The Mansions Of Denver: The Vintage Years

The Mansions Of Denver: The Vintage Years

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Book Description"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot," Joni Mitchell sang in the early 1970s. She couldn't have known it was only the beginning of an era of dwindling green space, McMansions, and the homogenization of American cities. In James Bretz's Mansions of Denver, the charm and history of Denver's architectural past is carefully and beautifully drawn. His book provides readers with insight into the city's youth. But it is also a lament - an homage to a time when architectural originality prevailed.

There are more than 80 mansions profiled and each history is replete with stunning photographs - exteriors turreted and exquisitely detailed; interiors bedecked with crystal chandeliers, Grecian columns, and elaborate wood etchings and Tiffany stained glass. However, the stories in Mansions of Denver are just as much about the structures as it is a social history. Within these pages are the colorful characters whose wealth afforded them whimsy and tremendous creativity in designing their homes; families, whose fluctuating fortunes sometimes signaled the demise of their elaborate mansions, and changed the face of Denver's neighborhoods.

Mansions of Denver is a reading tour through Denver's history. It's a devastating comment on the great architectural losses the city has suffered, but it also offers hope and recognition of the preservation efforts. Bretz highlights a handful of notable survivors - impetus, at the close of the book, to put on your walking shoes and get out to explore the giants still standing.