Larry Preston

Champion of Endless Optimization (CEO) at Digital Opera & Raceday. Happy stoic, aspirational minimalist, recovered big hair 80’s rock star. Author of “Star Fire Kids – Midnight Blue Express”.

John Brisben Walker

I took a hike in Morrison yesterday and learned a little about a man named John Brisben Walker. Mr. Walker is why Colorado has the red rocks theatre, thousands of acres of park land, Regis University, and much more.

In 1905, Walker sold Cosmopolitan Magazine to William Randolph Hearst for $1 million, divorced his wife, married his Cosmo secretary, Ethel, and moved back to Colorado. In 1909 he began the construction of a castle on top of Mount Falcon for his family. Built by stone masons from Italy, it had 10 bedrooms, a music room, an observation deck, eight fireplaces, a library, and servants’ quarters.

John and Ethel had four children together before Ethel died suddenly in 1916. In 1918, lightning struck the mansion, and it burned to the ground.

He had plans to build a summer palace for the President, but Woodrow Wilson ignored requests for his backing of the Summer White House scheme.

Soon after the house burned, Walker left Colorado for the east coast, married a third time (to a much younger woman), and then died in 1931 at 83. He was penniless.

You can read a great article here that details his life at the Are We There Yet? Blog.

Exterior shot of the house in the day.
Exterior shot of the house in the day.
Drawing of would have become the President's summer residence.
Drawing of would have become the President’s summer residence.










Larry Preston - John Brisbane Walker

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