Livestock Exchange Building

Denver's Livestock Exchange Building was designated a historic landmark, the National Western Center Authority announced Tuesday.

Denver City Council designated the National Western Center's 1916 Livestock Exchange building an official historic landmark, the National Western Center Authority announced in a release Tuesday.

The building has played a significant role in Colorado's agricultural history. It is made up of three connected wings, with the east being the oldest and most prominent. The east wing, built in 1916 is most visible and recognizable to National Western Stock Show attendees. The structure's floors, ceilings, staircases and wood trim are largely untouched after 106 years. 

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The Denver Livestock Exchange, a nonprofit, used the building to oversee livestock sales at the stockyards from 1906 to 1962. Stock Yards National Bank's safes are still on the first floor. Agriculture businesses and tenants have left the building over time, making way for a variety of private business offices.

"This building was where ag business happened in the region for most of the 20th century," National Western Center Authority CEO Brad Buchanan said in the release. "It's an icon of local agricultural heritage, and at National Western Center, we want to ensure it will continue to play an important role in food and ag innovation for the next 100 years."

The building's owners plan to return it to the forefront of food and agriculture innovation at the new National Western Center. It will feature office and meeting spaces with a focus on food and agricultural organizations, according to the release.

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It will also continue housing the Denver Stockyard Saloon, a current iteration of the building's string of restaurants, inns and watering holes that served stockmen as far back as 1898.

The owners, EXDO Development, Elevation Development Group, the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, and nonprofit National Western Center Authority (DBA National Western Center), all joined to purchase the building in 2020. They began the Landmark Designation process shortly after. 

A landmark designation typically means any improvements or construction work will have to adhere to strict guidelines as far as preserving the historic nature of the building. It also means owners are eligible for national or state grants to help pay for any improvements. 

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