building next door, the Tattered Cover shipped, received and warehoused their stock of books. Over the next several years, Ms. Meskis also leased space to a number of nonprofit organizations. The building was also home to the first official offices of the Wynkoop Brewing Company.
In 2004, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado purchased the building with the intent of creating The Alliance Center, a showcase and educational outreach center promoting sustainability and the reuse of historic structures to achieve sustainable cities. The building underwent major energy efficiency and systems renovations in 2004 to provide a sustainable, collaborative office and meeting space for the community. In 2014, The Alliance Center went through its most recent transformation as part of a $9 million renovation project replacing all of the interior components, systems and structures excluding wooden support beams, exterior brick facades and windows. These new modern technologies and furnishings have resulted in the facility showcased today.
The Alliance Center has grown to become an award winning facility and a leader in sustainable design. To this date, The Alliance Center has received numerous prestigious awards and continues to advance as a model for sustainable commercial structures.
Awards received are as follows:
- Certifiably Green Denver
- Arc Gold
- Energy Star
- USGBC Colorado’s Executive Director Award for showcasing innovative solutions in resource efficiency at The Alliance Center
- Showcase Project with the White House Better Building Challenge
- Denver Mayor’s Design Award
- US Green Building Council National Leadership Award for Education by an Organization
- Colorado Energy Champion award from Colorado Governor Owens’ Office of Energy Management and Conservation
- Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment’s Environmental Leader Gold Award