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11545 WAZEE STREET Architectural style: VICTORIAN COMMERCIAL Built: 1886, 1907 Architect: UNKNOWN The original owner of this building, Henry Lee, an agriculturist, was best known as one of the fathers of Denver’s park system. As a pioneer gardener and fruit grower, he successfully experimented with the culture of eastern onions in Colorado in 1864, which became the roots of his implement business. In 1886 Lee built a four-story warehouse on this property to house his growing operations. Lee served two terms as a Democratic representative to the Colorado House of Representatives. In 1881 he sponsored a bill in the Colorado legislature approving the sale of state school lands to Denver for the creation of large parks at City Park and Sloan Lake. Although the Sloan Lake project was not approved, the City Park purchase of 320 acres was passed. An expert gardener, Lee helped lay out the trees, flowers, and shrubs in the park and later served as a park commissioner. In 1907, Chester Stephen Morey acquired the Lee Building to give him room for his rapidly expanding business across the alley. Alterations were made, including the construction of an enclosed walkway to connect with the Morey Mercantile Building at Wynkoop and 16th Streets at the second-floor level; it is still used today. Morey housed the factory operations of his business here. On the second floor was his spice mill, where the production of jams and jellies and aging of extracts took place. The third floor consisted of a peanut butter factory and coffee-roasting facilities. The fourth floor was used for storage, and the company’s offices were on the first floor. In 1954 the Wazee Street facade was reconstructed for structural reasons and refaced with metal. In 1995 renovation began on the Lee Building as part of the Mercantile Square project, which includes the Morey Mercantile buildings along Wynkoop Street. It includes some eighty rental units of loft housing as well as the Tattered Cover Book Store, a restaurant, and a music store.

Present Day Union Station

In 2001, Union Station was purchased by an RTD-organized group. The organization called Union Station Alliance worked to bring current day Union Station to life. Union station officially reopened  in 2014. 

Denver Union Station is the cultural hub and the “crown jewel” of the city. The addition of world-class dining, shopping, and the award-winning Crawford Hotel has revitalized and transformed Denver Union Station far beyond its humble beginnings.