Camfield Court Building - 615-31 8TH AV

 Print Listing Historical Name - Camfield Court Building / Camfield Trust Building
Style - Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements/Commercial Style
Built Year - July 1909 - June 1911
State ID - 5WL2571

Description - This 20th Century commercial style building is a two-story brick structure with stone trim, although the main east and south elevations currently are covered in black glass paneling with a metal frame on the second story, and a concrete aggregate facade on the first floor. A flat, metal canopy covers the walkway around the building on the east and south sides. The main building elevations are the east elevation and the south elevation with the main entrance on the corner, which faces to the southeast. The north and west elevations are not covered by concrete or black glass and are brick with one-over-one wood frame double hung windows with metal frame storm windows. Some of the rear windows have segmental arches and stone sills. Under the paneling, the building has enameled brick and terra cotta exterior trim (some of which was removed when the glass paneling was put on).

Historical Background - The Camfield Court Building was principally financed by and named for Daniel A. Camfield, who owned the Camfield Hotel across 8th Avenue, formerly the Oasis Hotel. Daniel A. Camfield was a very significant citizen of Greeley, having involved himself in irrigation and downtown Greeley commerce and being known as an “Empire Builder.” He arrived in Greeley in 1881, when he was eighteen years of age, coming from Providence, Rhode Island. When he was old enough, he began purchasing land, eventually holding nearly 50,000 acres. He was actively involved in the development of irrigation in the area, including the Platte Valley from Greeley to Nebraska. The June 12, 1909 Greeley Tribune gave him the title of “Empire Builder” and said his work had created “the largest body of irrigated land in the country... at an average cost of $24.23 per acre, this work of private reclamation takes on the aspect of the most marvelous victory recorded in the peaceful conquest of the great West.” His obituary described his involvement in irrigation development. “The irrigation enterprises with which he has been connected, and in which he has been the moving spirit, would probably amount to from $10,000,000 to $15,000,000. They covered not only parts of Colorado, but Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico as well.” The obituary further indicates that he was involved in other interests besides irrigation, such as remodeling and adding to the Oasis Hotel and renaming it the Camfield Hotel, building the Camfield Court Building, helping organize the City National Bank and being a part owner of the Tribune-Republican Publishing Company. He married Lottie Atkinson in 1887 and they had several children. He founded the town of Camfield in 1907, which was located directly east of Ault, and which existed until 1943. He died at age fifty-one in 1914, while on an extended trip to New York. A tribute to him in the November 10, 1914 Greeley Tribune states, “Primarily, D.A. Camfield was a builder, one of the greatest in Colorado’s history. In this respect his name deserves to rank with that of Moffat, Evans, Tabor, Stratton, Walsh and others. In the history of northern Colorado development he stands alone, the only other men who at all approached him as builder of irrigation enterprises were B.H. Eaton and B.D. Sandborn, both of whom have gone before. In the City of Greeley the only other man that ever approached him as a city builder was S.D. Hunter.” Camfield hired Robert S. Roeschlaub to design the building and Fox and Baab, cement contractors, to build the foundation and local carpenter and builder F.F. Gordon to construct the building. The 1909 Tribune indicates that the original intentions were to locate stores on the first floor and the Masonic lodge on the second floor. However, the original tenants included a local engineering and construction company, the Home Gas & Electric Company, the Christian Science Church and City National Bank on the first floor corner section and the second floor units were rented as apartments. City Directories list the Camfield Court at 629 8th Avenue, which was the temporary courthouse in 1915. The Greeley Chamber of Commerce also occupied various units on the first floor beginning in 1920. The Farmer’s Trust Company, for whom the building is also named (Camfield Trust Building), was another one of the original occupants. Daniel Camfield worked with investors to form this lending company, which would specialize in farm loans, primarily in Weld County.