A Sheriff, Two Fires and a Ghost
Sheriff Winfield Boynton commissioned the original house in 1896. Boynton, a former El Paso County Commissioner, and his family enjoyed the house for two years before a massive fire completely destroyed the house in 1898. The Boynton family rebuilt their house and lived there until 1909.
While house fires were a common threat in the early days of Colorado Springs, the timing of this particular fire was pivotal. City Council had just voted to implement a volunteer fire department; Sheriff Boynton convinced the council that the city needed a paid fire department. To this day, members of the Colorado Springs Fire Department credit Sheriff Boynton for saving their jobs.
Colorado College chemistry professor Frank W. Douglas and family owned the home from 1925 to 1945. With housing at a premium during World War II, the Douglas family divided the house in half to allow for boarders. Evidence of this division remains visible in the house today.
During the late 1940s, a second fire, believed to have been caused by a Colorado College student boarder performing chemistry experiments in his room, ignited the third floor. The young man died in the incident, although the home’s current owners believe he resides with them today in a friendly “spirit form.”
The current owners moved here in 1978. They improved and updated the house over the years, always keeping the historic context in mind. Additions include a sun room, several bathrooms, a kitchen extension, and a family room.
A House of Fortune and Scandal
Built in 1896, the house has been a residence to many–but none as colorful as the family of George and Blanche Trimble.
An ambitious young man, George’s path to wealth began in 1875 when he married Blanche, the daughter of a judge and banker. With the judge and another friend he opened the Miner’s Exchange Bank in Leadville in 1878. And so began a long history of lucrative ventures in banking, mining, ranching, lumber, utilities, sugar beets and railroads.
With George often away for months at a time, Blanche enjoyed an active social life, raising race horses and creating stunning entries for the local Flower Parades. She purchased the house in 1890, where she lived with her daughter Beulah–identified in the press as the “richest heiress in the West.” Beulah’s lavish marriage to her second husband drew national press attention, as did his attempt to murder her in the house less than two months later, allegedly over a dispute concerning his paramour.
Prior to his death, George established a trust that largely benefited the Colorado Springs Elks Club. Currently valued at approximately $15,000,000, it supports the club’s service to those in need.
Like many other American Foursquare houses in the area, the house has been altered over the years, including the addition of a modern day “carriage house” and beautiful crown molding. The current owners updated the kitchen, raised the roof line, added a full bath on the upper level, and remodeled a half bath on the first floor.
From Humble Start to Stately Home
Built in 1954, the original home was part of the neighborhood’s third wave of house construction, filling in newly subdivided lots. Byron and Lois Akers, grandparents of the current residents, purchased the home in 1971. This began more than four decades of family ownership. Byron was an editor of the Gazette in the early 1950s. After retiring from that role, he and Lois went on to establish the landmark Ghost Town in the mid-1950s.
The current homeowners purchased the house in 1992. Starting in 2000, they began to remodel. The house expanded around the original 1,860 square foot structure to its present 4,400 square feet. The family lived on site the entire time! The owners did most of the work themselves, and managed subcontractors for the balance.
The footprint of the remodel changed the location of two entryways and the stairway. Work included a new heating system, windows, roof, insulation and trim, as well as moving some walls and other internal changes. Popping the top added the home’s entire second floor and three balconies; the family calls the south-facing balcony off a daughter’s bedroom “Rapunzel’s Deck.”
The intense 18-month timeline called for work at night, using bright floodlights. More than once, the owners had to wave off medical helicopters trying to land, mistaking the house for Penrose Hospital!
The Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs honored the home with its Award of Excellence in 2007 for “Historically Compatible New Construction Residential Project.”
Gracious Home Preserves Spanish Influence
This Spanish Revival gem was built in 1926. Like many houses of its era, the original floor plan had three bedrooms and just one bath. The home’s current owners have lived in the house since 1996, managing a series of extensive remodels to add living space and improve privacy on a busy street.
Each remodeling project began with the intent to preserve the home’s original features and charm. By contrast with many of the neighborhood’s Victorian houses, this house started with an easy, open flow that the owners wished to retain. The property had clearly been loved in the intervening years– the wood floors and trim were in beautiful condition, many of the original light fixtures were still in place, and the Van Briggle tile fireplace remains a focal point.
Additions include the beautiful master bathroom and a highly functional closet. The remodeled kitchen serves the cook well, with unique features that include a steam oven and a wonderful sunny nook. And unlike most 1920s homes, a more informal family room sits adjacent to the kitchen.
Every change and addition was made with great attention to authenticity. The owners re-used many windows and doors– there are 13 doors altogether–as well as wrought iron gates. When relocating the front door and entry, they commissioned a ceramic artist to recreate the original exterior frieze.
The homeowner designed the stucco wall surrounding the property as well as the oasis of green and privacy that is the back deck; her background as an art major informs many of the home’s design elements. Visitors will enjoy the home’s extensive and eclectic art collection, and a special cactus decorated whimsically for the holidays.
Shove Chapel, Colorado College
In 1931, in the depths of the Great Depression, Colorado College built a long-awaited chapel, now considered one of the region’s architectural jewels. F. Edward Little, a member of the Class of 1935, recalled the importance of Shove Memorial Chapel to the college community during those hard economic times:
“[Shove] was an elegant and expensive embellishment at a time when plain and frugal were the order of the day. Everyone was cutting back, cutting down, and closing up. There was open criticism about spending that much money, for that purpose, at that time … Shove was just what was needed. It glowed as a jewel of hope when there were not many sparkling objects about. It promised something beautiful down the road.”
Trustee Eugene Percy Shove made a generous gift to the college in 1928 for the chapel’s construction, with additional support for maintenance and programming. He served the college as vice president, trustee (1914 – 1939), and two-term chairman of the board. A prominent Colorado Springs businessman, Shove played significant roles in mining, banking and the sugar industry in Colorado for half a century.
After a national design competition, architect John Gray earned the commission to design Shove Memorial Chapel. Apart from small residences, the chapel was Gray’s first commission completed in his own name. While working as an architect in Pueblo, Gray was at one time associated with the firm of William W. Stickney, which designed the historic Colorado Springs Day Nursery.
Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Shove Chapel gains recognition as an outstanding representation of the Romanesque style, as well as for its high artistic values. Master craftsmen and artists from the United States and England assisted in the chapel’s construction.
Scheduled visits to the bell tower, with its commanding view of the city, will be a special highlight of the Shove Chapel tour.
For additional details about the history, construction and art of Shove Chapel, please visit http://www2.coloradocollege.edu/welcome/walkingtour/shove.php.
The original gate and fence welcome you to this beautiful Victorian home. Built in 1890, it was one of the first homes on Nevada Avenue and in the Old North End. Only five families have occupied the home over the years; the Hemenway family resided here for nearly 60 years.
Many of the original features still remain, including the light fixtures throughout the home. An extensive remodel in the late 1980s included a kitchen update and the addition of the gazebo in the backyard. The current homeowners moved here in 2003 and incorporated the basement, which had been turned into a separate apartment, back into the single-family dwelling. A remodel in 2010 included the restoration of the stone foundation walls. The stones were exposed, sandblasted, repointed and then sealed to reveal a beautiful architectural focal point.
Thomas MacLaren built this classic Georgian square home in 1900. MacLaren was one of the foremost architects in the West. During his thirty-four years in Colorado Springs, MacLaren designed more than two hundred buildings. His body of work includes local landmarks such as City Hall, City Auditorium, Grace and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the clubhouse at Patty Jewett Golf Course, Ivywild School, Pauline Chapel, Claremont (now the Colorado Springs School), Sacred Heart Church, West Middle School, Colorado Springs Fire Station No.1, Cragmor Sanitarium and the Carnegie Library in Manitou Springs.
The home features classical columns and detailing, projecting roof and porch eaves with dentils and modillions, a carved fantail over the third story dormer, a widow’s walk, and beautiful glass windows. This house and its neighbor, also designed by MacLaren, were nicknamed “The Twin Towers.”
Judge Septimus J. Hanna, the home’s first resident, was a prominent figure in the early Christian Science Church. He served as editor of its publications, pastor and first reader of the “Mother Church” in Boston, as well as lecturer and teacher. Two osteopathic physicians, George W. & Lona E. Pauly, purchased the home when Judge Hanna moved to California. The piano room served as their official room for patient consultations. The Paulys’ daughter Katherine Pauly inherited the home after the deaths of her parents, and she resided there for many years.
This Mediterranean-style home features seven bedrooms, seven baths, and seven fireplaces to ensure the utmost comfort for every guest. Each room is lavishly decorated and well-tended.
Otto Engelking built the house in 1929 – 1930 for Mrs. Lydia (George) Leslie. The next owner was John Raymond Lowell, Jr., a Colorado College graduate and local businessman. Lowell built the Art Deco structure at 301 East Pikes Peak Avenue, another Colorado Springs landmark, in 1936 and maintained an office there. That building, which still stands today, housed one of downtown’s early grocery stores. Robert Merritt Speidel, whose family started the Speidel newspaper chain, owned the home next, followed by Sue Chilton McClure Aldridge and her son Robins Pharr Aldridge.
The current owners restored many original features and made some structural changes. Special highlights of the 8,000-square-foot home include the kitchen’s “Aga” cast iron cooker, straight from an Agatha Christie novel, and a revered appliance in many European homes. The original staircase and its wrought iron railing make a grand statement, while the manicured parterre gardens and spacious solarium promise an escape from the cares of the day. Colorado Springs native Jody Crouse Zawacki consulted on the interior design and helped furnish the home with antique treasures and souvenirs from the family’s travels.
The number “7” is a lucky one, and the Old North End Holiday Home Tour proudly welcomes the House of Sevens to the 2014 tour.
The Stewart House, is one of the earliest and grandest mansions in Colorado Springs, is named for the home’s second residents, Sarah and Phillip Stewart. Its design is an excellent example of Italian Renaissance architecture, as reflected in its masonry construction, symmetrical façade with projecting wings, arched porch, loggia, windows and entrance, and classical columns. Denver architects Frederick J. Sterner and Ernest P. Varian designed the home in 1898; this team also built the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot.
Original owners Ralph Preston and Elizabeth Preston, daughter of Standard Oil millionaire William P. Thompson, maintained the home for only a few short years, due to Mrs. Preston’s tragic death during the birth of their fourth child. In 1902, Sarah Cowels Stewart, daughter of one of the Chicago Tribune founders, and her husband Phillip B. Stewart, purchased the home from the Prestons for just $21,000.
The Prestons, ardent supporters of Colorado College and friends of Theodore Roosevelt, helped to create much of the lore surrounding the Stewart House. Mr. Stewart shared Roosevelt’s interest in outdoor activities and accompanied him on several Colorado hunting trips. President Roosevelt slept and dined in the Stewart House in 1904, accompanied by his Secret Service detail and with local police guarding each entrance to the house.
The Stewarts’ long and deep relationship with Colorado College led to the donation of the house to the college in 1957. During the ensuing years, Stewart House has served as a popular venue for College and community events, and home to faculty, a college provost and a college president.
Across Wood Avenue from the Stewart House, the Greek Revival foursquare home was built in 1899.
Classic elements, including a symmetrical shape, Corinthian columns, bold simple moldings and narrow windows surrounding the front door, reflect the home’s Greek Revival style. Other interesting architectural elements include a magnificent Imperial (double) Staircase leading to the second floor, and a two-story tuberculosis porch on the south side of the house.
Located on “Millionaire’s Row,” named for the many mining magnates who owned homes on the three southern-most blocks of Wood Avenue, this gracious home has been owned by the current residents since the 1980’s.
Originally built in 1899, this home has undergone many changes in its 114 years. As is common to its Victorian heritage, this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half story home at first featured a large covered front porch. At some point, previous owners “built into the porch” to enlarge the living room and the entryway. Like so many other Old North End Victorians, this home’s original façade featured wood-shingled siding; one of its earlier transformations covered the shingle in heavy coarse stucco.
Current owner extensively remodeled the home in 2011, restoring several classic features including the re-addition of a front porch and the restoration of the foyer at the front of the house. A finer-finish stucco replaced the coarse exterior. The addition and some interior details, including square columns, built-in cupboards and shelving, and a more open floor plan, incorporate Arts and Crafts elements, marrying two popular Old North End architectural styles to create an attractive, warm and functional family home.
Tucked into a secluded spot by Monument Valley Park, the home is the perfect blend of old and new. The original stucco house dates to 1922, when retired Air Force Colonel Morris A. Esmiol, his wife Lucille and sons were the first occupants. Now the thick adobe walls are covered in modern wood shingles.
The current residents lived in the 600-square-foot bungalow for several years before remodeling 15 years ago. The remodel, designed by historical architect Mark Nelson, is now 6,000 square feet, with many elements of American Shingle style. It includes a library, a conservatory and sunroom. The well-traveled family has incorporated furniture, art and fixtures from their destinations – especially France. These mementos mix with family heirlooms for a magazine-worthy show home. History buffs will appreciate the family’s original art from the 1899 Harriman Expedition to Alaska, local Van Briggle tile, and a lady’s inlaid desk, once owned by Julie (Spencer) Penrose.
Below is a gallery of images from the 2013 Home Tour.