In our Do you know this place? blog series, we quiz you on what you might know about these places and then tell you what makes them unique.
This month, we ask you about a simple building in one of our many communities that was once filled with farms.
Do You Know This Place?
1. Where is it?
b) Wheat Ridge
d) Woody Creek
2. When was it built?
3. What was it?
a) Post office
c) Saddle shop
d) General store
The Wheat Ridge post office was built in 1913. Since 1869, the rural farming community known as Wheat Ridge had received its mail as part of the regular one-person rural route. By 1892, residents were experiencing delays due to both distance and adverse weather. So, prosperous truck gardener Fred Bunger, Sr., applied to be the first postmaster and was approved on July 7, 1913. Bunger offered a small portion of his land to house the post office and commissioned the construction of a 17-by-28-foot brick building that fronted the town’s main thoroughfare, Prospect Avenue, which is today’s 38th Avenue.
With its large front windows, the one-story brick post office appeared as a small but stately commercial building. Bunger offered stationery, ice cream, and a few grocery items along with the postal service. By 1922 a larger frame post office opened two blocks east, discontinuing postal service at the Bunger building. For the next several years the building housed a lunch counter and school supply business, a convenience for the Wheat Ridge School students directly to the north on 38th Avenue. Over the next sixty-seven years and two additions, the building housed markets, a creamery, a barbershop and variety shops. In 1944 the building housed Wheat Ridge’s first library. The Bunger family continued owning it until 1954.
In 1989, the City of Wheat Ridge proposed demolishing the building in favor of a municipal parking lot in its plans to rebuild 38th Avenue. The Wheat Ridge Historical Society and many residents rallied to save the building—which they accomplished by moving the original building to the Wheat Ridge Historic Park at 4610 Robb Street. The State Register of Historic Properties added the building to its list in 1992.