Architecture & Design - Under the Gondola
By Grant Johnson
General Contractor/2012 Remodel: Jon Sherman Construction Co.
Painter: Ferndog’s Finishing.
Photography: Corey Kopischke
This sunny yellow “painted lady” traveled from Lyons, Kansas, to find her home under the Steamboat gondola. Built in 1880, the original house was dismantled with a chainsaw, cut into seven pieces and moved to Steamboat Springs. It has been completely restored with modern amenities (including elevators to all three floors) while preserving its Victorian charm – and starting this winter, you can stay in the historic home turned luxury bed and breakfast.
The home’s history is intriguing. In 1880 Judge Brinkerhoff built the mansion. Soon after, when he and his wife divorced, the house was split 60/40 and Mrs. Brinkerhoff’s portion was moved back on their property. Her portion fell into disrepair and was demolished, but his remained a boarding house and persisted to function into the 1980s. When the house was slated for demolition in 1990, a local farmer bought it at a tax auction for $65, then flipped it to Victorian renovation enthusiasts for $1,500. They promptly cut it in sections with a chainsaw and put the pieces in storage until they were able to move it to Steamboat in fall 1991. Antiques from Kansas were procured, including a Tiffany mantel that was initially brought to Kansas by covered wagon in the late 1800s. By 2000, plans were afoot to restore Mrs. Brinkerhoff’s missing portion of the house – bringing the home to its present size and grandeur – including all the modern conveniences.
Victorian craftsmanship prevails with the home’s original molding, antiques, a beautifully carved oak staircase salvaged from another Victorian, and the original stained glass windows. The original fireplace is still on the main floor and five suites have their own in-room bathrooms – with the master suite harboring a large clawfoot tub. The large deck at the back of the house offers exceptional views of the Yampa Valley.
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