Alfred Edward Rinehart, a pioneer photographer, came to Denver from Lafayette, Indiana in 1874. In the days of the old mining boom he was the leading portrait photographer of the city. His early studio at 1637 Larimer was in partnership with William Henry Jackson from 1880-1884.
In 1888 Mr. Rinehart, a great lover of children, opened his new photography gallery at 16th & Arapahoe Streets, in the Wolfe Londoner building on the buildings top floor. A major article in a Denver Newspaper states,” The new photographic gallery opened by Mr. A. E. Rinehart, the popular photographer, in Wolfe Londoner's new building, between sixteenth and seventeenth streets, attracts crowds of visitors. It is the largest and most complete establishment of the kind in the world, embracing more rooms, finer accessories and greater conveniences for retouching, copying, printing, and operating than any gallery heretofore opened.
The main saloon is reached directly by the elevator, visitor stepping from the elevator cab into a well lighted, cheerfully appointed reception room, where are new furnishings in cherry hard wood, and every appointment consistent with beauty and comfort. The ceiling is one of the first things that attracts the eye. It is a combination of frescoing and freehand modeling, and elaborate designs have been worked in polished bronze. It is, according to the statement of the artist, Mr. Ganthier, the only ceiling of the kind in the city. The floors are set in parquet work in hard woods and covered with Kurrachee rugs. The counter and the panel are of cherry hard wood. In the center of the room are placed several easels of bamboo and cherry and holding large portraits. The walls are hung with large frames holding some of the best specimens of Mr. Rinehart's art and on the side of the room on handsome shelves are cabinets in easels and plaques. To the further side of the room a handsome grate sends forth its genial warmth and cheerful light. The curtains are of Madras , and add not a little to the bright, cheerful and handsome appearance of the room.
The gallery itself is the best appointed one ever constructed. It includes some twelve rooms grouped about an open court. To one side is the operating room, the largest ever opened by a photographer, being 26 X 58 in its dimensions. The accessories are all new and include the latest things in that line that have been painted by L.W. Seavey of New York. A special room to one side of the operating room is devoted entirely to the storage of accessories. A carriage built by Mr. Rinehart and his assistants holds the backgrounds, and those already in place are among the handsomest L. W. Seavey has ever painted. The cameras are all new and the gallery contains the largest portrait camera in the West. The best known chairs for sitters will soon be added to the operating room. Two dressing rooms are placed at one end of the operating room. Opening from the operating room are the accessory, washing, paint, and silvering room. Back of these is a large printing room admirably appointed. Across the passage and adjoining the main salon, or reception, is a large well appointed family room. Just back of the reception room is an elegantly appointed, superbly furnished artist's studio. At present Mr. Rinehart devotes this room to his private house. It is one of the handsomest private offices ever opened in Denver .
The entire appointments of the buildings give to the various workmen and assistants employed every facility for turning out the best of work. Mr. Rinehart has retained most of the popular assistants he had at his former place of business on Larimer Street . They are among the most compete people to be found in their profession, and well capable of bringing out some of the finest pictures that have ever been seen in the West.”
He photographed many of Denver 's pioneers Tabor, Baby Doe Tabor and her two baby daughter, Lily and Silver Dollar, Mountain Man Jim Baker and Kit Carson.
Mr. Rinehart's last studio was at 1522 Welton. He died suddenly at the age of 63 in 1915. Death was caused by appendicitis and a complication of other diseases. He is buried in the family plot at Riverside Cemetery .