The Unsinkable Molly Brown - Denver's Famous Titanic Survivor
The Molly Brown House Museum stands as an enduring symbol of the turn of the 20th century in Denver. In the 1880s, the lucky few who made millions in the mountains, the railroads, or trade moved to the prestigious Capitol Hill neighborhood. This included James Joseph “J.J.” and Margaret Brown who purchased 1340 Pennsylvania Avenue in 1894. The home was built by well-known architect William Lang who combined the styles of Classic Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque to create a unique and eclectic home. The home contained all the modern technology of the day including electricity, indoor plumbing, heat, and telephone.
Upon Margaret’s death in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, the house was sold. Subsequent owners altered the house dramatically, creating twelve separate spaces for roomers. In 1958, Art Leisenring purchased the house, and wanted to preserve the history of Margaret “Molly” Brown as she was being immortalized on stage and screen in the “Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Concerned about the urban renewal he was seeing happen in the neighborhood, a group of citizens led by Leisenring appealed to the Governor’s wife, Ann Love, for help.
On December 11, 1970, these citizens formed Historic Denver, Inc. and began a grass roots effort to save the Molly Brown House from demolition. Through paint analysis, architectural research, and studying original house photographs from 1910, the house has been carefully restored to its original Victorian splendor.