Mary Beth Klatt
Denver went from frontier town to mountain metropolis in the 1880s, as hopeful arrivals sought to profit from the booming mining industry.
The relatively stable silver industry offered the fortune-hunters wide opportunities. Those who succeeded settled in and hired architects to design homes that reflected their newfound wealth.
The architects put their own distinctive stamp on impressive manors, many of which were built in the city’s exclusive Capitol Hill neighborhood.
One such architect was E.F. Edbrooke. He took classic Queen Anne architecture and turned it on its head for his client, real-estate developer George Schleier.
Edbrooke added an onion dome tower to Schleier’s new three-story residence at 1665 N. Grant St. Shannon Schaefer, preservation coordinator with Historic Denver, a local nonprofit preservation organization, estimated the mansion and an adjacent carriage house made of local sandstone were built for about $20,000 in 1887.
Today, skyscrapers are in view around the George Schleier mansion. And Capitol Hill is a hipster enclave filled with coffee shops and restaurants. It isn’t clear when the home was converted to commercial office space, Ms. Schaefer said, but it was undergoing restoration when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, so it retains many architectural details from its glorious past.
A third-floor ballroom, since converted to an office, has all of its original stained-glass windows and interior oak woodwork. The well-preserved woodwork includes a closed-string oak staircase that pays homage to Schleier’s German heritage with gargoyles and Bavarian swans to symbolize good luck. Seven of eight original fireplaces also still exist. An undated addition connects the house to the carriage house, which was converted into a 5,200-square-foot studio.
Mansion asked Dee Chirafisi, Founder/Broker Associate, Kentwood City Properties, to estimate the asking price of the home if it were to go on the market today as a single-family. She said it would be listed at about $3.6 million, factoring in the need of a renovation.
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