As we continue our Denver Back to School Week, we are going to examine the Dora Moore School in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
This historic building is one of the oldest Denver school buildings still in use today. It was designed by Robert S. Roeschlaub, Colorado’s first licensed architect and the chief architect in the late 1800s for what is now the Denver Public School system. History Colorado has a great list of Roeschlaub’s contributions to Denver’s architecture [pdf] from the 1870s through his retirement in 1912. During his career, he designed houses, the Central City Opera House, commercial buildings, and nearly all of Denver’s early school buildings. Most of his buildings have been demolished but many that survive are listed on the National Register, including the Dora Moore School. (It is also a city landmark.)
The Dora Moore School was constructed between 1889 and 1890, and is a rectangular building with chamfered entrance bays at each corner. It was originally called the Corona School but its name was changed in 1929 to thank former teacher and principal Dora M. Moore for thirty-five years of service to the school. If you look closely, you can see the ghost of the old school name in the terra cotta frieze, shown below.
The school building was constructed with soft, pressed brick, a sandstone water table and trim, and terra-cotta ornament. Most of the terra cotta is located at the second story, but the arched entry at each chamfered corner of the building has an ornate terra-cotta surround. The decoration in the terra cotta is mainly of foliage, but a little girl’s head projects from the left side of the arch, and a little boy’s head from the right side of the arch. These details are so charming.