609 – 615 Main Street
John Henry Harrison contracted with A.C. Jensen to build the expansive and impressive Harrison Block during 1901-1908 at a cost of $14,000. It has an inferred medieval period, slightly Gothic look and is a two-story brick structure, about 88 feet long pillars and lintels, six pillars rise from the front ground level to the cornices, dividing the building into four stores and one central entrance to the upper floor. Each pillar is capped with pointed stones. Of the thirteen second-story windows, one is round and central to the building. Vertical brickwork is above the windows below the roof line. During a renovation, the first floor was fitted with metal siding and shake roof and now a rectangular stained glass window is above the entry to 613 for the upper floor.
Harrison became one of the most tenacious of businessmen. He built three buildings on Main Street: 322-324, 609-615, and 714-720. Although he tried running several stores, land development was his forte. His name graces subdivisions, street names and buildings. He donated land for the Denver & Rio Grande
Railroad, helped organize the Cañon City Land & Improvement Company and the Cañon City Hydraulic and Irrigation Ditch Company. Harrison planted many acres of his land in orchards. Not just an entrepreneur, he served the community in other ways including county commissioner, treasurer, city council member and Mayor.
The Harrison Building replaced the Sing Lee Chinese Laundry with the new building housing many businesses in its four storefronts. The upper floor has seen doctor’s and lawyer’s offices. Before his death, J. Harrison Hawthorne, grandson of J. H. Harrison, had his law offices here.