From the 1920s and through the 1950s, a window-display mastermind joyfully created spectacular scenes in his hardware store on what is now the Pearl Street Mall.
One display from the mid-1950s depicted a dog made out of pipes and brushes. Another featured a detailed sideshow of animals made from various random hardware parts.
Harold Stevens’ displays at Valentine Hardware on 1144 Pearl Street (home now to Lindsay’s Boulder Deli and Häagen Dazs) often won contests, especially during CU Homecoming. In 1956, he won the Homecoming Merchant Window Decorating Contest for a large scene of jousting knights depicting a battle between CU and that year’s homecoming rival Nebraska.
But mostly, his art brought immense joy. Eager to be a part of his work, community members often brought him items in hopes that he’d use them in his displays.
Harold, who was born in England but lived in Boulder for 67 years, worked nearly 50 years at Valentine Hardware before retiring in 1958. The strong CU supporter loved his football season tickets, and he attended home games well into his 90s.
Harold died in 1982 at the age of 102.
These photos were shared with the Heritage Center by his granddaughter Nancy Stevens Comprelli (Edu'61) and the Don Stevens family.