Located between Steele and Harrison, and Exposition and Mississippi, Belcaro is home to “Denver’s Grandest Mansion”, the Phipps Mansion
Arriving in Denver in 1902 after making a fortune in steel, Lawrence Phipps intended to make a mark as a humanitarian. Phipps was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 1918 and served in that capacity until 1930.
After leaving the Senate in 1930, Phipps was ready to build a mansion in which to retire. Fisher and Fisher, along with New York architect Charles Platt, designed Belcaro, which is Italian for “Dear One”. The Georgian Mansion was built during the depression at a cost of $310,000. The mansion was completed in 1933 and boasted 54 rooms and over 27,000 square feet. Here is a description of the interior:
This Georgian style room is more than 250 years old. The paneling is knotty pine, which was sent from Colonial America to England where it was made into this dignified paneled room, then later installed in the mansion. There is a Waterford chandelier, which hangs from the center of the ceiling and compliments the original dining room chairs. The dining room chairs were carved from the beams of a house built in Santo Domingo in 1509. There is also a painting on the north wall by Hudson River Valley artist Albert Bierstadt.
The oak walls in this room are from England and are almost 400 years old. There are hidden panels in this Jacobean room, which were used for storing billiard balls and cues. The ceiling depicts an illustration of the War of Roses.
This 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) room has Austrian oak paneling and a carving of a bald eagle over the fireplace. The chandeliers are Sheffield Sterling, and the carving over the hall door portrays the Phipps’ family crest.
There is a limewood carving over the fireplace, in the spirit of Gringling Gibbons, and was commissioned by the Phipps family. Many first editions and volumes from all over the world line the walls of this library.
The grand staircase features a banister created by Burkhardt Steel of Denver. Andrew Carnegie presented the massive Swiss grandfather clock, located at the top of the staircase, to Lawrence Cowle Phipps as a gift.
The foyer contains the original organ that was placed in the alcove. The device that ran the organ was located in a room directly underneath the foyer and the pipes ran upward behind the tapestries.
The neighborhood surrounding Belcaro was platted by Phipp’s company, Belcaro Realty and Investment Company in 1931. Development began shortly afterward.
By the time of Phipps’ death in 1958, he had sold much of the land surrounding the mansion as Belcaro Park. A portion of the land was also used to create the Belcaro Park Shopping Center which was developed in 1953.
Today, the Belcaro neighborhood, encircling the Phipps Mansion, is home to many elegant, expansive, mostly ranch-style homes, with large, pristine, well-manicured lawns. Very centrally located near Cherry Creek, between Bonnie Brae and Colorado Boulevard, and next to Polo Club, Belcaro is now one of Denver’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Homes in this neighborhood sell for between $750,000-1.8 million.