Historic Stanislawski-Hess Building Heads to Auction Block
by Samantha Wright
Jul 11, 2013 | 2103 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE ICONIC Historic Stanislawski-Hess Building in Ouray will be auctioned off on July 25. (Photo by Samantha Wright)
THE ICONIC Historic Stanislawski-Hess Building in Ouray will be auctioned off on July 25. (Photo by Samantha Wright)

OURAY – An iconic historic commercial building in the heart of downtown may have new owners by the end of the month. 

Williams & Williams, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based real estate auction company, announced last Thursday that it will auction the Stanislawski-Hess Building at noon on July 25. The live, global auction will take place on-site and online with real time remote bidding at AuctionNetwork.com.

The 12,000+ sq. ft. property, which anchors the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Street, was built in 1893 and has been in the Stanislawski family for the past 40 years. Upstairs, it houses the Ouray Hotel. Downstairs, it boasts a suite of retail units fronting Main Street and Sixth Avenue. The structure also has a full basement.

The whole building is being sold – including all of the hotel’s furnishings – representing a turnkey investment opportunity. 

Williams & Williams anticipates a high level of interest in the auction, and is marketing not only the building itself but the community in which it is located as a selling point, touting Ouray in promotional materials as the the filming location for the original movie True Grit and the inspiration for the fictional community of Galt’s Gulch in Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged

“This sale presents a rare opportunity to acquire prime commercial real estate in a U.S.  tourist locale that attracts visitors from around the world, year-round,” said Fontana Fitzwilson, Williams & Williams’ executive vice president of sales. “Ouray is known for its breathtaking views, picturesque architecture, natural hot springs and world-class ice climbing at the Ouray Ice Park.”

The Stanislawski-Hess Building was originally known as the Hess Block Building. According to information posted on the Ouray County Historical Society website, Theodore Hess originally built a two-story wooden structure on the location in 1880, which housed a billiard hall, a wine, liquor and cigar store and city offices. In 1884, an addition at the rear of the building housed the Ouray County Court. That building burned in 1892. The next year Hess built the Queen Anne/Romanesque structure that exists today, using bricks from the erstwhile Ouray Brick Yard. 

Casimir (aka “Cass”) Stanislawski bought the building in 1972 and added his name to the parapet. Cass’s son Dale Stanislawski inherited the building and has operated the Ouray Hotel there seasonally for many years, but declined to comment on the pending auction for this story.

The nominal opening bid for the auction is set at $250,000, and Stanislawski has the right to accept or refuse the ultimate offer, said Williams & Williams spokesperson Amy Bates.

“I think it will be a very good auction,” Bates said. 

Williams & Williams has sold many properties of distinction throughout the United States including a historic gaming assemblage in Central City, Colo., Lake Ozarks Amphitheater near Branson, Mo., the Grisso Mansion in Seminole, Okla., the “Nation’s Smallest Town” of Buford, Wyo. and the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich.

For more information on upcoming auction and the property, visit williamsauction.com/ouray or call Williams Auction customer service at 800/801-8003.

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