Former friendly residents heartily approve of the renovations.
An undesirable spirit felt unwelcome.
While definitely not an “upscale, boutique establishment”, this 1911 historic Newhouse Hotel, designed by Arthur H. O’Brien, has been described as being an eclectic, antique inn with plenty of 1911 era charm in its current restoration. It is made up of three wings of rectangular, three story, red brick buildings, which make up three distinct connecting sides; two sides are two rectangular buildings parallel to each other with long sides that stretch back for 1/2 a block. The back side of this rectangle is another 3 story building that connects these two sides.
The fourth side of this rectangle is the front entry building that sits on Grant St. This one floored structure not only connects the two sides of the hotel in the front, but also has the unique, lighted, slightly funky historic sign on top: “The Newhouse Hotel”, a relic from the 1940s era.
The outside brickwork on the front ends of the two parallel three story brick structures that also sit on Grant Ave. is very high end quality for 1911 artistic standards, with lovely dentils along the top. The brickwork hints at the historical aura that exists inside the hotel structure.
The first floor of the hotel building that is parallel to East Colfax Avenue, sitting right on the intersection of Grant and East Colfax Avenue, is home to a book store; Capitol Hill Books. It also has a classic sign, hanging from higher up on the building; “Newhouse Hotel”, very visible to people traveling down the East Colfax Corridor.
The other first floor spaces in the other buildings are home to the lobby and sitting area, a dining area, laundry, and other areas of interest for those who are living there as short-term or long term residents.
The second and third floors, of all of the hotel’s three floored buildings, have a variety of seventy rooms available; some with private baths, and others with the communal bathroom down the hall. While they do rent some rooms to visitors looking over the city of Denver, most of their rooms are filled with short term/long term residents who have business or work in Denver. It serves the same clientele types that the hotel did when it opened in 1911.
The new owners as of 2013 and the hotel’s newly hired general manager, Rustin Waller, worked together to do the restoration and renovation of The Newhouse Hotel. Since 2015, it’s been able to attract tourists visiting Denver as well as business people and above board people looking for an extended stay.
This review on YELP reports all the vast improvements of The Newhouse Hotel:
4.0 star rating 8/6/2015
“I love this place. The staff are very helpful and my room was immaculate. It is right across from the capitol building and close to everything. It has an “Overlook Hotel” vibe about it, but I like that sort of thing. Very eclectic and different. It seems that the management are putting in much effort to restore it to its former charm. Historic old haunted hotel.”
The first structures that were built along East Colfax Avenue Corridor were apartments and big mansions, from 1880-1892, being a very up and coming residential area of Denver. The economic downturn from 1893-1920, encouraged the development of commercial structures. First thing to develop all over the city of Denver was the turning of big mansions into apt. buildings with several individual units in each formerly large home (like the Lumber Baron Mansion, located in another part of Denver; that happened much later in the 20th Century).
Other types of commercial developments had a hard time getting a foothold in this area, because neighboring property owners protested. Finally, in 1910, the city of Denver stepped in and made it much easier to build commercial business structures. One source reported, “Denver adopted an ordinance allowing construction of commercial buildings on Colfax Avenue without the consent of other property owners on the block. This resulted in a boom of commercial developments, such as the Mammoth Skating Rink, and the cessation of residential development.
This opened the door for hotels, restaurants and stores to be built.
The Newhouse Hotel started out being called The Hess Hotel, that attracted both regular folks and those that could afford the private bathroom suite. Because it was so close to the Colorado State Capitol buildings, people with business there could conveniently stay at this establishment; an easy walk to state meetings at the Colorado State Capitol. People on business trips to Denver, also found it convenient to stay at the Newhouse Hotel. Day workers who had jobs in Denver also liked to stay in the hotel’s more reasonable rooms.
This establishment also got into the selling of sex business, which was a practice of many hotels in the western states who viewed prostitution very differently; seeing it as an amenity they could offer to those who stayed there or worked nearby.
During Prohibition, The Hess Hotel broadened its business model and became a speakeasy, as well as offering sexual recreation. Urban Legend states that there were tunnels between the Capitol buildings and this hotel, which were probably bricked up at least by the beginning of World War 2, when the government ordered brothels to close to keep the morale of the soldiers up.
During World War 2, The Hess Hotel changed its name to The Newhouse Hotel because of the anti-German sentiment strongly expressed in the Denver community. The German owner wanted to stay in business in Denver.
After World War 2, the middle class and upper middle class moved to the brand new homes built during Denver’s boom of new construction in cities just outside Denver. Yearning to live in residential communities in new homes, former residents rapidly sold their homes to developers who built high-density apartments. Renters and underclass were the ones left in this area. The city of Denver did open this door when they passed rules earlier in the century that favored commercial development; not wanting to listen to the homeowners anymore.
As time marched on, predictably, the area around the Capitol became a down and out area where drugs, addicts to substances and alcohol, the mentally ill, the homeless, parolees and of course prostitutes lived and carried on business. A variety of reasons came together leading to this sad state of being.
The state had bought up a lot of old mansions for a song and housed recently released mentally ill people in these mansions turned apartments. The once proud Newhouse Hotel became a low rent flop house, and later became a place where Colorado State Corrections sent paroled sex offenders, because the old owner of the building gladly accepted these folks who had few other options and would provide steady occupancy. It was steady income but at the cost of adding to the perception of the hotel’s “creepy” reputation.
Denver’s urban renewal efforts had the unintended consequence of pushing out the poor who came to live along the East Colfax Corridor. Businesses also took a hit when Interstate 70 was finished, depriving the businesses of drive-through tourist dollars. Yikes.
In 2009, The Newhouse Hotel was named as one the many historic buildings that survived the tear-down and build something new mentality that existed earlier in the mid-20th century and were still along the East Colfax Avenue Corridor. This district was given protection as a protected historic district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and looked after by The United States Department of the Interior. This also meant that some funds could be available to restore these historic buildings.
Up until the time when the Newhouse Hotel was sold to the current owner, drug deals were conducted in front of and around the building, and was a favorite place for members of this underclass to loiter. Sadly, the Newhouse Hotel wound up with a horrible, and creepy reputation, but still had its 1911 charm, and good structural bones.
In 2013, the Newhouse Hotel was bought by the Dikeou Investments Corp., with plans to renovate and restore this real fixer upper opportunity. Dikeou Investments and their very capable manager, Rustin Waller, started the restoration and renovation of both the hotel’s horrible reputation and it woeful but salvable condition.
After phasing out current sex offenders living there in a timely manner, and working with the Denver Police Department to be sure no more sex offenders can live at the Newhouse Hotel in the future, they continued to clean up and renovate the lobby and the rooms. As they cleaned up, they evicted people for being dirty. From August of 2013 through December of 2013, word got out on the street that nothing illegal is tolerated at the The Newhouse Hotel because of the new management.
Rustin Walker, armed with a licensed firearm and mace, told the homeless and the drug dealers to move on and not loiter around the perimeter of the hotel. After a few fights and resistance, people compiled A fence was put up around the entire hotel property and much better lighting was installed. The Newhouse Hotel now enjoys a respectable long and short stay clientele and residents. It now is a moneymaker!
Apparently, some of its former residents, now in spirit form, also are enjoying the efforts of the owners and manager to clean things up, and restore this historic hotel.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
When a fixer-upper opportunity is renovated, improved and restored, becoming better than it was, this positive transformation can act like an environmental trigger to bring back former residents/owners/folks with an attachment that are now in spirit form, for a visit or stay.
Though it’s not said who these friendly spirits may be, it is possible that former owners and respectable residents now in spirit form may be visiting or staying once again.
Working as a prostitute has often turned out to be a risky line of work, where losing your life was a reality.
An Apparition of a prostitute for many years after her death was still working, trying to lure men into a room.
When a person is killed while working because of a consequence of their actions or behavior, sometimes they stay to try to undo their accident or consequence, and continue on what they were doing. Sometimes they don’t want to admit to themselves that they were killed because of what they were doing. They may think that they are still alive.
The woman prostitute mentioned above was probably killed trying to steal money out of the wallets of her customers.
Other spirits who may have died from a drug over-dose or as a consequence of their chosen life-style, may also be still hanging out in the place that they last called home. However no negative energy has been felt, so perhaps not.
Female Entity; called Deborah
She was described as being “vivacious”, and liked to wear the outfit of a prostitute; short shorts and a revealing top. She appeared in solid form, looking like a live person.
It is said that for many years she has tried to seduce and lure men looking for paid sexual recreation, appearing before them as a solid, realistic-looking lady of the night. While they didn’t get any action, Deborah did steal their wallets. It is said that they woke up in the alley behind the hotel.
Other former residents now in spirit form.
Former living residents and staff have had many experiences with former spirit residents over the years who were described as being friendly and willing to share their former rooms.
Current staff and residents and visitors also report many experiences in areas of the hotel besides the rooms.
Probably so. The friendly spirits remain and are accepted by the staff and manager as part of the hotel. Nothing negative or unhappy feelings are felt.
The entity of Deborah who may not of known that she was dead may have gotten the message that people in her line of work are no longer welcome at the Newhouse Hotel and floated off to haunt somewhere else. She watched as the manager evicted her usual type of person she preyed upon. Her usual clients are gone and the residents who live here now are not interested in paid sexual recreation.
In several sources, staff have said that they have had many experiences with friendly spirits, probably in the common areas, and the rooms themselves. I can see how spirit residents are enjoying the newly restored lobby and sitting room!
No hard evidence that might of been caught has been shared with the public. Paranormal groups probably haven’t been allowed to investigate because most of the hotel is now full with paying residents. Plus, as all spirit visitors are benign, friendly, and happy souls, the owners don’t want to rock the spectral boat by allowing sometimes rude investigators in to do an investigation.
1128 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203
The Newhouse Hotel is just east of the Colorado State Capitol building. The Newhouse Hotel’s far left building sits on the southeast corner of East Colfax and Grant Street. East Colfax Avenue is called the East Colfax Corridor, since it runs all the way through Denver.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr