Winter Park Balcony House

Year Listed: 2021
County: Grand
Construction Date: 1955
Threat When Listed: Demolition and neglect
Status: ALERT

Winter Park’s original base area ski lodge, known as the Balcony House, vividly represents the early history and pioneering evolution of the City of Denver’s first Mountain Park, while also fostering groundbreaking developments in the Colorado ski industry as a whole.  Since 1955, the Balcony House has played an essential role in skiing, snowboarding and summer activities, and in enhancing the overall experience of visitors, including “non-skiers and sightseers” as the marketing efforts have proclaimed for years.

The Balcony House was designed by Stephen Bradley, the first director of the Winter Park Recreational Association (WPRA), who also invented the first ski packing and grading device in the United States.  The two-story Balcony House, with its panoramic views from cascading balconies, is a unique example of Mid-century Modern architecture.  The Balcony House was one of America’s very first passive solar ski lodges and its style captured America’s fascination with futuristic designs and the coming space age. 

A 2009 Master Plan for the base area of the ski resort calls for its demolition and replacement with 5-6 stories of condominiums above one level of resort operations.  Advocates for preservation think a better way can be found to accommodate future growth on the same footprint, without sacrificing the Balcony House. Listing the Winter Park Balcony House on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places will raise awareness of its historical importance within the Denver Mountain Park System and ski industry as a whole, build on its historic, unique marketing and thematic appeal, and enhance the building for future generations.  Listing on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places is intended to be a catalyst for further discussions with the Alterra Mountain Company, developers of the ski resort, about how we can work together to preserve the Winter Park Ski Area’s most important building.

“Winter Park has carefully differentiated itself through its long history of authenticity unlike other, much younger, Colorado resorts that would have guests believe that Colorado skiing started after WWII with roots in Bavaria.  Not Winter Park.  Our identity is genuine.”

James G. Johnson, AIA, Reinventing Our Balcony House

Donate to CPI

We hope you will extend your appreciation for Colorado's heritage by helping us take advantage of this $1 to $1 matching campaign. Learn more about our matching campaign and make your tax-deductible donation today!

Matching Campaign

Thank you to our donors for this matching campaign!
 

Karen J. Jonas

PACE Conservation Solutions

Anonymous

Barbara MacFarlane and Peter Marczyk

Jennifer and Nathan Charles

Rosemarie Patterson

Dan Love and Cameron Wolfe

Cindy Neely

Erin Spletzer

PACE Conservation Solutions

Carla McConnell

Richard Cronenberger

James and Barbara Steely

Gregory A. Movesian

Janet Dahlquist

Roxanne Eflin

Bennett Boeschenstein

Matt Goebel

Kim Grant

Alan Matlosz

Stephanie Soldner

Hannah Braun

Laurel Campbell

Nore Winter

Peter Grosshuesch

Andy Duckett-Emke

Kelly and Peter Merrion

Blair and Chris Miller

Mike and Anne Coughlin

Steven Turner and  Steven Kick

T. Drew Notestine

Ron and Linde Thompson

Megan Concannon

Rebecca Goodwin

Elaine Freed

Nicole Hernandez

Dan Corson

Lucas Schneider

Jon Nathan Schler

Jane and Phil Watkins

Ariel Steele 

Kimberly Kintz

Lisa A. Stegman

Graham and Paula Johnson

James and Joan Kroll

James Hewat

JoVonne P. Fitzgerald

Jennifer Wahlers

Stephen Blitz

Arianthé Stettner

Ashley Bushey

Ann Mullins

R. Michael Bell

Nan and Dave Anderson

Patrick Eidman

Beverly Rich

Jane Daniels

Kaaren Hardy

Cynthia Pond

Rheba Massey

Katherine Woods and Christopher Koziol

Paul O’Rourke

Dave Lively

Lisa May

Ann Alexander Walker

Julie Johnson

Sally Hopper

Anonymous

Judith W. Amico

Featured Project

Preservation for a Changing Colorado

The 2017 update, Preservation for a Changing Colorado, resulted from a partnership between Colorado Preservation and History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report and accompanying website document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program. In a key finding, researchers found that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state! The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, respond to the state’s changing demographics, and address climate concerns. Click Here to see the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".