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Friday, August 27, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday - Crest House

This linen postcard was most likely purchased at the Mount Evans Crest House. It is a building, now in semi ruins, located at the summit of Mount Evans in Colorado at 14,000 ft. It is notable for both its architectural design, and its unusual location. The house was a dream envisioned by Justus “Gus” Roehling, a German emigrant. He wrote a poem to Edith, his then girlfriend and future wife, about “My Castle in the Sky.” See the Poem HERE in a history of the house by Charla Stilling!

Gus and his crew constructed the structure between 1940 and 1941. Due to the high elevation and cold winters the building season was limited to summer months. The intention of the design was to create a “Castle in the Sky” the base of the Glass portion of the building was a star.

Crest House opened in the fall of 1941. Amenities were provided to travelers at Crest House they included a restaurant, gift shop, rest rooms, emergency oxygen, and an observation deck. Crest House became well known for its fried doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate. Employees at the time of opening were Denver area college students on their summer break, living in bunks located in the rear of the building. Even in summer it was a cold place to be!

September 1, 1979, while refilling a propane tank, an employee of a local propane company failed to secure a safety valve, igniting a fire. The structure was never built. However, the base was fortified and now used as an observation platform. Picture at the left from Wikipedia. The star-shaped foundation is still evident on the observation platform. Today the property is owned by the US Forest Service. There was talk at one time of closing the road to the area since it is a 14,000 ft mountain as many people are not prepared for the altitude once they arrive. That however did not happen.

Before Justus “Gus” Roehling died in 1984 he wrote a book about Crest House, “My Castle in the Sky: A True Story by the Builder”, now out of print. I think he called it Crest House after “the crest of the moon” in the sky. How beautiful it would be from 14,000 ft.

For more information:

History by Charla Stilling


Mount Evans - Crest House

Historic Structures - Crest House

Thanks Beth from Hearts are Crunchy for Hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.

To see more postcards this week go HERE.

Leave a comment and let me know you stopped by.


Beth Niquette said...

What a beautiful postcard! And the story behind it is amazing...too bad it didn't get built for reals. It would have been such a beautiful place.

Happy PFF!

MuseSwings said...

I had to fo find some emergency oxygen just thinking about being at 14,000 feet! Such an interesting post!

Postcardy said...

That is a very unique building. It's too bad it wasn't rebuilt.

Paul van Yperen said...

Beutiful building. I do agree with Postcardy that it should be rebuilt. It could become a tourist attraction. Happy PFF.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

It was such an interesting and unique building, it's a real shame it wasn't rebuilt.

Faye said...

Fascinating, Lyneen. I had never heard that story before. I imagine most people would have trouble breathing at 14000 feet.

MrCachet said...

What a story! Count me as another that was totally unaware of its existence.

Dorincard said...

Uniqueness is fascinating...:)

Mary said...

I'm in the "had no idea" club, too. So fascinating. And 14,000 feet! I've driven over Cottonwood Pass in Colorado (I think it's about 10,000) but 14,000 is up there.

LiT Web Studio said...

i've just availed myself of the google feet to meters calculator and now i'm really shocked at how high up it was - 4.2672 kilometers!! the air does get pretty thin at that height...and that's one heck of a climb for doughnuts and coffee! happy PFF!