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Colorado History Click to enlarge Colorado History

Gebhard Mansion in about 1900. Click to enlarge.

Gebhard Mansion
McBird House
The LeNeve Foster Residence
The Como Roundhouse
The Depot


The LeNeve Foster Residence 
A William Lang Masterpiece and the Brantigans' home 

The LeNeve Foster Residence was built for Thomas Cathcart in 1890. (City records giving its date of construction as 1892 are incorrect.) Cathcart was a real estate developer responsible for several houses in what is now the Lafayette Street Historic District. His Lang designed residence at 2105 Lafayette Street was to be the showpiece of his real estate empire. With the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act in 1893 Cathcart lost his fortune and his residence as well. Ernest LeNeve Foster, a mining engineer responsible for much of the Georgetown Mining District acquired the house and lived there until 1907 when his wife died. The house became a center for Denver society, and Foster's name became identified with the property.

William Lang was the finest and most complex eclectic architect in the Denver area and was one of the best late eclectic architects in the United States. During his brief career from 1885 to 1897 he built over 150 buildings, many of which are still standing. In contrast to those of his contemporaries, his buildings seem, even today, to squirm on their foundations as if ready to launch their owners on a new adventure. This house certainly launched its current owners on a trail of new adventures.

The LeNeve Foster Mansion was built of the finest available materials with the best available techniques of construction. Its simple elegance and effective use of space conveys the same uplifting qualities of its more ornate brothers. Its recognition by architects as an outstanding example of the eclectic school of architecture led to its listing in the National Register of Historic Places, and its recognition as Denver's best "painted lady" in the recently published Daughters of the Painted Ladies.

Restoration of the building is nearing completion. The exterior is complete. The lion head and urn figures on the outside of the building have been recast from the originals and reinstalled (the original lion head now graces the front staircase). The interior has been restored to close to original condition. Plumbing and wiring have been replaced and the fireplaces rebuilt. Fireplace tiles are original, and were made by the Low Art Tile Co, of Chelsea, Massachusetts. This same company made the tiles for the Buckingham Palace. Photographs of these fireplaces are on display in the Chelsea Library as prime examples of the work of that company. The oak woodwork has been restored. missing pieces have been replaced with identical reproductions. All wallpaper used has been documented reproductions. The living room frieze is a hand painted copy of the original. The dining room features Bradbury papers. Missing pieces of chair rail, with its ornate pattern have been reproduced. The anaglypta is in its original location but is not the original pattern. What is left of the original is preserved under the current layer. The light fixtures are either original to the building or are period fixtures bought and/or restored by the owners.

The current owners have followed in the tradition of Cathcart and Lang, using the best possible resources and proceeding in a deliberate fashion to restore this architectural masterpiece in an authentic manner. They have tried to combine the best features of the Victorian Period into a family home. Their efforts were recognized in a feature on Home and Gardens TV.


2003-2004 Dr. Charles Brantigan,  Vascular Surgery Practice
2253 Downing Street, Denver, CO 80205
303.830.8822 fax: 303.830.7068 or 800.992.4676  inquiries@drbrantigan.com

Last Updated: 07/13/2012