- "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes,
- but in having new eyes."
- – Marcel Proust
When I travel, I am a student of all who passed before me.
William Lang was architect to the rich and famous in 1889 Denver. Built for investment banker William S. Raymond, the three-story articulated Rhyolite stone mansion was the first upscale home built away from the congested downtown.
Built in the late Victorian era, in this last incarnation as a destination bed and breakfast establishment with bona fide historic credentials, the imposing structure clearly reflects the European eclecticism favored by the nouveau riche of the soon to end silver boom. Please walk through the images and note the steeply pitched roofline, elaborate cornices, bay windows and balconies embraced by its charming garden.
Named the Marne during the ownership of the Edwin Van Cise family from 1918 to 1938, the home was divided into apartments. It was a mixed-use development. It served as a processing center for the Department of Corrections.
It spent some time as too many buildings do when they fall out of fashion- vacant, vandalized and most likely to be raised.
Then the Peiker and Feher- Peicker Family saw past what it was to what it could be. They purchased and completely renovated the building as a bed and breakfast in 1 year- opening in 1989 to acclaim for their tireless hospitality.
They saw past the flooded basement and ceiling open to the stars to understand this was a project worth undertaking. The 22" walls offer protection from extreme temperatures that blow through the Mile High City.
The visual heaviness of the structure
softened by flowers. Alyssum, petunias and spider plants. Simple garden staples add more than the pennies they cost.
Inlaid tile floors are a hallmark of the architect Lang. Built in the days before air conditioning, broad porches fitted with swings were popular places for corseted women dressed in cumbersome layers to fan themselves.
The 6' wide Impressionist Movement stained glass representation of a peacock with tail feathers fully fanned out was designed for the original home by M. Watkins.
The original lincrusta wallpaper may be the largest example of its time still in existence. Invented in Britain in 1877, the name of the first washable wallpaper is derived from it base material -Lin for Linum (flax) and Crusta (Relief). The depth of golden sheen is unlike anything modern.
Melissa Feher-Peiker shares a good laugh. Notice the painted ceiling border. The exquisite painting of the pipes- at the time the inn was built, indoor plumbing was something to show off, not hide behind a wall.
Not to intimidate my tablemates at breakfast, the camera was put away.
The Presidential Suite features a half-tester bed.
Louis J is the remarkable inn-keeper in the making. With patience, poise and confidence the young man guided me through Castle Marne, with a love of history and our nation obvious in every sentence. Someday I hope he runs for Congress. Whatever his party of choice will be, I expect I should like to vote for him.
Click here for more information on Castle Marne Bed and Breakfast.