Designed by prominent Denver architect, Michael Knorr who is known nationwide for his stunning and creative aesthetics and was recently featured in LUXE Magazine, Venue 221 is added to his list of iconic building designs in Denver, along with The Daniels Fund Building also in Cherry Creek North.
Although the building that is now home to Venue 221 is not found on any historical register, the footprint of the building has a wonderful history that began in 1871 when Edwin P. Harman purchased 320 acres just north of Cherry Creek and east of what is now University Boulevard. Mr. Harman platted Harman’s Subdivision in 1882. The area now referred to as the second block of Detroit street (previously named Sumner Street) was a bustling business district that offered a tannery, a riding academy, a tavern, a drug store and much more.
By the 1930s, Harman was annexed to Denver and Sumner Street became 2nd Street. Transportation improvements began and one of the two street car lines ran east along 3rd to Detroit where it turned south to 2nd and continued east to Colorado Boulevard.
Modern Cherry Creek had its birth in 1925 when Temple Buell purchased the property between Cherry Creek and 1st Avenue west of Steel Street. In 1950, construction began on the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. The shopping center saw completion in 1955.
In the 1950s, shops that joined with The Aspen Leaf at 221 Detroit included Duffy’s Cherry Cricket, Baur’s Restaurant, F.W. Woolsworth, Walgreen Drug and Denver Dry Goods Department Store, Safeway, Skaggs Drug Store and the Cherry Creek Twin Cinemas.
In September of 1969, the property located at 221 Detroit Street was owned by Sam and Sid Milstein, two very successful, championship tennis players. Sam Milstein opened the Aspen Leaf Ski and Tennis Shop at 221 Detroit Street in the 1930s and sold the store in 1970.
Since 1970, the building that once housed The Aspen Leaf has been home to many successful retail businesses.
The owners of Venue 221 purchased the space in 2012 with the insight to bring a state-of-the art event center to Cherry Creek North and to become a pillar and landmark of the community.