DENVER (CBS4) – Each year, Doors Open Denver allows anyone access to some of Denver’s most historic buildings, including the Iliff Mansion built in 1893 in Denver’s University Park neighborhood. The event highlights more than 50 Denver’s unique spaces and offers 59 insider tours.
“Over here on our left was the original drawing room and this would have been the original dining room,” said Michelle Tuengel who took CBS4 on a personal tour through the massive 18,000-square-foot mansion. It boasts 13 fireplaces, 99 windows and 25 rooms.
“This originally would have been an elevator shaft, the elevator that went from the third floor to the basement,” she said, pointing to a door in the hallway.
The elevator was taken out after a fire in 1910 which destroyed a portion of the home. During the fire, servants raced to save the books in the library.
“When the fire happened, they were throwing things out the window to try to save them, not knowing how bad the home would be damaged,”
Michelle works with Accelerated Schools who turned the house into a school in 1967 when the entire block was purchased for $68,500.
“I don’t know a lot of other schools where you can have fireplaces and chandeliers in your classroom.”
She says she is always excited when the community is able to come and appreciate the home where she has worked for the last seven years. She hopes to honor the history of the building and keep the story and legacy of those who lived here alive for many years to come.
“As long as I’m around, I will be keeping their memory alive and helping to build this mansion to make it even better than it is today.”
This is the Denver Architecture Foundation’s 15th Annual Doors Open Denver. The event continues on Sunday.