New Glenwood Springs historic landmarks designated |

New Glenwood Springs historic landmarks designated

The VanderBeek residence on Blake Avenue in Glenwood Springs.
Staff Photo |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — Two east-side neighborhood residences have been added to the city of Glenwood Springs list of historic landmarks, including one that was owned by Glenwood Springs socialite Etta Taylor, wife of Sen. Edward Taylor, in the early 1900s.

The home at 1124 Bennett Ave. is two blocks south of the historic Taylor Residence itself, near the trailhead to the historic Linwood Cemetery. The cemetery is also on the city’s list of historic and significant landmarks.

It is thought that the Taylor’s secondary home was used to house their maids, said the current owner of the home, Kathy Thissen.

Constructed in 1903, the modest folk-styled, single-story home was also often rented out by Mrs. Taylor between 1907 and 1937, during the height of Sen. Taylor’s political career, first as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and then as a U.S. Senator.

The home is significant for retaining much of its original architectural character, and for its association with well-known local characters in the area’s history

Also added to the city’s list of historic landmarks earlier this month was the Queen Anne-styled, two-story residence at 830 Blake Ave., now owned by Gerard and Marja VanderBeek.

The two structures were recommended for the local listing by the Glenwood Springs Historic Preservation Commission. City Council approved the designations earlier this month.

Thissen, who sits on the Historic Preservation Commission, noted in her application to the city that Mrs. Taylor intended for their residence at 903 Bennett to be the most elegant house in Glenwood Springs at the time.

The Taylor House is listed on the National Historic Register, in addition to being among the city’s 14 structures and places that are officially listed as historic landmarks.

The 1124 Bennett house was sold by Etta Taylor in 1937 to William and Hattie (Nolan-Wilkie) Harding, who lived here until 1964.

William Harding was a police patrolman, but not much is known about Hattie Harding, according to Thissen’s research.

Other owners over the years prior to Thissen included Lawrence Colton, Allan Berry, Jerry Hammer, Ralph Smith and Annie Gavette.

The VanderBeek residence on Blake was constructed in 1885 by another well-known local character and banker, George Edinger. It was occupied by Thomas Latta between 1902 and 1904. Latta went on to become an alderman and businessman in Aspen.

The structure itself is noted for its unique architecture, including fishscale shingles, original wood clapboard siding and a prominent wrap-around front porch.

“The home is significant for retaining much of its original architectural character, and for its association with well-known local characters in the area’s history,” the VanderBeek’s wrote in their application, in reference to Edinger and Latta.

Latta, after relocating to Aspen, financed the construction of another of the Roaring Fork Valley’s historic buildings, the two-story red brick saloon on Cooper Avenue in Aspen that later became known as the Red Onion.

“Anything to help preserve the historic character of the town,” Gerry VanderBeek said of their decision to have the home included on the local landmark register.

The latest designations are the first for the city since June of 2010, when the First Church of Christ (Christian Science) building at 931 Cooper, and the old Glenwood Springs Sanitarium building at 512 10th St., were added to the list.

Applications for historic landmark designation are not too common, said city planner Gretchen Ricehill, who works with the appointed Historic Preservation Commission.

But any property that is deemed to have either historical or architectural significance, or both, can be considered, she said.

There are some advantages to being included on the list, Ricehill said.

“Residential properties that are approved are exempted from the city portion of their property taxes,” she said. “It’s not a huge amount, but that is a benefit.”

Properties that are voluntarily listed do have to adhere to certain guidelines if any changes are made to the structure in the future, Ricehill said.

“There is some prestige involved to be recognized for preserving a historic structure,” she said. “We would like to see more people consider it.”

The process involves an application by the property owner to the city and an initial review by planning staff to determine if the property or structure qualifies. A hearing is then held before the Historic Preservation Commission, and a recommendation made to City Council.

Local landmarks are also eligible to apply for state historic grants, which can be used to make improvements to a property for historic preservation purposes.

Other local landmarks listed by the city include: The Cardiff Coke Ovens, the Cardiff Schoolhouse, the Citizens Bank Building, the Glenwood Springs Hydroelectric Plant, the First Presbyterian Church, the Hotel Colorado, Linwood Cemetery, the Shelton-Holloway House, Starr Manor, Sumers Lodge, the Taylor House, the Coryell House, the Christian Science church and the Sanitarium.

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