Whether one is a baby boomer, the parent of a baby boomer or a millennial, trying to rid ourselves of years of collected clutter seems to be a common theme. Also common nowadays: downsizing our homes …
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Whether one is a baby boomer, the parent of a baby boomer or a millennial, trying to rid ourselves of years of collected clutter seems to be a common theme. Also common nowadays: downsizing our homes from suburban living to urban living or moving into tiny spaces where owning a car is discouraged in favor of walking, cycling, riding public transportation or using the services of Uber or Lyft.
The Assistance League of Denver is no exception. They, too, are on the move once they sell their chapter house, the Bosworth House, at 1400 Josephine St.
Built in 1889, the three-story Victorian mansion plus basement has a storied history and has maintained many of its original artifacts, including lovely oak and maple woodwork and some rare birdseye maple. There’s also period-appropriate wrought iron, wallpaper, rugs and furniture.
The Bosworth House was designed by Denver architects Varian and Sterner and was built initially for Carolina and Thomas Dunbar at a cost of $18,000. Today, the asking price for the mansion is $2,200,000. It was given landmark designation in 1975 by Denver Landmark Preservation, a division of the City and County of Denver Community Planning and Development Department.
Mary Murray, the Assistance League’s current president, said the decision to sell their building has been a long process with input and member surveys from the league’s 273 members, who are all volunteers.
“The house takes a lot of time and TLC to maintain,” said Murray, who has been a League member for the past 10 years. “Through our process of discussions with members, we came to the conclusion that we’d be better able to be a more effective organization if we could have all of our services in one location. Right now, we seem to be having ‘collaborative collisions’ with one another and decided we could have a renewal of the organization’s energy if we didn’t have to maintain the building.”
Murray cited one of the League’s significant costs was having to replace the mansion’s roof due to hail damage last winter.
“Another matter of concern is that two-thirds of the members live south of 6th Avenue, which means a lot of commuting for our members,” said Murray.
In 1903 the home was sold to Leonora Bosworth after the Dunbars divorced. Mrs. Bosworth was the widow of Joab Bosworth who was founder of the Denver Fire Clay Co. In 1890, he was killed in a freak accident at his company.
Mrs. Bosworth lived in the house until 1947 when she died at the age of 91. She participated in many civic, cultural and literary activities and she had a special interest in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to whom she bequeathed Bosworth House to for their Denver chapter headquarters. The home was used by the AAUW to provide housing for female college students who were awarded scholarships by the AAUW.
In 1966, the AAUW sold their house to the Assistance League which has owned it ever since and which provides many philanthropic services to the Denver community, including programs for just about everyone from infants to the elderly and those in between.
The League’s motto is, “All for Service, and Service for All.”
Right now, it’s not clear where the Assistance League will move.
“We’d like to consider staying in another Capitol Hill neighborhood,” said Murray. “Our minds are wide open.”
Two of the most-visible programs that the Assistance League raises money for and offers are the Thrift Shop at East Colfax Avenue and Humboldt Street and the H.E.L.P. (Hospital Equipment Lending Program), which is located at the Bosworth House.
In addition, the Assistance League and its volunteers also do the following:
For details about these programs or if you are interested in membership, please contact the League at 303-322-5205.
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