Colorado's newest boutique hotel, The Slate Denver officially opened its doors this week, marking a new chapter for one of the Mile High State's most historic buildings.

The contemporary hotel was built inside the former Emily Griffith Opportunity School on 13th and Welton Street. Although a good deal of renovation has taken place, the contemporary accommodations still pay homage to the building's storied past.

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History of the School House

Upon moving to Colorado in 1895, Emily Griffith became a substitute teacher in the Denver Public Schools. Griffith had a dream of opening her own school that would serve people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. The Denver Board of Education helped the ambitious teacher further her goal, by gifting Griffith with the condemned Longfellow School at 13th and Welton Streets.

The Opportunity School officially opened on September 9, 1916, becoming one of the first trade schools in the country. Griffith personally greeted more than 1400 students as they walked through the doors on the first day of classes. The institution was open 13 hours a day, 5 days a week. Subjects that were taught included telegraphy, typing, and English for individuals who were not born in the United States.

Additions were built onto the iconic red schoolhouse in 1947 and 1956.

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The Hotel

Reopening as a hotel on May 24, 2022, The Slate Denver has been redesigned with a modern vibe. Although the building went through a major update and transformation, the schoolhouse's original stairwells were left in place as part of the architecture.

The boutique hotel is four stories with 251 guest rooms and a fitness center. Pet-friendly rooms are also available.

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The educational theme is prevalent throughout the entire property. From the giant chalkboard that travelers are encouraged to write on to the 23' tall #2 pencil that hangs above the entrance, guests are reminded of the building's past while enjoying what it's now become. The Hilton-operated hotel also has school-inspired meeting rooms which have been given names such as Assembly, 1916 Boardroom, Library, and Study Hall. Even the art and decor around the hotel were inspired by education.

Another awesome feature of the new hotel is the appropriately named Teachers' Lounge Food + Drink. The restaurant/bar is described as a culinary experience with a menu that offers a contemporary take on classic dishes. The hotel even has a signature apple-themed cocktail, called The Emily.

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The Slate Denver can be found downtown at 1250 Welton Street. It's less than a mile from 16th Street Mall, Larimer Square, and the theatre district.

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