Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The KOA Building

KOA Building 18500 E. Colfax Ave. Built: 1934 • Landmarked: 2001

The KOA Building (once home to the first commercial radio station in Colorado but currently owned by the Colorado Department of Transportation) was built in 1934 when KOA Radio moved their transmitter and offices from 14th & Krameria Street to rural Aurora. Built to suit the tastes of FDR, our President at the time, this beautiful Art Deco style building combines art and technology with strong angular zig-zag form, intricate cast-iron details, and decorative pieces of art: the carved panels show radio towers, other features resemble microphones. 

Built next to the building, at 475 feet tall, the KOA radio tower was the largest self-supporting tower in the U.S., complete with its' own neon sign. Transmitting at 50,000 watts, the "King of Agriculture" broadcasts were heard from the Canadian border, along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, and down into southern New Mexico.

INTERESTING COLFACTS: Country music legend Chet Atkins once lived in the western Denver suburbs near Colfax Avenue and Simms before becoming a major operative in the Nashville music scene. Chet's brother, Jimmy, was a longtime KOA radio program director in Denver.

The KOA Building in 2007


  1. Flyers and Ace PancakesFebruary 1, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    This site should have something in it about the infamous Freddie's Lounge, supposedly also known as Ricki's Lounge, Pla-Mor Restaurant
    once located at 6300 West Colfax Avenue, SW corner of West Colfax and Kendall, a block west of the also-infamous "Bugs Bunny" (now the Big Bunny) motel that Sue Lyon (the original "Lolita") used to stay at in the early '70s.

    The original building is long gone now, replaced by an abandoned Walgreens.

    Freddies for years (1972-1980) was one of the best rock&roll and "country-rock" (NOT country) bars in Denver. Everybody who was anybody in a local band played there, even some national acts.

    During some of it's best times it was owned by Jay Ambrose, a former editor for the Rocky Mtn News, and his wife at the time, Jane. He would have history, stories and possibly some pics. I think this is him:
    Jay Ambrose (approx age 68)

    Home (303) 526-2260
    628 Kinnikinnik Hl
    Golden, CO 80401-9653

    Thanks for the site, I enjoyed it, and I hope you get around to calling Jay or doing something about Freddies some day.

  2. hi flyers and ace -- i created a facebook page for freddie's lounge :) -- hope u don't mind i borrowed heavily from your material -- thanks for providing!!