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El Pomar Center

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1909, Horace Trumbauer. 1917, remodeling, Thomas MacLaren. 1661 Mesa Ave. (NR)

Named for an apple orchard in which Grace Goodyear Depew and her second husband, Ashton Potter, built the original structure, this hacienda was purchased by Spencer and Julie Penrose in 1916. Thomas MacLaren's sympathetic additions to the Depews' house (1909, Horace Trumbauer) have blended Beaux-Arts Neoclassical and Southwestern styles in what is now a 37,000-square-foot, three-story showplace. The white stucco villa with a red tile roof opens onto a south-facing fountain courtyard and terraced gardens. Penrose died in 1939, but his empire building is continued by his El Pomar Foundation, a $100,000,000 philanthropy which has funded many fine public buildings in Colorado. After 1945 El Pomar was acquired by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, who operated it as a retreat house. In 1992 the order sold it to the El Pomar foundation, which spent $3 million on a first-rate restoration to create its center. The 18-acre grounds were designed by the Olmsted firm to include the teahouse, fountains, and sunken gardens.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel

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