This biking tour is filled with 9 historic sites
Discover Aurora’s historic sites on a 3.1 mile biking tour! This paved loop includes 9 historical sites and self-guided tour information. Rent bikes, grab your crew and head out for an afternoon of history and fun.
With a route designed by the Aurora History Museum, riders will be biking within Original Aurora, home to some of the city’s oldest buildings. While biking in this neighborhood, riders should note that most historical sites are privately-owned and can be viewed from public sidewalks. The loop begins and ends at Stanley Marketplace, one of Aurora’s most popular historic destinations. This tour typically takes bikers one to two hours, depending on your preferred speed and fitness level. Our team rented bikes from our friends at Pedgeo Electic Bikes, located in Southlands. Learn more about rental information here.
Bike and helmet.
Start: Stanley Marketplace
It wasn’t always a bustling marketplace! Before it became the newly reimagined Stanley Marketplace, it was Stanley Aviation Corporation, Colorado’s cutting-edge aerospace manufacturing company. Constructed in 1954, Stanley Aviation employed more than 500 people and is credited with designing and manufacturing the first pilot ejection seats for U.S. Air Force B-47 and B-52 bomber planes. Today, Stanley Marketplace pays tribute to their historic roots while blending modern restaurants, boutiques, and more under one roof.
Stop: Fuller House | 2027 Galena Street
Aurora wasn't always 'Aurora'. The city of 36 people was established as Fletcher in 1891 by Denver businessman and developer, Donald Fletcher. He designed and constructed fourteen homes although only eleven remain, including the Fuller Home. As one of the original homes, it was sold to Grandville Fuller in 1892. This is an extraordinary example of late Victorian architecture in Aurora.
Stop: Italian Villa | 1785 Hanover Street
Small businesses were booming. Built as a restaurant in the 1920’s the Italian Villa had many different reincarnations throughout the decades. The Italian Villa’s architectural design is Mission Style, categorized by the red tile roof and stucco exterior.
Stop: Centennial House | 1671 Galena Street
Step back into 1891. Restored to its 19th-century beauty, the Centennial House is owned by the City of Aurora and has all the elements of what this Aurora house would have been like in 1891. Occasionally open for public viewing, this Victorian-Style historic site is utilized for community events and historical preservation.
Stop: Milliken House | 1638 Galena Street
Even in the 19th century, housing prices were on the up and up! Purchased by the City of Fletcher’s Mayor’s Wife, Lucy C.R. Milliken, the Milliken house sold for $5,000 (the most expensive home in Fletcher in the 1890s). Known for housing the city’s most important people, the Milliken House was home to City Attorney, Orin Hilton, and Mayor Thompson.
Stop: McMillan House | 1629 Galena Street
You don’t have to be present to win! Home to Mayor McMillan, former Union Pacific Railroad employee, this historic site is known for its combination of Victorian Style and Craftsman Style. Fun fact, Mayor McMillan was so beloved by Aurora citizens, he was actually re-elected mayor while on a family vacation!
Stop: Robidoux House | 1615 Galena Street
Making a house a home. Nearly everything at the Robidoux House is from the early 1910s, including the iron fence that lines the yard. The unique design of this historical site gives it the element of timeless design, coined as a Craftsman Style Bungalow. Former owner, Mrs. Muldoon is credited for keeping the house in pristine condition!
Stop: Hornbein Building | 9901 E 16th Ave
The former home of knowledge and literature. Once the Aurora Martin Luther King Jr. Library, the Hornbein Building was designed by premier architect, Victor Hornbein. Victor studied under Frank Lloyd Wright, a renowned American architect known for his use of light and environment in the building. You’ll notice the building is designed to bring in just the right amount of natural daylight.
Stop: 1557 Dallas Street
Landmarked: In the Process
Commuter line. Likely built by Donald Fletcher, 1557 Dallas Street was created for the local trolley driver whose route ended near the home. Designed in traditional Victorian Style, the house was later owned by Ralph Friend, owner of Friend Furniture, a community staple during the 1950s and 1960s.
Stop: Usonian House | 8955 E 19th Ave
Landmarked: In the Process
The historical preservation process is still happening today. Designed in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, 8955 E 19th Ave. is a Usonian Style home which reflects the best locations for natural light while incorporating the environment. This mid-century home is well-maintained, privately-owned and is an excellent example of attention to architectural detail.
End: Stanley Marketplace
*Bonus: Stanley Aviation Guard House
Landmarked: In the Process
The future of historic landmarks at Stanley Marketplace. Due to the ground-breaking manufacturing at Stanley Aviation, the gatehouse was constructed to maintain the active security of the company and screen visitors before entering the grounds. The Aurora History Museum is hoping to landmark this building and restore the structure into an interpretive space for history and preservation.