HISTORICALLY SWEDISH BUT MADE IN AMERICA -- Gunda Starkey fell in love with her house long before it belonged to her. Like a cottage straight from Europe’s old country, this summer getaway offered a new home to someone who could embrace and preserve cabin architecture. "As soon as I walked in the front door and saw the living room logs, stone fireplace, the high ceiling, I loved it. It looked so warm and cozy," she says.
A COLORADO TOUR OF ARTS & CRAFTS ARCHITECTURE -- While most people recognize a Victorian home, or a Frank Lloyd Wright early modernist gem, there’s another period of architecture sandwiched between these two weighty styles. Oddly enough, it was more pervasive than either Victorian or Wright’s influences. We'll take a tour of this period with expert Robert Rust.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY -- AtFront Range Living, we write about historic homes, modern retro marvels, quaint cottages and cozy cabins. Our houses are modest or grand, but each comes with a compelling story. A house, after all, is the architecture we wrap around us and call home. It was just a matter of time before approaching the Habitat for Humanity organization. Providing decent housing for over 175,000 families since 1976, Habitat for Humanity nestles homes all around us. Often we don’t notice them. They don’t stand out. That’s the point.
URBAN RENEWAL: HOME IN THE CITY -- When architect Norman Cable bought a home in the heart of Denver, he put a down payment on an 1876 Italianate two-story house and with that, an investment in optimism. The old house had survived boarder disrepair and neglect. But sagging floor joists and boxy rooms couldn't obscure wood floors, high windows, tall doors with transom windows and an elegant fireplace.
AN HISTORIC ADOBE IS RENEWED AND RESTORED -- Nestled in a canyon at the foothills of Colorado Springs sits a rectangular adobe. Whitewashed by the sun, shaded by a large tree and flanked by three small patios, the house dates to 1895, when few surrounding houses existed. Such a simple dwelling, once owned by the original Broadmoor Resort tycoon, Spencer Penrose, invites speculation.
LOOKING THROUGH A ROSE WINDOW -- Jim Clark moved into a Denver condo several years ago—not an unusual occurrence unless you consider that his condo is located inside an historic church. He’s been singing praises ever since. "I almost missed it because I couldn’t find it," he says about the 1889 stone church, "I looked at forty other places, but they didn’t compare. I walked in the front door and realized this was the place. I put an offer on it the next day."
HIWAN HOMESTEAD MUSEUM -- It’s always a surprise to find 100-year-old log homes weathered and scarred, but upright, fit and useful. After all, Colorado’s mountains have been swept by fire and floods—hardly a benign environment to preserve rustic log architecture. Against the odds, Hiwan Homestead Museum, nestled in the Evergreen community, dates to the 1890s and remains a solid, comfortable building. Tightly constructed, this informal home is so lovingly maintained that even the floors don’t creak.
BOETTCHER MANSION: AN ARTS & CRAFTS CLASSIC -- In 1917, business tycoon Charles Boettcher built a game preserve in the mountains outside Denver. The air was cool, the vistas breathtaking and, far from urban noises, city life receded. Nearly 100 years later, the casual visitor to the mansion embraces much the same experience.
CANYON COTTAGE: From Derelict To Cinderella -- “It’s called demolition by neglect,” says Jim Marsden, the architect called to take a look at the house. In 1887, the small cottage was modest. Originally it had no bathroom and consisted of two rooms located near a creek that flooded yearly. Even then, it wasn’t the kind of dwelling that held promise. But times have changed and the tiny house now is part of an historic district, where buildings cannot be destroyed and may by altered only in keeping with the styles of the 19th century.
CHAUTAUQUA COTTAGES--A FAMILY FOR OVER 100 YEARS -- Community. Family. Kinship. The 100 or so Chautauqua cottages in Boulder, Colorado, are like family members. Each one has its own personality, but they resemble one another in the way that relatives often do.
HISTORIC PRESERVATIONISTS BUY A HOME OF THEIR OWN -- When homebuyers chance upon the house of their dreams, they'll often reflect that it was the handcrafted wood paneling or gingerbread trim that sold them. Perhaps the spiral staircase captured their fancy. Or, a fascinating past of the dwelling stirred their souls. When architects who design for historic preservation go house hunting, basic instincts are no different. Kathy Hoeft and Gary Long, architects who specialize in 19th century buildings, stopped for a cup of coffee in a mountain town and the found the home of their dreams.
GEORGETOWN VICTORIANS -- Georgetown can slip right by motorists on Highway I-70. It's a blip of a town on a road that snakes through ski country in Colorado. Tourists and Colorado residents may have heard of the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the choice for earlier transportation. But if they speed by, they'll miss the true jewels of the historic district. If you're looking for architecture with flounce, filigree and whimsy, Georgetown is the destination. What once was a boomtown of silver mining in the late 1800s is now the mother lode of Victoriana.
GRANDVIEW BUNGALOW: MOVED, RENOVATED AND REBORN -- To see Cottage 811 tucked among a circle of cabins at Chautauqua in Boulder, Colorado, appears to be a historic cottage bungalow nestled among the brethren. A collection of cabins that have accumulated over 100 years, Colorado’s Chautauqua is the only remnant west of the Mississippi River that remains from a remarkable national assortment of Chautauquas.
A QUEST FOR THE AUTHENTIC -- Touring a Victorian home is much like looking into a jewelry box. Beaded lamps with fringed shades and cut-class baubles instead of cameos. China sets for lemonade or chocolate rather than garnet rings. Silver sets of combs and brushes. Wreathes from bird feathers, velvet tea cozies, silver tea sets and marble topped walnut furniture. Victorian women loved to festoon themselves with decoration and the same impulse guided their choices for interiors.
TIMBER-FRAME MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY -- A timber-frame house, like the name suggests, hangs from a skeleton of thick planks, much like a suit on a hanger. Posts and beams form a formidable structure of joints that mortise together without nails. An old concept that remains popular, the timberframe's rugged strength and massive wooden architecture relies upon a handsome proportion of massive beams and light. That's why, in 1998, when Eric and Linza Douglas cleared land for a new home in the mountains, a timberframe fit their choice for a rustic retreat.