Part III -- 888 Logan Street

Home to the Prominent

Last week we read about George and Ellie Caulkins, Bill Daniels, and even a former Frontier Airlines president, who all spent time at 888 Logan Street, an apartment building in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that was once said to be, “the most luxurious apartment house ever built in Denver.”

888 Logan Street lobby ready for Halloween 2015

888 Logan Street lobby ready for Halloween 2015.

One of the unique features that was built into the building was a milkbox embedded in the hall wall near each unit’s door. In the hall, the milkman could open the door to the box and place milk inside. Then the resident could open another door to the box inside his apartment to retrieve the milk at the resident's convenience. Today the days of home milk delivery are long gone, so the doors to the boxes are welded shut.

So how do a psychiatrist, an oil mogul, a Holland & Hart lawyer, and a one-time president of the Great Western Sugar Company fit into the story of 888 Logan Street? Find out this week.

Frank A. Kemp

Frank A. Kemp (1891–1971) was considered one of the state’s major industrialists. When attending CU, Kemp was captain of the baseball team, an All-Colorado football player, and first in his law class of 1912. After a time in law practice, he was elected President of Great Western Sugar Company, a post he held from 1936 until 1967. The GW Sugar Company was founded in the early 20th century by Charles Boettcher and others. Processed into granular sugar, sugar beets are an important Colorado agricultural crop.

Frank Kemp and sugar cubes used for oral polio vaccine.

Frank Kemp (right) and sugar cubes used for oral polio vaccine.

Records of the Great Western Sugar Company. Colorado State University. c1960s.

Kemp was on the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a director of the First National Bank of Denver, and a director of the Denver Tramway Corporation as well as a trustee of the Denver Museum of Natural History and Denver Zoological Foundation. He was made a Regent of the University of Colorado in 1964 and was one of the first three to be inducted into the CU Hall of Honor. He belonged to the Denver Country Club. Although living at 888 Logan Street in 1963, his Denver Post obituary in 1971 says that he was living at 855 Pennsylvania Street (which is connected to 888 Logan Street by an underground parking garage) at the time of his death.  (Apartment 11F at 888 Logan Street)

Charles S. Bluemel

Charles S. Bluemel, M.D.

Charles S. Bluemel, M.D.

Mrs. C.S. Bluemel (Elinor), widow of Dr. Charles S. Bluemel (1884–1960), moved into 888 Logan Street after his death. Dr. Bluemel, a psychiatrist, was born in England in 1884, but as a young man made several trips to Colorado because of his asthma. From 1927 to 1952 he was owner and head of Mount Airy Sanitarium in Denver for the treatment of mental disorders. In late 1952 he joined a group of other psychiatrists to form a nonprofit foundation that purchased and managed the hospital. The Mount Airy name continued until 1989 when the University of Colorado purchased the property.

Bluemel was one of the founders of speech pathology (he stuttered as a youth), and he is best known for his distinction between primary (simple) and secondary (complex) stuttering. He was the author of seven books and numerous articles on speech disorders and psychiatry, and his wife wrote two books, The Gentle Crusader: A Biography of Charles Sidney Bluemel and Building Mount Airy that can be found at the Denver Public Library. The Bluemels were members of the Denver Country Club. (Apartments 4A and 6B)

Cortlandt S. Dietler

Cortlandt S. Dietler (1921–2008) was a giant in the oil and gas business, starting his first company in 1951. Dietler in his lifetime launched and sold more than 20 oil businesses. Two years before his death he made what would be his last major sale when he sold the TransMontaigne pipeline company for $668 million to Morgan Stanley. He made his money moving oil and gas via pipelines, not drilling for it. Dietler was known for helping to found Vail and served on numerous non-profit boards including the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West), and, for thirty years, the Denver Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. A Boy Scout camp, Camp Cortlandt Dietler, near Elbert, Colorado, is named for him. Because of his association with the founding of Vail and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, he must have known George Caulkins and Joseph Bona prior to moving into 888 Logan Street.

Perhaps the highest honor a Coloradan can receive, the title Citizen of the West was given to Dietler by the National Western Stock Show in 2007. The award honors an individual who embodies the spirit and determination of the Western pioneer. By three different petroleum organizations, he was named Oil Man of the Year in 1976, Pioneer Oil Man of the Year in 1986, and Wildcatter of the Year in 2003. He was a 2001 inductee into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame. (Apartments 10C and 11F)

Patrick M. Westfeldt

Patrick M. Westfeldt

Patrick M. Westfeldt

After attending Yale, Patrick M. “Pat” Westfeldt (1919–2015) trained young aviators in WWII and trained for combat by flying Vought Corsair F4U fighter-bombers off aircraft carriers. After the war he attended the University of Colorado Law School and then joined the prestigious law firm of Holland & Hart. He became just their fifth partner, but today the firm has more than 470 lawyers across the mountain west and in Washington, DC.

Westfeldt was a leader of the Colorado legal profession and his law firm, insisting on high professional standards. While he was known early on for his work in oil and gas and labor law, he became one of Denver’s leading trial lawyers, handling a wide variety of commercial litigation. He also tried a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Within the firm, he was long-time chair of the Litigation Department, and when the firm had grown to a size that required a more formal management structure, he was a member and chair of the first Management Committee. Mentoring many young lawyers, Westfeldt practiced at Holland & Hart from 1948 until his retirement in 1994. (Apartments 6D, 9C, and 7B)

Did you know? History Colorado's Stephen H. Hart Library and Research Center is named after the preservation-minded co-founder of the Holland & Hart firm.

Next week: The history of 888 Logan Street continues with stories of the co-author of Broncos! How Sweet It Is!, a female fashion businesswoman, and a banker who also once lived at the Brown Palace Hotel.