THE STORY OF 4501 EAST 6TH AVENUE PARKWAY
This architecturally significant home began as a love story.
When Annie Pate married Edgar Durbin, her father had the house built in 1937 as their wedding present. It was designed by noted Denver architects Fisher & Fisher. Having done an earlier house as a gift to newlyweds, these homes have since become a lovely part of Denver history and are known as the “Bride’s Delights.”
This home was featured in the book Hilltop Heritage by Alice Millett Bakemeier.
“This gabled, asymmetrical, two-story, two-tone tan brick home is the only one in Hilltop designed by the prominent Fisher architectural firm.
“Of special interest are the paneled front door, covered by an arched portico with an elaborate scalloped iron hood, and the prominent dining room bay window with copper edging on its roof.”
The current owner bought the house from Annie’s estate in 1982 on the very first day it was for sale. This has been home to only two families since it was built.“It was the only house on 6th Avenue Parkway that didn’t have something across the street,” the current owner told Hilltop Heritage. “The Parkway is our garden – one we don’t have to maintain.”
The Parkway, with its numerous flower gardens, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
And with no house across the street, the home enjoys panoramic views down Clermont Parkway to the south, leading to Cranmer Park.
Although the house features significant updates and additions for modern life, the current owner mandated that any changes reflect the design and detail of its original architects and their era.
Were Fisher & Fisher to see the house today, they would be well pleased that their vision has been so carefully and thoughtfully honored, in a home waiting for someone new to fall in love.
THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE WHO MADE HILLTOP
WITH THANKS TO “HILLTOP HERITAGE”
Businessman George Cranmer was nicknamed the King of the Hill after he and his socialite wife, Jean, built the Cranmer Mansion fronting onto Cranmer Park. They had fallen in love with the view across the then-barren prairie that spanned 150 miles from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak. He took up ice skating at age 53, and proudly danced on skates for his 80th birthday.
Louis Dugal was one of the first to live here. A French-Canadian land attorney, as a young man he had served in the Union Army during the Civil War, was severely wounded in his right lung and arm, and his leg was amputated. Miraculously, he survived being left lying in a field for a week before his wounds were dressed. The home at 4501 E. 6th Avenue Parkway is part of “Dugal’s Subdivision.”
Mrs. Grace Laird and Miss Virginia Braswell founded Graland Country Day School. One early student recalls that, in those days, the school on Birch Street had “…a terrible time with the tumbleweeds because there weren’t any barriers between here and Kansas to hold them back.”
Sculptor Arnold Ronnebeck had a quite a life before settling in Hilltop. As his daughter once said: “He dallied with Gertrude Stein in Paris, Alfred Stieglitz in New York City, and Georgia O’Keefe.” He met his wife, artist Louise Emerson, in Taos. After moving to Denver, he was director of what later became the Denver Art Museum.