Synchronize with the table of contents  INTRODUCTION



Alan B. Fisher donated the bulk of the collection in 1977. A portion of the collection was transferred from the Colorado Historical Society in 1978 at the request of Mrs. Ruth Fisher. Dr. Calvin Fisher donated additional records in 1985. Additional material was donated by Marjorie Kendrick (1998), Barry Gilbert (2000), John Blythe (2002), A. Aubrey Spenst (2002) and Rutherford W. Witthus (2004). J. Schafer donated material in 2006. This project is/was paid for in part by a State Historical Fund grant from the Colorado Historical Society.


The collection is open for research. Floor plans of privately owned buildings may not be copied without the written consent of the building owner.


Literary and copyrights - as appropriate - have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


[Identification of item], Fisher and Fisher Architectural Records, WH932, Western History Collection, The Denver Public Library.


Number of Boxes: 30

Oversize: 1 OVBox, 1 OVFolio, 493 OV Folders

Microfilm: 62 reels (Mflm89)

Photographs: 3 PhotoBoxes, 1 PhotoEnv, 1 PhotoAlbum




Ann Brown

Dennis Hagen



Dennis Hagen

June 2011, April 2014

Katie Rudolph

December 2012

Martin Leuthauser

April 2015


Ellen Zazzarino


William Ellsworth Fisher (1871-1937) arrived in Denver in 1885 from Clinton, Ontario, Canada. He worked as a draftsman in the office of Balcomb and Rice, architects, until 1892 when he opened his first office. Fisher was known for designing "bride's delights," which were first homes for young married couples.

In 1901, Fisher formed a partnership with Daniel Riggs Huntington, a fellow draftsman from Balcomb and Rice. John Albert Ferguson, Harry K. Brown, William Barth Berger, Charles B. Kountze, Frank L. Smith, along with other financial and social leaders engaged Fisher and Huntington to design residences, apartment buildings, commercial structures and club buildings. Fisher worked with real estate developer Frederick Ross to create Country Club Place with an exclusive club and elegant homes. The Verner Z. Reed mansion on Circle Drive survives as an example of this development. In 1905, Huntington left for Seattle, Washington.

William Ellsworth Fisher's brother, Arthur Addison Fisher (1878-1965) graduated from New York's Atelier Barber, a division of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, in 1904. He worked for several New York architects before returning to Denver in 1910. In 1910, Arthur joined the firm, which became known as W.E. Fisher and A.A. Fisher, Architects.

During the next decade, the firm received commissions for such notable commercial structures as the Denver City Tramway Building and Car Barn, the Railway Exchange Building, the A.C. Foster Building, the Colorado National Bank and the International Trust Company Building. Important residences designed during this period include those of Chester S. Morey, John Evans, Lafayette and William Hughes, George Barth Berger, Harold Kountze, Henry C. Van Schaack and Daniel A. Millett.

During the 1920s, the partnership became one of the largest architectural firms in the Rocky Mountain region. Continuing to design residences, commercial buildings and churches, the firm also began to design hospitals including. Presbyterian Hospital and National Jewish Hospital in Denver.

In Wyoming, between 1923 and 1926, Denver-based Producers and Refiners Corporation, an independent oil company, planned a community known as Parco. Fisher and Fisher designed the entire town from residences, a theater, stores and government buildings. Later, the town was owned by Sinclair Oil Company and is now known as Sinclair, Wyoming.

During the 1930s, the Depression forced the reduction of the firm's staff to a few architects, including William Fisher's son, Alan Berney Fisher (1905-1978) who had studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1937, upon the death of his father, Alan Fisher became full partner with his uncle, Arthur Fisher. The new firm designed such projects as the Country Club Gardens apartment complex, the central branch of the Denver Public Library and Greenlee Elementary School.

In 1947, Rodney S. Davis (1915-1997) joined the firm. Davis headed the design team for the Rocky Mountain Osteopathic Hospital (now the University East Pavilion of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center) and initiated a relationship with Porter Memorial Hospital. In 1959, Davis became a partner. The architectural firm was known as Fisher, Fisher and Davis until the death of Arthur Fisher in 1957, when it was renamed Fisher and Davis.

In 1967, Davis left to form Rodney S. Davis Associates and Alan B. Fisher entered into partnership with John D. Reece and Hilary M. Johnson. He served as senior member of the firm Fisher, Reece and Johnson until his death in 1978.


The Fisher and Fisher collection spans 1892 to 1997 and consists of architectural drawings, project files, business records, photographs and the personal papers of William E. Fisher, Arthur A. Fisher and Alan B. Fisher. The architectural plans consist of originals and copies. Projects range from those of private residences to downtown Denver commercial buildings and institutions. Correspondence varies from business-related, contractor communications to personal letters between family members.

The plans of the original firm of Fisher and Fisher include numerous private residences in Denver and its suburbs. For example, the collection contains several sets of plans for the Lafayette M. Hughes residence at 300 High Street, Denver, Colorado built in 1913 and remodeled in 1926. Plans for the Weicker Warehouses, the Daniels and Fisher store and many apartment buildings are examples of projects that the firm designed for businesses. Also included are plans for the Denver City Tramway Company building that range from a bowling alley for employees to the car barn. From 1930, plans for businesses and institutions comprise the bulk of the papers of the firm's activities including such important Denver buildings as the State Capitol Annex Building, the Bruellstone Building and the Warren United Methodist Church. After 1957, the plans of the firm of Fisher and Davis include hospitals such as the Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, Idaho. From 1980 to 1997, the architectural firm of Fisher, Reece and Johnson specialized in plans for hospitals throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Nebraska.

The bulk of the collection has been microfilmed (C MSS Mflm89). The plans from 1980 to 1997 are not microfilmed. If microfilm is available, it is preferred that it be used since the original plans are fragile.


Witthus, Rutherford W., Fisher and Fisher Research Papers WH1863

SERIES 1 PROJECTS 1892-1991 BOX 1-26 :

Papers and microfilm documenting individual projects comprise this series, which is arranged alphabetically by project and then chronologically within each project . Included are specifications, bids and estimates, contracts, change orders, schedules, reports, invoices and correspondence. Correspondence is included between property owners, clients, the firm, contractors and sub-contractors. Invoices and receipts constitute a portion of the series. Project specifications vary from a few pages to hundred-page documents.

The microfilm encompasses a large part of the collection, especially projects dated through the 1960s. When microfilm images are available for a project, the specific frame and reel are given with the information about the papers. The frame numbers are clearly marked on the microfilm reels.


Business records contain correspondence not necessarily related to specific projects but between the firm and clients, contractors and suppliers. Also included is correspondence with professional organizations and potential employees. Correspondence concerning proposed projects also comprises a portion of the series. Client account books contain detailed information about project costs, names of contractors and sub-contractors, payments to the architects and legal descriptions of properties. Financial records also include partnership ledgers, expense ledgers, employee time ledgers and payroll records.

SERIES 3 PERSONAL PAPERS 1899-1980 BOX 29-31, 33 :

The personal papers contain correspondence with family members and friends. William Fisher's correspondence to his family and friends comprises the largest part of the series. Arthur and Alan Fisher's correspondence constitutes a portion of the series. One folder includes correspondence from William Fisher, Jr., detailing his experiences in the Philippines, China and India just before World War II. Also included is correspondence with major cultural institutions in Denver such as the Denver Art Museum.


Architectural drawings range from single, detail drawings to full, multi-page sets of drawings, including mechanical and structural plans. Most types of structures designed by the firm are represented in the collection including residences, apartments, commercial buildings, hospitals, schools, libraries, monuments, theaters, churches and town plans. The majority of drawings contain the name of the client. Not all sheets contain the location of the structure or the date of the drawing. The folders of drawings are arranged alphabetically by the name of the project.


Ledgers comprise the bulk of the oversize series along with professional certificates, licenses and diplomas. Also included are promotional booklets containing photos of projects and other advertising materials.


The photograph series contains family portraits as well as images of projects. The project photographs are arranged alphabetically by the name of the client while the personal photographs are arranged chronologically. The negatives in this collection have been identified as cellulose nitrate and are stored in the STXV freezer (PhotoEnvelope 1, right hand freezer, door shelf 3). Access to these negatives is restricted and requires the permission of an archivist.



  • Fisher, William E. -- Archives.
  • Fisher, Arthur A. -- Archives.
  • Fisher, Alan Berney -- Archives.
  • Fisher and Fisher -- Archives.
  • Fisher and Davis -- Archives.
  • Fisher, Reece and Johnson -- Archives.
  • Architects -- Colorado -- Denver.
  • Architectural firms -- Colorado -- Denver.
  • Architecture -- Designs and plans.
  • Denver (Colo.) -- Buildings, structures, etc.