The Valore Hardware building is important for its association with the Valore family, who ran one of the longest operating businesses on Main Street in Littleton. Since 1907, three generations of the Valore family were involved in the hardware business in various locations.
In 1903, Abram James (A.J.) Valore traveled alone from New York to Colorado, where he sold shoes in Idaho Springs. In 1906, his wife and children came out to join him. A.J. bought C.K. Coleman Hardware in the Coors Building on Main Street in 1907, and he built a house at what is now 5634 S. Prescott St. around 1910. In 1913, A.J. sold his Downtown Littleton hardware store and opened a store in Nederland, Colo. He returned to the hardware business in Littleton in 1917 when he bought Jull Hardware.
In 1925, A.J. constructed the first unit of a three-storefront brick block. This first unit was on the corner lot at Main and Prince Streets (now 2399 W. Main St.). He occupied the first unit for about two years while he tore down the old frame Jull Hardware building and put up two new units to match the brick corner unit. The middle and east stores were completed in 1927 and 1928. A.J. moved the hardware store into the middle unit (now 2389 W. Main St.) and rented the corner store to the Post Office from about 1927–1939. Pagett’s Candy Kitchen occupied the east storefront. From the early 1950s through the mid-1960s, occupants of the building included the Littleton Cleaners (west unit) and Littleton Dress Shop (east unit).
The completed building reflected popular elements of Twentieth Century Commercial style construction with its flat roof, red brick walls with white brick trim, and three storefronts with large display windows stretching along Main Street. Red and white brick “piers” divided the three storefronts (originally, the piers projected above the roof).A.J. was struck by a car and killed while crossing Littleton Broadway (now Littleton Boulevard) on February 13, 1948. His son, Richard B. “Dick”” Valore, had worked in his father’s hardware store until World War II broke out. Dick left the store and worked for Remington Arms at what is now the Denver Federal Center. In 1946, he returned to the hardware business and took over for his father. Dick died May 19, 1996, at age 96. He visited the hardware store virtually every day from the time he “retired” until shortly before his death.
The third generation in the Littleton Valore Hardware business is represented by Dick’s son, Richard J. Valore, also known as Dick. Richard J. was born in January 1932 and spent 18 years in the aerospace industry, including many years at the Boeing Company in Seattle. He entered the family business in 1974. Richard J. Valore and his wife, Kathy, were honored as the Grand Marshals of Littleton’s Western Welcome Week 75th Anniversary Celebration in August 2003, and the couple led the Festival Day Grand Parade. With a theme of “Homecoming, the anniversary celebration paid homage to 75 years of unique community spirit, heritage, and unity in Littleton. Western Welcome Week’s board looked for an individual or business that had been in Littleton for at least 75 years. In honoring the Valores, the Western Welcome Week board said, “The Valore family and Valore Hardware are examples that recognize the values of preserving Littleton’s sense of tradition and community.”
A.J. Valore established what became the oldest business on Littleton’s Main Street. Valore Hardware still remained in the center unit at 2389 W. Main St. until 2005 when Richard J. “Dick” Valore retired and closed the store after 80 years of service to the community.
The Valore Hardware Store was added to the Littleton Main Street Historic District in 2005 as a contributing building. It was listed as a contributing structure on the Littleton Main Street National Register of Historic Places District on April 8, 1998.
Learn more about the Valore family here: Valore Hardware, littletongov.org.