House with Commercial Addition

A corner commercial addition wraps around a Victorian-era house on East 6th Avenue in Denver.

A corner commercial addition wraps around a Victorian-era house on East 6th Avenue in Denver.

When major residential streets become heavy with automobile traffic, development pressure may result in the transformation of these corridors into commercial strips.  Such development most often cause the demolition of the existing housing stock.  However, in some cases, the housing is adapted to meet commercial and retail needs through the construction of commercial storefront additions.  The additions, usually on the façade, front the street edge.  The storefronts generally resemble most of the other commercial buildings along the street.  The additions tend to be one-story in height, although examples of two or more stores are occasionally found.  Multi-story additions may totally obscure the original house façade.

Small storefront addition on a Foursquare residence on East Colfax in Denver.

Small storefront addition on a Foursquare residence on East Colfax in Denver.

The owner/proprietor of the storefront business almost always lived in the house, at least at the time of the commercial construction. Over time, some or all of the residential space may have been converted to retail or other commercial uses.

A triple-storefront addition of mid-twentieth century vintage fills multiple lots in front of a Queen Anne style house.

A triple-storefront addition of mid-twentieth century vintage fills multiple lots in front of a Queen Anne style house.

Common elements:

  1. commercial addition directly abuts original house
  2. addition may be to façade or side elevation, or may wrap around two elevations
  3. majority of house retains its physical integrity
  4. commercial space is accessed by its own entry