Before It Was Washington’s: A Glimpse of Fort Collins Venue’s 100-year History
Everyone remembers when the Downtown Fort Collins music venue was a sports bar, but even before that, the building had several other uses.
Gone are the days of 18-and-up night in the basement of the 'Wash Bar,' as the Bohemian Foundation's gorgeous new concert venue now occupies 132 Laporte Ave. (and, if you have a Greeley ID, you're totally welcome inside).
The sports bar by the same name, 'Washington's,' was a business that held its place in Old Town until 2016, but before that, it had a few different uses, dating all the way back to the early 1900s.
According to Northern Colorado History, the large stone warehouse building (which is the back of the venue), was part of the Akin Building, built by Montezuma Fuller for $8,000.
In the early 1900s, it was a produce warehouse for the Larimer Fruit and Honey association, and later was used by Dunham-Miller Mercantile and Poudre Valley Bottling Works, Northern Colorado History said. According to Meg Dunn, who researched the building's history, Washington's was also home to Carpenter & Son’s transfer service from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, but there's a reason why it looks so much different now.
See photos of what it's looked like in the last 120 years from Northern Colorado History here.
After that, the front half of the Akin Bulding was demolished, which is why there was a rebuilt, smaller building at the front, attached to the remaining old stone warehouse when it was Wash Bar.
Washington's FoCo now has a new front building, but preserved the building's historic portion.
'The new music hall has a great Fort Collins history. The formidable sandstone walls originally housed the warehouse portion of the Akin Building, planned by Montezuma Fuller in 1903. The location was home to many businesses through the years, until 1978 when it became Washington’s Sports Bar and Grill. We have honored the building’s history by retaining its name (Washington’s) and by incorporating some of the nostalgic artifacts that existed in the space prior to its renovation as a music venue.' - Washington's FoCo