Longtime Colorado state senator and US Congressman Edward T. Taylor (1858–1941) built his house in downtown Glenwood Springs (903 Bennett Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601) in 1904. Taylor lived in the house whenever he was in Colorado during the three decades he served in the US House of Representatives. The Taylor House was converted into apartments in the 1950s, and the building was completely renovated and sold as separate condominium units in the early 2000s.
Edward Taylor’s House
Originally from Illinois, Edward Taylor came to Glenwood Springs in the 1880s after getting a law degree at the University of Michigan. From 1887 to 1889, he served as referee of the district court adjudicating water rights along the Roaring Fork, Grand (Colorado), and White Rivers, earning him the title “father of water rights on the Western Slope.” He served three terms in the state senate, from 1896 to 1908, and seventeen terms in the US House of Representatives, from 1909 to his death in 1941.
In 1900 Taylor bought the land in Glenwood Springs where his house currently stands. An earlier building already occupied the site, but it was torn down before Taylor built his house there in 1904. He originally planned to spend $8,000 on the house, but various changes and additions caused costs to balloon to $17,000.
It was one of the most elegant houses in Glenwood Springs. The architects remain unknown, but Taylor once referred to them as an “eminent firm of Denver architects.” The Taylor House is a composite of Victorian Revival and Colonial Revival, with Western rural farmhouse details. Often described as vaguely Southern in appearance, the house has a symmetrical design, with white columns and a wide veranda on the front.
It is a large house with more than 7,000 square feet of space. It consists of three floors plus a basement. The intricate wood trim in the entrance hall and elsewhere is done in Philippine mahogany, which a servant supposedly dusted every day while Taylor lived there. Taylor also included several conveniences that would have been novel in Glenwood Springs at the time, including an electric buzzer system for calling servants and a full bathroom on the second floor.
Taylor House Apartments/Condos
At the time of Taylor’s death in 1941, his house was offered to the city of Glenwood Springs for the token price of one dollar, with the idea that the city could turn it into a library or museum. The city turned down the offer. Because the house was too expensive to maintain as a private dwelling, it was converted into an apartment building.
In 1943, the Taylor House was sold to John and Olive Haskell, who rented out two of the floors as separate apartments without making any significant alterations to the house. Around 1950, Torval and Grace Johnson bought the building and converted it into eleven separate apartments. They added extra kitchens and bathrooms on all the floors by redoing small rooms and closets. In general, however, the exterior and the main rooms on the first and second floors of the house kept their original character.
In October 2006 a structural engineer named Israel Shapira bought the Taylor House for almost $800,000. He completely renovated the building, replacing old mortar between the bricks and restoring the interior details and exterior siding. He retained the eleven-unit configuration of the building and sold the separate units as condominiums after finishing the renovations in early 2008.