Deck­ing the halls at the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence

The Denver Post - - LIFE&CULTURE - By Suzanne S. Brown

Den­ver and Boul­der like to dress up their his­toric homes, mu­se­ums and ho­tels this time of year, of­fer­ing teas, guided tours and spe­cial events to the pub­lic. The teas are so pop­u­lar that the ma­jor ones — Molly Brown House and By­ers-Evans House — are al­ready sold out, but you can still get tick­ets to tour his­toric homes.

The top site in Den­ver is not only free, it will be open eight times start­ing Dec. 8. The Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence at the Boettcher Man­sion, as it is for­mally known, at 400 E. Eighth Ave., turns into a dec­o­ra­tor’s play­ground each fall. Mem­bers of the Colorado chap­ter of Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of In­te­rior De­sign­ers sub­mit ideas for one of six rooms that will be on dis­play and then a com­mit­tee se­lects de­sign­ers for the spa­ces.

This year the dé­cor takes on a global view, with each of the de­sign­ers draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Colorado’s sis­ter ci­ties and their holiday tra­di­tions. The theme is “Colorado’s Kith and Kin,” from the ex­pres­sion de­not­ing friends and fam­ily. The idea of sis­ter ci­ties took off af­ter World War II, in­tended to en­cour­age peace, friend­ship and un­der­stand­ing be­tween cul­tures that had been in con­flict. More re­cently the part­ner­ships have been used to cre­ate busi­ness al­liances.

Ni­cole Bopp, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence Preser­va­tion Fund, finds the theme apro­pos, be­cause while the Den­ver man­sion is used for of­fi­cial func­tions and to greet Colorado guests, it also reg­u­larly hosts vis­i­tors from around the world.

“The col­lab­o­ra­tion with the sis­ter ci­ties is my fa­vorite theme we’ve done for the holiday tours,” Bopp said while tour­ing the res­i­dence ear­lier this week. “We have cranes made by school­child­ren in Ja­pan and the Olympic torch that was in Rio,” she said. “The mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism adds vi­brancy,” she adds, and un­der­scores the col­lec­tion of Euro­pean and Asian ob­jects the Boettcher fam­ily in­cluded with the home when their foun­da­tion do­nated it to the state of Colorado in 1959.

While the ASID de­sign­ers were busy work­ing on their six rooms, Bopp and her staff used items from the Boettcher col­lec­tion to dec­o­rate the 100-foot­long cen­ter hall­way. An­tique framed maps, Asian porce­lain and an or­nate sil­ver urn filled with holiday green­ery are among the pieces fur­ther adding to the global feel of the man­sion.

One of the most whim­si­cal ex­am­ples of town “twin­ning” on dis­play is in the wood-pan­eled li­brary, where Beaver Creek’s sis­ter city Lech, Aus­tria, was the in­spi­ra­tion. Dec­o­rated as the “Ski Club Arl­berg Lounge,” af­ter the ski club founded in 1901, the room’s ac­cou­trements were bor­rowed from a va­ri­ety of sources in Beaver Creek and Aus­tria.

At the en­trance of the cozy chic room is a wooden form dressed in Ski Club Arl­berg leder­ho­sen loaned by restau­ra­teur Brian Nolan. In one corner is an 11-foot long alphorn owned by Hel­mut Fricker, a long­time Beaver Creek en­ter­tainer. The room’s Christ­mas tree is dec­o­rated with vin­tage ski poles and sev­eral of Fric-

Tour the man­sion

ker’s Ty­rolean hats. Beer steins, or­na­ments and ski mem­o­ra­bilia also dec­o­rate the space, which was de­signed by Carol Moore Mink, ASID Colorado chap­ter pres­i­dent, and David Rote, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor.

“This was truly a col­lab­o­ra­tive project,” said Ed­wards-based de­signer Moore Mink, a for­mer Vail ski in­struc­tor who has vis­ited Lech, Aus­tria, and is a mem­ber of Ski Club Arl­berg. Dur­ing Ok­to­ber­fest this fall, she met with of­fi­cials from Beaver Creek re­sort as well as vis­i­tors from Lech to ar­range for the loan of such items as an over­sized cow­bell the Dop­ple­mayr Corp. gave Beaver Creek af­ter in­stalling the first chair lift Free holiday tours of The Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence will be held main gate at 400 E. Eighth Ave. first come, first served ba­sis. Reser­va­tions are not ac­cepted; large groups are en­cour­aged to give ad­vance no­tice, though. Tours are self-paced and may last from 20 to 45 min­utes. The 2016 com­mem­o­ra­tive holiday or­na­ment will be on sale dur­ing the tour, with pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence Preser­va­tion Fund. Other tour spon­sors are Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of In­te­rior De­sign­ers and Colorado Homes & Lifestyles. col­oradoshome.org; 303.837.8350, ex­ten­sion 4 in Beaver Creek in 1980.

An­other de­signer gath­er­ing ob­jects from near and far was Erica Deam, who dec­o­rated the bright, sunny Palm Room in trib­ute to Den­ver’s sis­ter city, Takayama, Ja­pan. Its high ceil­ing, white Colorado mar­ble floor and col­umns are a per­fect set­ting for a tall tree adorned with pa­per cranes, chop­sticks and sarubobo doll or­na­ments.

Deam said the room’s in­spi­ra­tion was “na­ture, tra­di­tion and com­mu­nity.” Draw­ing on the sim­i­lar­ity of Den­ver’s cli­mate to that of the Ja­panese city, she used gar­lands, frosted pinecones, twin­kling lights and scents of spruce and cedar. The color pal­ette

Col­lectible or­na­ment

of red, blue, gold and brown was taken from mod­els of yatai, or pa­rade floats used in fes­ti­vals, that she bor­rowed from the Den­ver mayor’s of­fice and a lo­cal res­i­dent.

“It was chal­leng­ing be­cause the Ja­panese don’t cel­e­brate Christ­mas, so I played up the cul­ture and things spe­cific to Takayama,” said Deam, not­ing the fin­ished room highlights “our col­lab­o­ra­tion, our di­ver­sity and our com­mon ap­pre­ci­a­tion for rich and thought­ful de­sign.”

The project had spe­cial mean­ing for her be­cause her sis­ter and brother-in-law are sta­tioned in Ja­pan while serv­ing in the Air Force. Deam said she worked with Den­ver Sis­ter Ci­ties, the Ja­panese con­sulate in Den­ver, the city of Takayama and the Ja­pan-Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of South­ern Colorado to get her room ready.

Other spa­ces, de­sign­ers and city pair­ings on the tour in­clude: Draw­ing Room, de­signer Tr­ish Bon­ney, Boul­der’s sis­ter city of Dushanbe, Ta­jik­istan; Well Room, An­nie Hus­ton and Stephanie Tardiff of Bird­sall & Co., Grand Junc­tion’s sis­ter city of El Espino, El Sal­vador; State Din­ing Room, Les­lie Kazmier­czak of Level10 In­te­ri­ors, Pue­blo’s sis­ter city of Mari­bor, Slove­nia; and Gov­er­nor’s Room, Pam Smith and Colleen Heldt, Colorado Springs’ sis­ter city of Olympia, Greece.

Bopp said she was so pleased with the re­sults of this year’s dec­o­rat­ing ef­forts that the preser­va­tion fund is think­ing of con­tin­u­ing the theme next year. With Den­ver alone hav­ing 10 sis­ter ci­ties, the global scheme could be­come a holiday peren­nial. “View From The Li­brary” is the eighth in a se­ries of col­lectible or­na­ments in­spired by an ob­ject in the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence at the Boettcher Man­sion. This year’s or­na­ment is de­signed af­ter the leaded glass doors in the home’s li­brary that frame a view of the Mil­len­nium Tree on the man­sion’s grounds. The tree, planted to cel­e­brate the turn of the cen­tury in 2000, was a seedling from a 65foot Blue Spruce grow­ing in Pike Na­tional For­est that was later cut and trans­ported by a nine-ve­hi­cle car­a­van to Washington D.C. to be lit on the west lawn of the U.S. Capi­tol for the 2000 holiday sea­son. The or­na­ment is made of brass and hand-fin­ished in 24-karat gold. All pro­ceeds from the sale of the or­na­ment, $30, go to the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence Preser­va­tion Fund. Or­na­ments can be pur­chased dur­ing tours at the man­sion, are sold at the Molly Brown House Mu­seum gift shop, 1340 Pennsylvania St., and can be or­dered on­line at col­oradoshome.org/gift-shop.

Steve Soko­lik, Pas­sion­ate Pix­els

Hel­mut Fricker with his Alpen­horn (Alpine Horn) in the Stately Li­brary, dec­o­rated to honor Beaver Creek’s sis­ter city, Lech, Aus­tria. Wise men in the Grand Draw­ing Room (dec­o­rated by Tr­ish Bon­ney) re­flect Boul­der’s sis­ter city Dushanbe, Ta­jik­istan, at the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence at the for­mer Boettcher Man­sion. This year’s theme is Colorado’s sis­ter ci­ties. Joe Amon, The

By Joe Amon, The Den­ver Post

Jamie Heldt trims the tree in the Gov­er­nor’s Room, which is dec­o­rated with in­spi­ra­tion from Colorado Springs sis­ter city Olympia, Greece. The theme for the holiday decor at the Gov­er­nor’s Res­i­dence this year is Colorado’s sis­ter ci­ties. Pho­tos Be­low: Or­na­ments for re­flect­ing Beaver Creek’s sis­ter city Lech, Aus­tria, in the li­brary.

De­signer Stephanie Tardiff of Bird­sall & CO dec­o­rates the well in the Well Room.

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