Prominent businessman Edward F. Batschelet, who operated a large ranch near Sedalia, built this two-story structure in 1908. The building featured two storefronts on the first floor, and was first used as the headquarters for a Democratic rally in October 1908. U.S. Senator Henry M. Teller and State Senator Ed Taylor spoke to Littleton citizens during the rally. The One Price Cash House Company was the first store to occupy the first floor of the building. The second floor, which sports 14-foot ceilings, was used as both an opera house and a meeting space for public forums.
The Littleton Museum considers the Batschelet Building “one of the finest remaining turn-of-the-century structures in Downtown Littleton.” The most prominent historic architectural element of the Batschelet Building is the cornice, which runs along the top of the structure as it projects from the building on decorative brackets and a dentil molding frieze. The ground floor features plate glass windows with wooden kickplates and awnings that enhance the retail use of the building. The four entrances to the building have transom windows over the doors and large rectangular sidelights.
When Batschelet died in 1912, the building was purchased by George E. Nickel. In 1914, a dry goods store was located in the west storefront, but by 1921 the building’s first floor was primarily dedicated to the automobile. Initially it was a garage, but by the 1930s it housed the Stephenson Motor Company. C.E. Stephenson owned the Dodge-Plymouth dealership and had operated an auto business in Littleton since 1915. Active in the community, Stephenson was Littleton’s mayor from 1926-1928, chief of the fire department, and president of the Littleton Optimists.
By 1953, the structure was home to the Heckethorn Manufacturing and Supply Company, which produced metal products including hardware, pulleys, and war medals. Since 1960, the building has housed a variety of retail shops and restaurants.
In 1994, building owner Reeves and Associates reconstructed and restored the first-floor exterior storefront by removing the frame and cedar shingle awning and replacing it with a glass, wood, and metal storefront façade similar to the original. In doing so, they discovered and retained the original decorative motifs attached to a cast iron beam above the first floor. The windows on both floors were restored to full size as well.
The Batschelet Building was designated a local Historic Landmark by the City of Littleton in 1994; was added to the Littleton Main Street Historic District in 2007 as a contributing building; and listed as a contributing building on the Littleton Main Street National Register of Historic Places District on April 8, 1998.
Learn about the Heckethorn Manufacturing company here: Heckethorn Manufacturing Company, littletongov.org.