Owner-opposed landmark application filed for South Park Hill home

In September 2022, a nearly century-old home in South Park Hill sold for the first time since the 1950s.

The new owners paid $2.5 million, records show — for the land. They’d like to demolish the structure and build something much larger, plans indicate.

But a handful of Denver residents are pushing to mandate preservation of the home.

The property in the 5000 block of E. Montview Blvd., along one of the neighborhood’s stately corridors, is Denver’s latest setting for an owner-opposed landmark application. Three women who live nearby, with the help of the nonprofit Historic Denver, submitted the application earlier this month.

“If this home is capable of being designated as a landmark, anyone buying or selling a home in Denver should be concerned,” said Mark Rinehart, who owns the home with his wife.

The application comes months after the Denver City Council approved an owner-opposed landmark application for just the second time ever. A subsequent lawsuit filed by the owner of that home in City Park West, a developer who hoped to build apartments, was recently paused.

Records show that Mark and Marianne Rinehart bought the two-story, 3,200-square-fot Park Hill home through a trust last year. Prior to that, another couple, now deceased, had owned it since 1959. The home is fenced off and unoccupied.

Mark Rinehart is a founder of Legal TV Leads, which helps personal injury attorneys with television advertising, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked in advertising for Denver’s Fox31/KDVR.

A contractor working for the couple requested a demolition permit over the summer, records show. Following a regular process, city staff that reviewed the demolition request set aside time in case anyone wanted to lobby the city to name the structure a landmark.

Landmark designation effectively prevents demolition of a structure. The city generally sees a handful of owner-opposed landmark applications a year. Most don’t result in designation, but in some cases the owners and preservationists reach some sort of compromise, like in the case of the Tom’s Diner building along Colfax.

Owner-opposed landmark designation applications must be filed by at least three Denver residents. The one in Park Hill was filed by Margaret McRoberts, Trish Leary and Bernadette Kelly. Each indicated they live within a mile. Kelly and the CEO of Historic Denver, which helped draft the application, did not respond to separate requests for comment Friday.

The home dates to the mid-1930s. The applicants pointed to the home’s previous occupants, prominent location, architectural style and original homebuilder as reasons to preserve it.

The original residents were Harry Eugene Huffman and his wife Christina Mae. Huffman owned and managed movie theaters in the Denver area, according to the applicants. He later moved to the “Shangri-La” mansion he built at 150 S. Bellaire St. in Hilltop.

The Park Hill house was then owned by Robert and Betty McClennan Hawley. He was a lawyer, and she was a socialite and philanthropist, according to the applicants. Then came Universal Tractor Co. owners Alston McCarty and his wife Ann, who had the property for more than 60 years. The home was sold to the …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business


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