Willowcroft Manor & Farm

Year Listed: 2010
County: Arapahoe County
Construction Date: 1884
Threat When Listed: Development
Status: LOST – 2013
 
 

Willowcroft Farm was added to the Colorado State Register of Historic Places in 1993, as an example of a complex rich in both architectural significance and social history. Pioneer, politician and one of the most important early settlers in the Littletonarea, Joseph W. Bowles, hired noted Denver architect Robert Roeschlaub (known for the Central City Opera House,Trinity Methodist Church in Denver, and the Chamberlin Observatory) to design the main house in 1884.

When listed to the Endangered Places in 2010, the complex included the main house, bunkhouse, smokehouse, horse barn and a large two story barn that was originally built to house a dance hall and speakeasy in the 1920s. The main house, constructed from rose-colored lava stone quarried in Castle Rock, was intended to be an architectural and technological showpiece. A newspaper article from 1884 reported that the house was “furnished with hot and cold water on every floor, heated by furnaces and lighted by gas made on the premises. Nothing has been omitted that could add to the comfort and convenience of the household.” The article later added, “It is one of the most elegant residences in the state… and is a fitting home for pioneers who have built up the country and their own fortunes and a charming family.

Willowcroft Farm was one of the only, if not the only, remaining historically significant properties within the city limits of Columbine Valley. The Farm at one time included several thousand acres, but at the time of listing just over nine acres remained. Willowcroft was surrounded on two sides by a neighborhood of multi-million dollar homes, which results in significant development pressure. While still livable, the main house suffered from deferred maintenance, as are the barns and other outbuildings. The Farm was sold at auction in the summer of 2009 to a buyer who received a number of lucrative development proposals – most of which would include demolishing the buildings and subdividing the property into small, residential lots.

Colorado Preservation, Inc. started discussions with the new owner, encouraging preservation of both the land and the buildings as an urban farmstead.  Unfortunately, the property was demolished in 2011, despite the efforts of Colorado Preservation, Inc. who urged at the commission meeting to save the buildings.

Additional Links:
Article on Demolition of Willowcroft Manor
Video of Demolition 

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!
 

 

Hannah Braun

Laurel Campbell

Nore Winter

Peter Grosshuesch

Matt Goebel

Andy Duckett-Emke

Kelly and Peter Merrion

Blair and Chris Miller

Keith and Carmen Willy

Mike and Anne Coughlin

Steven Turner and  Steven Kick

T. Drew Notestine

Anonymous

Elaine Freed

Megan Concannon

Nicole Hernandez

Ron and Linde Thompson

Dan Corson

Lucas Schneider

Jon Nathan Schler

Jane and Phil Watkins

Ariel Steele 

Kimberly Kintz

Lisa A. Stegman

Graham Johnson

James and Joan Kroll

James Hewat

JoVonne P. Fitzgerald

Jennifer Wahlers

Stephen Blitz

Arianthé Stettner

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

Dave Lively

Paul O’Rourke

Lisa May

Sally Hopper

Ann Alexander Walker

Julie Johnson

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".