The Emerson School Project

On May 30, 2012 the National Trust for Historic Preservation marked the completion of a $3.2 million “green rehabilitation” of the Emerson School. Donated to the National Trust in 2010, by the trustees of Capitol Hill Senior Resources, Inc., this 1885 schoolhouse is now home to the Trust’s Denver Field Office, as well as seven other nonprofit organizations, including Historic Denver, Colorado Preservation, and Downtown Colorado. Located in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, one block south of Colfax Avenue and eight blocks east of the Colorado State Capitol the Emerson School was designed by Robert Roeschlaub (1843 – 1923), who is widely recognized as Colorado’s first master architect. 

About the Project: A Neighborhood Center for Preservation

Learn more about the rehabilitation that converted the historic Emerson School into the home of the new Colorado Preservation Center.

History of the School

Completed in 1885, the Emerson School was designed by Robert Roeschlaub, a pioneer who is recognized as Colorado’s first master architect and whose legacy includes many locally- and nationally-significant school and college buildings. It was individually designated a Denver Landmark in 1984 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. As the nomination notes, “The quality of the Emerson School design and construction is borne out by its nearly century-long life as an elementary school.”

Saving Historic Schools

Denver’s Emerson School shows how older school buildings can be adapted to serve new needs. Many community-centered schools can be maintained as educational facilities and neighborhood anchors. Learn more about the National Trust’s work to protect historic schools around the country. 

Preservation & Sustainability

Projects like the rehabilitation of the Emerson School are proof that the greenest buildings are almost always the ones that are already built. That's why historic preservation should be an important component of any effort to promote sustainable development. Learn more about how conservation and the improvement of our existing building stock are crucial to combating climate change. 

More About the Emerson School Project