Fisher & Fisher

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Midland Savings Building, downtown Denver (Fisher & Fisher, 1926)
Railway Exchange New Building, downtown Denver (Fisher, Fisher & Howell, 1937) and adjoining Railway Exchange Extension (Fisher & Fisher, 1909/13)

Fisher & Fisher was an architectural firm based in Denver, Colorado named for partners William Ellsworth Fisher (1871–1937) and Arthur Addison Fisher (1878–1965).[1][2]

The firm was founded in 1892 by William Ellsworth Fisher as William Fisher, Architect. After ten years in practice alone, mainly designing starter homes, he partnered with Daniel Riggs Huntington from 1901 to 1905 as Fisher & Huntington, during which time the firm designed increasingly expensive residences and also commercial buildings. The firm then once more became William Fisher, Architect until 1907, when William was joined by his younger brother Arthur Addison Fisher; they worked together as William Fisher Architect and Brother until 1910 and then as William E. Fisher and Arthur A. Fisher, Architects until William's death in 1937. William's son Alan B. Fisher, who had previously joined the firm, then became his uncle's partner and the firm was renamed Arthur A. Fisher and Alan B. Fisher, Architects. From 1956 to 1959 they were joined by Rodney S. Davis as Fisher, Fisher and Davis; on Arthur's retirement the firm became Fisher and Davis. Finally beginning in 1967, Alan Fisher was in partnership with John D. Reece and Hilary M. Johnson as Fisher, Reece and Johnson until his retirement in 1978.[2]

In Colorado, the firm worked on dozens of notable buildings, and has left a legacy unique in the state. Of 67 surviving buildings in Denver identifiable as being by Fisher & Fisher, 50 are either listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), individually or as part of historic districts, or are eligible for listing.[2] Although most work by Fisher & Fisher was in Denver, buildings by them elsewhere in the state and outside it are also listed.[3] For example, William and Arthur Fisher planned the town of Parco, Wyoming (now Sinclair) and designed its public buildings.[4]

The Fisher brothers were unusually innovative,[5] and the firm's buildings are in a variety of styles. The Railway Exchange Addition of 1909/13 and the connected Railway Exchange New Building of 1937 (now the Hotel Monaco) in downtown Denver show contrasting styles by the same firm. The New Building, by Fisher, Fisher & Hubbell, is one of Denver's best Art Moderne works,[6] although the architects denied at the time that it was "modernistic".[7]

In April 2011 one of their works, the Cowperthwaite home, was the 2011 Denver Designer Show House, a fundraiser involving interior decorators prior to the house coming to market.[8]

Among lost works by the firm are the Lafayette Hughes and Gerald Hughes mansions.[9]

Surviving works include (with attribution):


  1. ^ Historical Note, Fisher and Fisher Architectural Records, Western History Collection, Denver Public Library Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Project, retrieved November 29, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Architects by Design: The Fisher Legacy — William Ellsworth Fisher, Arthur Addison Fisher, Alan Berney Fisher" (PDF). Colorado History. 11 July 2000. Archived from the original (pdf) on 6 May 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Parco (Sinclair) Historic District, National Register of Historic Places, Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, November 30, 2011, retrieved December 2, 2011.
  5. ^ Francis J. Pierson and Dennis Joseph Gallagher, Getting to Know Denver: Five Fabulous Walking Tours, Denver: Charlotte Square, 2006, ISBN 978-0-914449-20-1, p. 95.
  6. ^ Denver City & County L–R, Archaeologists & Preservationists, History Colorado; NRHP October 17, 1997.
  7. ^ Thomas J. Noel and Barbara S. Norgren, Denver, the City Beautiful and its Architects, 1893–1941, Denver: Historic Denver, 1987, ISBN 978-0-914628-22-4, p. 133.
  8. ^ a b "Internationally recognized architect Bobby McAlpine announced as Honorary Chair of Denver Designer Show House to benefit The Children’s Hospital," Fuller Sotheby's International Realty, January 21, 2011, retrieved November 29, 2011.
  9. ^ James Bretz, The mansions of Denver: The Vintage Years, Boulder, Colorado: Pruett, 2005, ISBN 978-0-87108-937-3, pp. 56–57.
  10. ^ Fisher and Fisher Architectural Records, Western History Collection, WH932, The Denver Public Library.