The Hannah Barker House Rehabilitation

Historic Boulder has successfully completed the most crucial phases of rehabilitation of the Hannah Barker House and has found the ideal owner who will complete the rehabilitation and live in the house!  Today the house is structurally sound from its foundation to its spire. Its glorious cupola and chimneys have been rebuilt and the exterior has been painted in a palette of colors Hannah used during her life.

Since it was donated to Historic Boulder at the end of 2010, selling the house during or at the completion of the rehabilitation has been our goal.  This continues a proud tradition of saving and “returning to service” other distinguished buildings during Historic Boulder’s 43-year history.   

Protected by covenants and its landmark designation, the perpetual preservation of the property and its historic character is assured.  Just as it has been with other properties, proceeds from this sale will repay the funds Historic Boulder invested so that the “Preservation Revolving Fund” is ready for the next worthy project.




 The Hannah Barker House and a 7,656 square-foot lot was donated to Historic Boulder, Inc. on December 30, 2010. From 2010 to 2015, Historic Boulder completed four phases of rehabilitation listed below, as a way to take advantage of various grants and funding sources.  The new owner will do the window rehabilitation, interior finishes, and landscaping in accordance with the preservation easement and sound historic preservation practices.  




The Woman of the House

The Hannah Barker House is significant for its association with one of Colorado's most prominent pioneer women, Hannah Connell Barker.

Born in Ireland, young Hannah Connell traveled West with the Davidson family, for whom Davidson Mesa was named. She lived first in Ward, then moved to Boulder where she was one of the city's first female teachers.

She married Ezra Barker and became a civic leader, philanthropist and businesswoman. Her life illiustrates some of the many roles women played in settling the West even as their contributions were often unacknowledged and lost to the historical record. 




A House with a History

The Hannah Barker House is located at 800 Arapahoe Ave. (originally 743 Valley Road) and is one of the oldest buildings in Boulder. The oldest portion of the existing house was built in 1875 by Caleb S. and Carrie A. Stowell and has slowly been modified over time.

Early additions to the house were built in the Italianate style, with a small front porch, a one-story bay window, five chimneys and a distinctive cupola. The Boulder County News reported in 1875 that “the building will be an ornament to any street and add another to the beautiful homes building in that desirable part of town.”


Hannah Connell Barker and her husband Ezra K. Barker purchased the house in 1877.


                       1890                                                        1900

The Hannah Barker House in 1890The Hannah Barker House in 1900

                         Carnegie Branch Library for Local History                              Carnegie Branch Library for Local History

 Later additions included a prominent wraparound front porch with distinctive decorative brickwork and railings, and decorative brackets on the second story cornice of the house. The grounds featured an attractive and distinctive iron fence. Ezra died in 1883 and Hannah inherited Ezra’s landholdings and wealth. For more than 40 years, the house was the home of Hannah Barker, one of the most significant pioneer women in Boulder.

            1949                                                    2010

The Hannah Barker House in 1949The Hannah Barker House in 2010

                         Carnegie Branch Library for Local History                             Photo by Tom Lyon, Wolff Lyon Architects

In later years, the house was converted into an apartment building, but it has been vacant and boarded up for almost two decades. Although the eight-room, 2,300-square-foot interior is deteriorated, it retains most of the historic wood trim and flooring, as well as two elaborate fireplaces. The property is prominently located on Arapahoe Avenue and has its original wrought-iron fence.
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