Architect: William Ellsworth Fisher, Arthur Addison Fisher, Alan Berney Fisher
Birth/Death Dates: William (1871-1937), Arthur (1878-1965), Alan (1905-1978)
Practice Dates:
Firms:
William Fisher, Architect (1892-1901)
Fisher & Huntington (William Fisher and Daniel Huntington; 1901-1905)
William Fisher, Architect (1905-1907)
William Fisher Architect and Brother (William and Arthur Fisher; 1907-1910)
William E. Fisher and Arthur A. Fisher, Architects (1910-1937)
Arthur A. Fisher and Alan B. Fisher, Architects (1937-1956)
Fisher, Fisher and Davis (Arthur A. Fisher, Alan B. Fisher, and Rodney S. Davis; 1956-
1959)
Fisher and Davis (Alan B. Fisher and Rodney S. Davis; 1959-1967)
Fisher, Reece and Johnson (Alan B. Fisher, John D. Reece, and Hilary M. Johnson;
1967-1978)
Biographical Information
Architects by Design: The Fisher Legacy
Few families have impacted the look of Denver as the architects of the Fisher family. The
careers of three Fisher architects have spanned nearly six decades and their cumulative
designs represents some of the most prominent and acclaimed work in the state. Allen S. Fisher
moved his family from Canada to Denver in 1885. His son William Ellsworth Fisher (1871-1937)
was the first to enter the field of architecture.
William began as a draftsman for the Denver firm of Balcomb & Rice in 1890. Two years later,
after a brief period of study with the New York firm of C. Powell Karr, Fisher opened the firm of
William Fisher, Architect. The firm evolved in name and partnership several times over the next
57 years in name and partnership, however, for the next 57 years an architect of the Fisher
family would continue to offer services to the citizens and businesses of Denver and the Rocky
Mountain Region.
For ten years Fisher worked alone, designing mostly residents, particularly starter homes for
young couples. In 1901 Daniel Riggs Huntington, a fellow draftsman from Balcomb & Rice
formed a partnership with Fisher that lasted five years. Their work included increasingly
expensive residences as well as apartment and commercial buildings until Huntington moved to
Seattle in 1905. After two years again on his own, William formed a partnership with his brother,
Arthur Addison Fisher (1878-1965) who had studied at the Beaux-Arts Atelier Barber in New
York and apprenticed in the New York offices of Don Barber and Benjamin Morris. This pairing
lasted thirty years until William’s death. The firm prospered, constructed the majority of the
known remaining designs which included several prominent homes, churches, hospitals, and
schools as well as commercial designs such as the Denver City Tramway Building at 1100 14th
Street and the A. C. Foster Building at 912 16th Street. Both listed in the National Register.
Arthur served on the Denver Planning Commission and gained recognition for his hospital
designs. In 1937 William’s son, Alan B. Fisher (1905-1978), already working for the firm became
a partner with his uncle. Alan had completed his schooling at the University of Pennsylvania and
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Until Arthur’s retirement in 1956 the designed
numerous commercial buildings including several hospitals out of state, worked on the State
Capital Annex, and the Denver Public Library with Burnham Hoyt.
Rodney Davis joined the Fisher partnership in 1956 and continued with Alan for 11 years. Alan
Fisher then formed a partnership with John D. Reece and Hillary M. Johnson until his death in
1978. Alan became active in historic preservation, was a founding member of the Denver
Landmark Commission, and served as chairman from 1970 to 1973.
Of 67 existing buildings in Denver that can be credited to the Fisher firm, 50 of them are either
individually listed, within districts, or have been determined eligible for the National Register of
Historic Places. In other words some 75% of the firm’s identifiable remaining work in Denver
retains enough of its integrity to be deemed worthy of recognition. It is doubtful that many
architectural firms have left such a legacy. Certainly there is no other in Colorado.

Source: Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation at Colorado Historical Society’s biographical sketch series: “Architects of Colorado”