Boettcher Mansion (Lookout Mountain) Architectural Drawings, 1917
Scope and Contents
In 1917, Mr. Charles Boettcher commissioned Denver architects Fisher and Fisher to design and build a secluded retreat atop Lookout Mountain for use as a summer home and hunting lodge. Originally called "Lorraine Lodge," the 110 acre property remained in the family until 1972 when it was donated to Jefferson County. These ten original matted and framed architectural drawings created by Fisher and Fisher were displayed in the mansion after it became county property up until 2020. The first five drawings are not included in this collection and their location is unknown.
- Creation: 1917
- Fisher. William E. (William Ellsworth) (1871-1937) (Architect, Organization)
- Fisher, Arthur A. (Arthur Addison), 1878-1965 (Architect, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.
Biographical / Historical
In 1917, Charles Boettcher commissioned Denver architects Fisher and Fisher to design and build a secluded retreat atop Lookout Mountain for use as a summer home and hunting lodge. Since his Ideal Cement Company had recently donated enough concrete to pave the winding road that led from downtown Golden up to the summit, Charles was familiar with the area and when plans for a 60-acre mountaintop resort fell through, he jumped at the chance to purchase such a prime parcel of land. At age 66, having made a fortune from selling hardware, manufacturing Portland cement, processing sugar beets and raising cattle, it was time for some rest and relaxation.
Constructed of stone and timber taken from the site, “Lorraine Lodge” was oriented to look down on Denver and the plains beyond, with large plate glass windows installed in the front elevation to take advantage of the commanding views. The family quarters encompassed a cathedral-beamed living room flanked by a dining room and sitting porch, a downstairs master bedroom suite, plus two upstairs bedrooms with a shared bath and sleeping porch. Service areas included the kitchen, butler’s pantry and mudroom. The adjacent Carriage House was used as a three-car garage, with servants’ quarters above. The Gazebo offered shelter for picnics and hunting and the Well House provided water to the rocky site.
Separated from his wife, Fannie, from 1920 on, Charles enjoyed his private getaway for nearly 30 years, hosting many popular social gatherings and sporting events (the Queen of Romania attended one party, and wild game was frequently hunted on the property). After his death in 1948, the estate was inherited by his granddaughter, Charline Humphreys Breeden, who decided to raise her family there in the 1960s. Battling cancer, in 1968 Charline made plans to donate the now 110-acre property to Jefferson County for public use and enjoyment. It officially became county property upon her death in 1972.
From 1980-89, the property was managed by the Open Space division. During this time, in 1984, the lodge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Site#5JF323) in recognition of its social and architectural status. While it was still being called “Tudor” at the time, the style has since been reclassified more accurately as “Arts and Crafts”. In 1986, a two-story lobby entrance was added to the north side, the kitchen was revamped to accommodate caterers and the ground floor of the carriage house was converted into a cozy meeting space.
In 1989, the complex became its own entity (separate from Open Space within the county’s Community Resources department) and was renamed “Boettcher Mansion”.
In 2005-07, a $3.1 million Capital Improvement Plan – funded by the County’s Conservation Trust Fund – was completed. This generous grant allowed renovation of the mansion’s interior and exterior, enabling the 10,000-square-foot facility to serve more than 30,000 visitors and host nearly 300 social events, conferences and cultural programs each year. A remarkable example of adaptive re-use and self-sufficient sustainability, the Boettcher Mansion is proud to be Jefferson County’s premier historic events venue. (From https://www.jeffco.us/1859/History)
Biographical / Historical
Fisher and Fisher, Architects, was a Denver, Colorado architectural firm founded 1892 by William Ellsworth Fisher (1871-1937). Later joined by brother Arthur Addison Fisher (1878-1965) and son Alan Berney Fisher (1905-1978). Commercial commissions in Denver, Colorado included Denver City Tramway Building and Car Barn, the Railway Exchange Building, the Colorado National Bank, Neusteter Department Store, the Davis and Shaw Furniture Company, United States National Bank, Denver Public Library, Greenlee Elementary School. Residences designed for Chester S. Morey, John Evans, Lafayette and William Hughes, George Barth Berger, Harold Kountze, Henry C. Van Schaack and Daniel A. Millett. By 1920 one of the largest and most influential architectural firms in the Rocky Mountain region. Nationally known for hospital designs. Rodney S. Davis joined the firm in 1947. In 1959 firm became known as Fisher and Davis. Later, Alan B. Fisher entered into partnership with John D. Reece and Hilary M. Johnson and served as senior member of Fisher, Reece and Johnson until his death in 1978. (From Denver Public Library catalog record)
4.06 Cubic Feet (Ten matted and framed drawings)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Archives by Boettcher Mansion in 2020.
All drawings are matted and framed under glass.
Processed by Ronda Frazier in December, 2020
- Boettcher, Charles, 1852-1948 (Person)
- Jefferson County (Colo.). Boettcher Mansion (Lookout Mountain) (Donor, Organization)
- Language of description
- Script of description