Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2019 Issue

Now Available - A House with a Library for 4,000 Books

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The library of Charles Sewell Thomas' "Corner Chateau."

If you are looking for a house designed to house your serious book collection, one recently came on the market. It contains a library meant to hold 4,000 volumes, and it is a library worthy of 4,000 serious books, not paperback romances. In fact, the architect who designed it, Burnham Hoyt, also designed the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver and the interior of the Riverside Church in New York City. The latter was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller, so we can assume Hoyt was designing for those of the most exquisite of tastes (and fortunes).

 

This home is also located in Denver and, admittedly, is a bit pricey. Then again, a great book collection, unlike this house, is priceless. Some have described the price as $6 million, but that isn't quite accurate. Evidently recognizing some might find that price intimidating, the owner has set it at a more modest $5,995,000.

 

The house contains 20 rooms, including 6 bedrooms, plus 9 bathrooms, and is approximately 10,612 square feet in size. It sits on a 17,400 sq. ft. corner lot in an exclusive section of Denver near downtown. Situated in Denver's Country Club Historic District, it is known locally as the "Corner Chateau," for its corner location and styling. There are fine restaurants and shopping nearby, and it is within walking distance of the Cherry Creek area. But enough about the trivial aspects. What matters is the library. You will like it, with its wood-paneling, high ceilings, and massive fireplace. Of course, it's the many built-in wooden bookshelves that make it clear that this is a library.

 

The mansion was built in the 1920s for Charles Sewell Thomas. Thomas was a member of a prominent Denver family. His father, Charles Spalding Thomas, was born in Georgia before there was any such place as Colorado. He came to Denver in 1871 after earning a law degree. He would do well as an attorney representing mining companies. It would lead to an active career in politics, serving as Governor at the turn of the century, and after several failed attempts to make it to Washington, was elected Senator in 1912 at the age of 63. For what it's worth, he was the last Confederate veteran to serve in Congress.

 

His son, Charles Sewell Thomas, would attend mining school as a young man, but eventually became a contracting engineer and consultant. He formed several companies with a couple of partners, where he was involved in projects in St. Louis, San Antonio and a shipyard in Jacksonville. Based on this house, and his being referred to as a "socialite," we can say he did quite well financially.

 

If you purchase this house, you will find it comes with a personal memento of Thomas and his hobby of book collecting. On the top of the house's tower is a weather vane depicting Thomas reading a book by candlelight. It was a gift from architect Hoyt.

 

The house is located at 380 Gilpin Street. Presuming that it is still available, and houses in this price range tend to need some time to sell, it is being offered by Kelli Barton of real estate firm Coldwell Banker Devonshire. Pack your bags and books.


Posted On: 2019-10-01 03:54
User Name: mairin

A good read, Mike, and thanks for including that
interior shot of the home. Quite a place! Let's hope
it passes into appreciative hands.
MEM
_____


Posted On: 2019-10-01 12:34
User Name: PeterReynolds

I think one could purchase a house with a room that can easily take 4000 books in many parts of America for a lot less than that. On the other hand many US houses are built of wood, so maybe one would have to be careful where one placed that amount of extra weight. The room from which I sell books is in a long since divided large Victorian house in a not particularly desirable (though not desperately undesirable) district in Northern England, built of brick and with a concrete floor in this part. We could have bought our house about 30 times over for the price of this one in Denver.


Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Mary Anning. Autograph letter signed, to William Buckland, 24 November 1834. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Bolyai. <i>Scientiam spatii absolute veram exhibens,</i> Maros Vásárhelyi, 1832-1833, 2 volumes, half calf. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Vesalius.<br><i>De humani corporis fabrica,</i> Basel, 1555, modern crushed burgundy morocco. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Science: Books and Manuscripts<br>15-25 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Copernicus.<br><i>De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,</i> Nuremberg, 1543, later boards, Rostock duplicate. £70,000 to £100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Payan-Dumoulin. Profusely illustrated manuscript of fossils, France, c.1875-1979. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 15-25 May:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph letter signed, to his son Albert, 4 November [1915]. £10,000 to £15,000.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Alken (Henry), after. Salmon Fishing; Fishing in a Punt; Pike Fishing, three works, 1820. £600 to £800.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Early Images of Angling.- Hollar (Wenceslaus) Angling; River Fishing; and Salmon Fishing, after Francis Barlow, 3 engravings, [c. 1671]. £500 to £700.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Rolfe (Henry Leonidas). <i>Studies of Fresh Water Fish,</i> 1851. £500 to £700.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Morland (George), After. A Party Angling; The Anglers' Repast, a pair, mezzotints, 1789. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Pollard (James), After. Bottom Fishing; Anglers Packing Up, etchings with aquatint, 1831. £400 to £600.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Angling's Age of Romance.- Sayer (Robert, publisher) & J. Bennett. The Angelic Angler, mezzotint, 1781; and another. £300 to £400.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Images of Angling:<br>The David Beazley Collection<br>of Angling Prints<br>Online Sale<br>20th May 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire.- London.- Roberts (Piercy). Patience at Paddington or angling in the Junction Canal, etching after Woodward, 1807; together with Woodward's 'Angling at Sadler's Wells', and another, 1794. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Satire - Cats Fishing.- Seymour (Robert). Waltonizing or - Green-land Fisherman, [c. 1830s]; together with 3 lithographs of cats fishing, [c. 1830s]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Fishing Portraits.- Zoffany (Johan), After. Master James Sayer, at the age of 13, mezzotint by Richard Houston, 1772. £300 to £400.
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    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Wilkinson (Norman). Come to Britain for Fishing, lithographic poster, [c. 1947]. £300 to £400.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Scottish Fishing.- Heath (William). Sporting in the Scottish Isles no. III. Salmon Fishing, 1835; and another. £150 to £200.
    <b>Forum Auctions, May 20:</b> Simpson (Joseph). The Border Angler, drypoint, [c. 1927]. £150 to £200.
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    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>Aristoteles, <i>Logica vetus,</i> Manuscript, around 1250. Est: € 60,000
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    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1450-70. Est: € 30,000
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    <b>Ketterer Rare Books, May 31:</b><br>K. Price & Ch. Bukowski, <i>Heat wave,</i> 1995. Est: € 2,500
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    <b>Forum, May 27:</b> Purchas (Samuel). <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes. In Five Books...,</i> 5 vol. including vol. 5: <i>Purchas His Pilgrimage,</i> first edition, Narcissus Luttrell's copy, 1625-26. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum, May 27:</b> Neapolitan School (circa 1714-1734). Napoli, [Bird's-eye panoramic view of the Port of Naples], tempera on canvas, [c. 1714-1735]. £30,000 to £40,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.

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