1/17/2007

The Colorado Governor's Mansion

Colorado's executive mansion at 8th and Logan streets on Capitol Hill is a beautiful home with a long history. It was built in 1907 and designed by the well-known architectural firm Marean and Norton. Walter Cheesman, one of Denver's wealthiest businessmen who had made a fortune in real estate and utilities, commissioned the home, but died before its completion. So his widow and daughter lived there until the house was purchased by Claude Boettcher, another of Colorado's leading businessmen, and his wife, Edna, in the 1920s. The Boettchers hosted many fine parties in their mansion, and for some elegant events, lighting and accents in the home would be changed to match the color of Edna's dress.

After the Boettchers' deaths in the 1950s, the mansion's future was in question. The neighborhood was changing, and as Capitol Hill's days as an exclusive and wealthy neighborhood had passed, the mansion was no longer practical as a single-family home. Other neighborhood houses were being torn down or converted into apartments and office buildings. So the home was given by the Boettcher Foundation to the State of Colorado for use as a governor's residence, where not only could the governor's family reside, but the home could also serve as space for official functions. Despite initial opposition from the State, the mansion was finally accepted in 1959 and Gov. Stephen McNichols and his family moved in.

Many of the Boettcher's furnishings can still be seen in the mansion, while others have been brought in during succeeding governors' administrations. Under former First Lady Frances Owens, significant restoration was done along with redecoration of some of the rooms. Well-known furnishings in the mansion include a Louis XIV desk; a chandelier that hung in the White House during the Grant administration (when Colorado became a state); rare 18th century tapestries; and china from the USS Colorado.

To commemorate the Boettchers' legacy in the mansion, Governor Bill Owens in 2003 issued an Executive Order officially renaming it the "Governor's Residence at the Boettcher Mansion."

For more on the mansion, its history, and availability for special events, see the mansion's brand-new homepage.

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