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Architect: Muchow, William C.

Birth/Death Dates: 1922 – 1991

Practice Dates: 1949 – 1991

Firms: Muchow Associates Architects

Biographical Information

William Muchow was born in Denver, Colorado, in 1922 and graduated from North Denver High School. He attended Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame prior to entering the Navy in 1942, where he achieved the rack of captain and commanded the navy destroyer USS Lovelace. Upon his return, he received a BS in Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1946.He then attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he studied under the internationally acclaimed architect Eliel Saarinen, and was awarded the prestigious Plymm Fellowship. He graduated from Cranbrook in 1948 with a Master of Architecture and Urban Planning degree. In 1949 he was awarded the Rome prize.

Upon his return to Denver in 1949 he briefly worked for Fisher and Fisher, perhaps the single most important Denver architectural firm of the 20th century. In 1950, Muchow formed his own firm –Muchow Associates Architects. Though Muchow was licensed in Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, his projects were primarily in the Denver metro area. From 1950 to 1991,his firm designed eight hundred and thirty-three projects and won national awards for more than forty of his architectural designs. He was elected a Fellow of the AIA in 1968. In addition to his architectural work, Muchow won distinction for service to the local, state, national and international architectural community through his work with the AIA, the Colorado State Board of Examiners,and the National Council of Architectural Registration. He served on more than twenty-five award juries nationally and lectured widely at colleges, conferences and seminars throughout the US and abroad.

A quote from the Daily Journal of December 1982 summarizes his influence on the region:”Muchow is probably the most widely known architect in the region, his name synonymous with consistent design excellence. His office has spawned numerous individuals who are in turn practicing architects and leaders in the profession.” Today those individuals rank among Denver’s most successful local architects. George Hoover, Michael Jacoby, Herbert Jenson, Karl Berg, Dayl Larsen, G. Cabell Childress, Paul Hutton, William Dilatush and Peter Dominick, Jr., all originally worked at Muchow’s office. These architects and a variety of important independent engineering firms all made important contributions to the work of Muchow’s firm. He died in 1991.

Muchow is featured in the 1994 edition of Contemporary Architects, a worldwide survey edited by Muriel Emanuel. Two pages provide biographical and critical sketches of Muchow’s work along with listings of awards, exhibitions and publications. There is also an extensive building list from 1951 to 1984 which includes ninety-one of his most significant buildings. A few of his notable projects in Denver are the 1956 Texaco Building at 1570 Grant St., the 1968 Federal Reserve Branch Bank at 1020 16th St., the 1969 Currigan Exhibition Hall at 1324 Champa St. (demolished), the 1974 Park Central at 1111 15th St. and 1110 16th St., and the 1974 Blue Cross/Blue Shield Office Building at Speer between Lincoln and Broadway. Also notable is his 1965 Engineering Sciences Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Biography by Diane Wray

Credited Buildings (partial list)

Building Name Location Site No. Date* Status
First Federal Savings Building 38th and Lowell Denver   1954 Bank
Texaco Building 1570 Grant St. Denver   1956 Office Building
Crofton Elementary School, 1958 Addition Denver 5DV.2067 1958 School
St. Timothy’s Episcopal 5612 S. Hickory St. Litteton   1960  
First Federal Savings Building 4301 S. Broadway Englewood 5AH.2878 1963 Demolished
Silverstate Savings and Loan 1500 Grant St. Denver   1964 Office Building
First National Bank of Loveland East 6th Ave. and Lincolin Street Loveland   1964  
First Methodist Church 1313 W. Sheppard Ave.,Littleton   1965  
Engineering Sciences Center, university of Colorado Boulder   1965 University Building
Federal Reserve Branch Bank 1020 16th St. Denver 5DV.1914 1968 Bank
First Federal Savings Building addition   5AH.2878   Bank
Currigan Exhibition Hall 1324 Champa St. Denver 5DV.1720 1969 Demolished
Park Central 1111 15th St. Denver 5DV.1760 1974 Office Building
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Office Building Speer Blvd. and Broadway   1974 Office Building

*Completion date is used if known. Plan, building permit, or assessor date is used if completion date is unknown.

Information Sources

Simmons, R. Laurie and Thomas H. Simmons. Historic Buildings Survey, Littleton, Colorado,

2000-2001. October 17, 2001. Collection of the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Colorado Historical Society.

Simmons, R. Laurie and Thomas H. Simmons. “Historical and Architectural Survey of Selected

Denver Public Schools, 2003.” August 2003.

Site Files Database, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Colorado Historical

Society, Denver.

Wray, Diane. First Federal Savings Building National Register nomination, November 16, 2004.

Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Colorado Historical Society, Denver.

Revised: March 3, 2005