The Molly Brown House Museum, which has been open for more than 50 years, serves over 50,000 people each year as part of its mission to enhance the city’s distinctive identity through educational programs and exhibits while also preserving cultural heritage.
The Molly Brown House Museum is an iconic representation of Denver in the early 20th century. The city’s wealthiest residents, including Isaac and Mary Large who made their fortune in silver mining, moved to the prestigious Capitol Hill neighborhood in the 1880s. They commissioned well-known architect William Lang to build their home at 1340 Pennsylvania Avenue using a combination of Classic Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque styles, creating a unique and eclectic look. Electricity, indoor plumbing, heat, and telecommunications were all available in the house.
The Larges became victims of the silver market crash shortly after they completed their home. In 1894, they sold it to James Joseph “J.J.” and Margaret Brown, who made different changes to the house over time – including to the front porch, back porch, roof, and third floor. J.J., in 1898 transferred the title of ownership into Margaret’s name before she started renting it out occasionally to wealthy families when traveling herself.
After Margaret passed away in 1932, during the Great Depression, her house was sold. However, subsequent owners changed it a lot, turning it into twelve smaller spaces to be rented out. In 1958 Art Leisenring bought the property with the intention of renting to male boarders; though he later leased it to the city so that it could be used as a Jane Addams Hull home for girls. According to Leisenring, however, he wanted to keep the history of Margaret “Molly” Brown alive while she was being memorialized on stage and screen in the play and film “Unsinkable Molly Brown.” A group of locals, led by Leisenring, appealed to Ann Love, the wife of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller for assistance. Concerned about the neighborhood’s urban renewal, a group of citizens including Leisenring reached out to Ann Love, the wife of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller for aid.
On December 11, 1970, a group of concerned citizens formed Historic Denver, Inc. to save the Molly Brown House from demolition. Thanks to media coverage and other fundraising efforts, they were able to purchase the house and begin restoration work. Through paint analysis, architectural research, and studying original photographs from 1910, they have been able to carefully restore the house back to its original Victorian splendor.
The Titanic Museum offers several activities and excursions to participate in while visiting the historic site. If you’re looking for something unusual, come to the Molly Brown House Museum to commemorate 110 years since the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Through unique Titanic artifacts and previously unseen family papers, you can learn about a hero’s tale. The exhibit resurrects survivors’ experiences from that terrible night – including those of Margaret Brown. She was not known as “Unsinkable” during her lifetime, but rather as “the Heroine of the Titanic.”
Go back to 1912 and explore the Browns’ Capitol Hill mansion, where you’ll encounter breathtaking things, photographs, and papers in each room. Margaret Brown, a survivor who helped row a lifeboat through the night to safety, will be your guide as you follow her journey of survival. She made it her mission to comfort and raise money for Titanic’s immigrant passengers who lost everything on their trip to a new world!
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