Fitzroy Place / Iliff Mansion

2160 S Cook Street

Fitzroy Place / Iliff Mansion

The Iliff Mansion, like so many 19th century mansions in Denver, was built at the end of the silver boom, just before the price of silver crashed. Evidencing the booming economy before the crash, this mansion and its carriage house occupy an exceedingly generous site between Cook and Madison Streets at East Warren Avenue, dwarfing the surrounding modern houses. It was built as a home for Bishop Henry White Warren, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Elizabeth Iliff Warren, the widow of John Wesley Iliff, the great cattle man of Colorado and Wyoming.

The three-story, L-shaped red Arizona limestone building possesses many examples of the Richardsonian Romanesque style that was popular in Denver in the late 19th century. The round-headed Romanesque arch at the entry is smooth dressed, in contrast to the rusticated blocks in broken courses found elsewhere. The medium hipped, shingled roof supports two single stack chimneys on the side slopes. The front slope holds two swept dormers and a gable centered above the entrance with two small arched windows above two larger flat windows with engaged columns. Two massive bay towers flank the entrance, rising three stories to a boxed cornice and frieze of painted trim. Double hung windows on the first level are flat with red limestone lintels and lug sills. Second floor windows are similar with a single arched window above the entry of double oak doors. Short stone low walls surround the open porch under which basement windows can be found.

The interior has golden oak in the foyer and in the wainscoting and paneling throughout. There is a library with built-in shelving and sitting room. The dining room was refinished in mahogany after fire destroyed the original finishes in 1910. The house boasts 12 fireplaces in total decorated with combinations of carved ceramic tile and hand-carved woodwork.

The architect of this building is often misrepresented as Frank E. Edbrooke, a prolific Denver architect responsible for a catalogue of historic buildings in the city -many in the same Richardsonian Romanesque style as the Iliff Mansion. The inaccuracy was revealed in 1974 when Marybelle Lyde Iliff was researching the building to apply for historic status through the National Register of Historic Places. Some publications still make this mistake today.

References
National Register of Historic Places, Fitzroy Place, Denver, Colorado, National Register#75000508.
Noel, Thomas J., & Wharton, Nicholas J. (2016). Denver Landmarks and Historic Districts Second Edition. Boulder, Colorado: University Press of Colorado.

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