Historic Preservation at Castle Marne
The Castle Marne was not only one of the first structures built in the Wyman Addition as a private residence but also became the impetus for new expanding neighborhoods built away from downtown Denver in 1888.
The unique attributes of building with stone that would endure time, weather and use became a defining moment in the new architecture of Denver as it was growing quickly in the late 1800s.
Wilbur Raymond, who was involved in silver investment banking and real estate development, realized that many people with their new-found wealth wanted the opulent European lifestyle that they could now afford. He was the one to make that happen.
Having bought what is now known as the Wyman Historic District, he partnered with the man who was to become the most prolific architect in Denver’s history to define Denver’s new skyline.
William Lang offered a unique eye and design to creating buildings that the residents of Denver would want to call their own.
A stone mason by training, not formally schooled in architecture, he took the elements of the buildings of the time and blended them together to create his own style.
Having brought in European artisans to hand hew the stones from the Castle Rock area, he created over 300 sturdy, beautiful and one-of-a-kind buildings from residential to commercial and government use.
Reuse, Restore, Remember: The way to revitalize history
While many come into historic buildings and tear out the actual life blood of what makes a building historic, all in the name of making a structure “sustainable,” spending more money on newly-created materials and adding to landfill, the Castle Marne and its family reused everything in the historic Raymond House and restored it to its original grandeur and use.
Careful preservation of the floors, reuse of existing pipes for heating, and repairing the hand-cast plaster relief of ceilings and walls was not only necessary but was one of our reasons for bringing the Castle Marne into existence as a bed and breakfast inn.
The original fireplaces were never used for heat, other than to use all the amenities of the day. Running water, electricity, and gas were a part of the construction of the building.
In fact, the heating of the house was done by using heavy drapes on the windows to help keep the heat in and the cold out, use of hot water pipes from a central boiler system circulating to ornate radiators, and hand tooled ceramic natural gas radiators gave clean, efficient heat to the buildings inhabitants by being naturally enveloped in a solid stone structure, nature’s own insulators.
In fact, all of the treatments at the Castle Marne are historically accurate and significant, because part of the four historic designations the stone castle mansion carries also include one for the inside.
It is important to remember that when homes, specifically castles, were being built, the art of the outside was being complimented by the art inside, and many times that meant the two could not be separated.
The Lincrusta Walton heavy pressed wallpaper of the original formal dining room of the castle was installed so as to create the look and feel of tooled or embossed leather, which was very much in vogue during the time if you could afford it.
The Castle Marne’s dining room, now known as the Peacock Room, is available for private dining and meeting events, all served Captain’s Service, just as it was during the time of high society, large wealth, and a time when opulence was what was aspired to by all.
In recognition for his many years of work, preserving, restoring, and saving many historic buildings, Jim Peiker, owner and “Mr. Marne,” was presented with numerous awards for his tireless efforts over two decades to maintain and make available historic buildings for future generations.
The Castle Marne is shown as an example of historic reuse.
Come and experience what living in a true American castle can be like, see and experience the “Castle Way To Stay“.