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Free public tours at Colorado governor’s mansion begin Thursday

Authors: Marianne Goodland, Ernest Luning - December 7, 2017 - Updated: December 7, 2017

The 2017 holiday ornament from the Governor’s Residence, “Wishing Well,” is on sale for $30. (Courtesy Danielle Dascalos Public Relations)

Beginning Thursday, the Boettcher Mansion, also known as home to Colorado’s First Family, will be open for free public tours.

The mansion, located at 400 East 8th Avenue, Denver, has been decorated for holidays by the Colorado chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Tours will be available from Thursday through Sunday, December 7 to 10, and December 14 to 17. All tours are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Interior designers were let loose on seven venues inside the mansions. This year, each demonstrated a unique take on the ways Colorado’s cultural institutions present holiday classics — from the Festival of Lights to the Nutcracker ballet — in partnership with the Colorado chapter of ASID and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles.

The 2017 commemorative holiday ornament inspired by the governor’s mansion — ninth in a series created by Whitney Designs, Inc., of Denver — will also be available at the holiday during the public tours, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund.

This year’s ornament, crafted in brass and hand finished in 24-karat gold, depicts the century-old white marble wellhead, known as the Mansion Wishing Well, the centerpiece of the mansion’s Palm Room. The home’s second owners, Claude and Edna Boettcher, spent five years procuring the marble well from Florence, Italy, in the 1920s when they added the Palm Room to provide space for entertaining. The Mansion Wishing Well ornament, like the others in the series, is $30 and is available for order here.

The governor’s official residence began as a private home in 1908, built by Walter Scott Cheesman, whose name graces a nearby park. But Cheesman never lived in the home; he died a year before its completion in 1908. His wife and daughter finished the construction and the home for years was the centerpiece of Denver high society, according to the state website on the mansion.

The Boettchers bought the home in 1923, and the Boettcher Foundation deeded it to the state in 1959.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.