Before I bought a house of my own, my parents' weekend hobby of visiting open houses as a family was staggeringly boring. Houses that didn't look identical were creepy and weird. Except those times when we went to see Victorian-era houses, every once in a blue moon. Those were interesting, fanciful — especially for a young girl — and if there was a creepiness about it, it was awesome.
For local history buffs, and fans of open houses, there's Historic Homes of Colorado Springs and Vicinity
, published last year. Mother-and-son team Helen M. Anderson
and Gordon Anderson
contributed the writing and photography, respectively, to a 36-home collection of short histories and descriptions of the architecture. Helpfully, there are several maps to the homes and a glossary of architectural terms.
Gordon Anderson, along with the Historic Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs
, will host a book signing at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 8, at one of the locations in the book, the Colorado Springs School's historic Trianon (21 Broadmoor Ave.) Copies of the book will be available for purchase (cash only) as well as tours of the public parts of the Trianon. Clausen Books
also sells copies. (This event was to be held last Sunday, Feb. 22, but was postponed due to the weather.) Find more information here
Below are a few excerpts from the book.
380 Glenway St., Palmer Lake • This elegant home was built in 1887 for retired dentist William F. Thompson and his family. One of the early settlers in the area, Dr. Thompson founded the town of Palmer Lake and served one term as mayor. .... Estemere, Scottish for "small lake," is a wood frame structure, principally of Queen Anne architecture, covered with diamond and fishscale shingles. The manor house contains twenty-two rooms on three floors and boasts seven unique ornate fireplaces. ...The property has had several owners through the years. ... it was forfeited to creditors in 1890 after Dr. Thompson mysteriously disappeared from the area ...
2 Grand Ave., Manitou Springs • In 1900, the house was purchased by John and Mary Nolon. Mr. Nolon, once a pony express rider from St. Joseph, Missouri, came to Manitou Springs from Cripple Creek, where he made a fortune running a gambling hall and a saloon during the gold mining boom days. "Honest Johnny Nolon" bought two saloons upon resettling in Manitou Springs, which he named The Buffalo and The Silver Dollar.
3001 W. Kiowa St. • Old Colorado City boasts a wonderful historic residence known as the Husted House. Located on the southwest corner of Kiowa and Thirtieth Streets, this appealing house is a striking example of High Victorian Gothic Architecture. This lovely home, built for the family of Calvin R. and Amanda Husted in 1884 ... [features] a round two-story turret on the northeast corner topped by a witch's hat cupola and finial that reaches skyward ... Shingles of various shapes and colors cover the exterior walls. The north porch front entryway underneath a north-facing gablet and the matching east porch entryway, along with the bottom and top porch railings, are all lavishly decorated with a plethora of fanciful gingerbread latticework and spool designs.
1308 N. Cascade Ave. • The home was built in 1905 for Wilfrid M. and Clarissa Hager of Philadelphia. The Hagers, from two of the oldest and wealthiest Philadelphia banking families, relocated to Colorado Springs for Mr. Hager's health. The architect for the house was the noted Thomas MacLaren ... Mr. MacLaren's signature keystone motif is found on the third story east gable roundel, the neo-gothic fireplace mantlepieces, and the archway of the formal dining room.