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Boettcher Mansion officially reopens after two-year renovation project

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By AJ Vicens

On a cool, crisp morning, Dave and Janice Cisco decided they would check out the Lookout Mountain Nature Center in Golden.

The Ciscos, on vacation from Cleveland, were in town visiting their son and daughter-in-law, and got lost while headed west on Interstate 70. But they soon found signs for the nature center and wanted to check it out.

As the couple approached the area, they noticed a large group of people standing together at the front of the Boettcher Mansion.

“We had no idea,” Janice said of stumbling on the culmination of a nearly two-year process to remodel and update the prominent landmark.

The Boettcher Mansion staff and leaders had gathered with community leaders — including Jeffco Commissioners Kathy Hartman and Kevin McCasky and Jeffco Treasurer Faye Griffin — to celebrate the reopening of the mansion.

“I think this is just a gorgeous setting,” McCasky said as he praised the work of the restoration teams, the mansion staff, the original 1917 architects and the Boettcher family.

Cynthia Shaw-McLaughlin, director of the Boettcher Mansion, also thanked everyone involved — noting that the project was completed on time and under budget — and thanked the mansion staff for putting up with some inconveniences during the restoration and updates. She also explained how much it meant to her.

“This project has truly been a labor of love for me,” Shaw-McLaughlin said. “Charles Boettcher would be proud.”

Born in 1852 in Germany, Boettcher came to the United States when he was 17 as a poor man. He originally went to Wyoming, where he and his brother owned a hardware store. They expanded the business to Greeley, Fort Collins and Boulder.

Boettcher also sold mining machinery, tools and household goods and made loans to miners during the silver boom. He and some business associates also formed the Great Western Sugar Co., which became highly successful in the 1920s. Boettcher died in Denver in 1948 at age 96.

Boettcher himself would probably not recognize all the new additions to his former mountain getaway, including a new slate fire-proof roof, a new kitchen and storage addition, several new heating and air-conditioning systems and new appliances in the gourmet kitchen.

The $3.1 million capital improvement project — primarily funded by the Conservation Trust Fund — also gave the mansion new and refinished floors, new windows and woodwork in several rooms, and repairs to the original stucco and half-timbering on the exterior.

The mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was renovated in 1986. This latest remodeling project will accommodate its use as a special events site, for events ranging from weddings to business meetings to an annual arts and crafts show.

Contact A.J. Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.

**A reader pointed out that Boettcher's birth year was incorrectly listed as 1952, instead of 1852. We appreciate our readers letting us know when an error in print appears. - A.V.**