Built some time before 1894, the house at 117 S. Whitcomb is one of four that were built all around the same time along the west side of the street. Today all four of those houses, as well as several others on that block of Whitcomb, are part of the South Whitcomb Street Historic District, which was formed in 2013.
Architecture of the House
The house at 117 S. Whitcomb is a Queen Anne Cottage. People often think of the highly ornate houses of San Francisco when they hear the term “Queen Anne” but here in Fort Collins life was simpler and our houses were as well. Built as a 1-story cottage, the house retains several Queen Anne features. Typical elements of the Queen Anne style evident in this property include the central hipped roof with intersecting gables, sunburst detailing, patterned shingles underneath the gables, textured siding, and asymmetrical massing.
History of the House
It’s unknown who the earliest residents of this house were as City Directories simply don’t go back that far, but in the first available directory from 1902, Frank T. Woods, of the Larimer County Marketing Association, and his wife Rose lived in the house.
There were a succession of residents after that including the Shortridges, the Cases, the Giffords, and the Randalls. The Chipps lived in the house from 1909 until 1917 at which point a painter, George Graham, moved in with his wife Mary. George made some changes to the front porch, re-roofed the house, and is likely the person that moved a small storefront from N. College Avenue to the backyard of the property.
A variety of residents came and went over the years until the current owner bought the house in 1987. The owner raised a side dormer a few feet in 2002 in order to build a staircase that enabled the family to build a bedroom and bathroom in the attic.
Information on this house was taken from the historic district nomination form which is available in Fort Collins City Docs.