Historic Places

Numerous Historic Places preserve resort town’s past


Hewes-Kirkwood Inn

Colorado’s rich history is being preserved through the efforts of locally- and nationally-designated historic places. Each month this year, the MMAC Monthly takes a region-by-region look at the many properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the mountain communities in Clear Creek, Gilpin, Boulder and Larimer counties.

The passage of the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. For a property to be eligible, it must meet at least one of four main criteria involving architectural styles, association with various aspects of social history and commerce, ownership and design/construction.

According to archaeologists, the Estes Park area has been a resort community for 10,000 years, attracting Ute and Arapaho Indian families for the summer. Drawn by the lure of pristine mountain surroundings, modern day visitors have included gunslingers, ranchers and inventors—one of whom was F. O. Stanley who opened his famed Stanley Hotel in Estes Park in 1909. The town is also tied to the history of Rocky Mountain National Park, which turned 100 in 2015. It is home to numerous Historic Places in addition to many more within the park boundaries.

Baldpate Inn
The 1916 inn is associated with the development of tourism in the Estes Park area. It is an excellent example of the Rustic style, a popular design for tourist facilities built in the Colorado Rockies during the first half of the 20th century.

Birch Cabin
Located on a 4.8-acre site, the 1908 cabin served as a vacation retreat for the Albert Birch family until the early 1980s.

Clatworthy Place
Located on the side of Prospect Mountain, the Clatworthy Place includes the home and studio of Fred Payne Clatworthy, a highly successful commercial photographer and promoter of American Western landscapes.

Colorado-Big Thompson Project Building
Constructed in 1939, the one-story, wood frame building served as the administrative office for the Colorado-Big Thompson project until 1953.

Crags Lodge (Golden Eagle Resort)
The Crags Lodge, under the guidance of its founder and owner, Joe Mills, offered comfortable lodging, good food, and spectacular mountain scenery to Estes Park tourists from 1914 through 1935.

The 1881 wood frame residence was built by Loveland cattle rancher William Hallett as part of his summer grazing operations in the Estes Valley. It is a well-preserved example of Late Victorian era architecture.


Elkhorn Lodge

Elkhorn Lodge
The compound consists of six vernacular buildings, all constructed between 1877 and 1908 with rough-hewn materials and few decorative elements.

Estes Park Chalet
The Estes Park Chalet, southwest of Estes Park, is associated with the area’s tourism industry. Constructed circa 1920, the Chalet is an important example of the Rustic style.

Hewes-Kirkwood Inn
Established in 1917, near the original trailhead at the base of Long’s Peak, the inn was one of the first to be constructed in the area. It is now part of Rocky Ridge Music Center.

Homestead Meadows
Located in the Estes-Poudre District of the Roosevelt National Forest, the 60 acre site includes surviving buildings that reflect local late 19th and early 20th century ranching history.

Leiffer House
The circa 1923 residence is a rustic adaptation of the Southern California Craftsman style to the Rocky Mountain west.

MacGregor Ranch
Established in 1873 by Alexander and Clara MacGregor, three generations operated this cattle ranch for nearly 100 years. Since 1973, it has operated as a living history museum restored to its 1900 appearance.

McGraw Ranch
The ranch, its beginnings dating to 1884, reflects the evolution of Estes Park area cattle ranching, progressing from large operations covering thousands of acres of private and public lands to more diversified businesses accommodating tourists seeking a western experience.

Enos Mills Homestead Cabin
Mills’ 1885 homestead cabin is a one-room log structure chinked with concrete. A conservationist and tour guide, Mills is considered to be the father of Rocky Mountain National Park. The cabin now operates as a museum.

Mountainside Lodge, YMCA Camp of the Rockies
Located on the grounds of the Estes Park Center of the YMCA of the Rockies, the 1921 building is associated with Dr. John Timothy Stone, a well-known Presbyterian theologian, minister, evangelist, and administrator. Initially serving as a religious retreat, Dr. Stone played a key role in making the YMCA of the Rockies an important center for tourism.

Park Theater
Built in 1913, from a design by J.R. Anderson, its 80-foot tower and theatrical detailing make the theater one of this tourist community’s most prominent commercial structures.

Stanley Hotel
Stanley Hotel began operations in 1909. The resort complex was built by F.O. Stanley who gained fame and fortune as the inventor and manufacturer of the Stanley Steamer automobile. Until 1926, many guests arrived via specially-designed Stanley Steamer cars.

Wind Ridge
Built between 1915-1930 as a summer residence for Clark and Elizabeth Blickensderfer, a prominent amateur photographer, specialized in soft focus format photographs which brought him national and international praise during the 1920s and early 1930s.

Historic Places: Estes Park, Colorado
Baldpate Inn
Location: 4900 S. Hwy. 7
Date Listed: National Register Jan. 11, 1996

Birch Cabin
Location: MacGregor Ave. & Wonderview Ave.
Date Listed: National Register Dec. 12, 2001

Clatworthy Place
Location: 225 Cyteworth
Date Listed: National Register July 14, 2004

Colorado-Big Thompson Admin. Building
Location: 850 N. St. Vrain Ave.
Date Listed: National Register June 10, 1998

Crags Lodge
Location: 300 Riverside Dr
Date Listed: National Register June 1, 1998

Location: 1861 Mary’s Lake Rd.
Date Listed: National Register July 25, 1998

Elkhorn Lodge
Location: 530 W. Elkhorn Ave.
Date Listed: National Register Dec. 27, 1978
Estes Park Chalet
Location: 2625 Mary’s Lake Rd.
Date Listed: National Register Sept. 13, 1995

Hewes-Kirkwood Inn
Location: 465 Longs Peak Rd.,
Date Listed: National Register Oct. 28, 1994

Homestead Meadows
Location: Estes Park Area
Date Listed: National Register Oct. 4, 1990

Leiffer House
Location: Colo. Hwy. 7
Date Listed: National Register Aug. 2, 1978

MacGregor Ranch
Location: 180 MacGregor Ave.
Date Listed: National Register July 31, 1989

McGraw Ranch
Location: 180 MacGregor Ave.
Date Listed: National Register Sept. 17, 1998

Enos Mills Homestead Cabin
Location: Off Colo. Hwy. 7
Date Listed: National Register May 11, 1973

Mountainside Lodge, YMCA
Location: 2515 Tunnel Road
Date Listed: National Register July 20, 2000

Park Theater
Location: 130 Moraine Ave.
Date Listed: National Register June 14, 1984

Stanley Hotel
Location: 333 Wonder View Ave.
Date Listed: National Register May 26, 1977

Wind Ridge
Location: 1397 Clara Dr.
Date Listed: National Register Oct. 15, 2002

Originally published in the December 2015 issue of the MMAC Monthly


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