Real estate in Boulder, Colorado has a rich and interesting history that tells a story of how our community was brought into the modern era with the help of local prominent families and the mining and railroad industries. By 1880, Boulder was a well established community that was to be the home of the State University. Around this time the first permanent residential area for upper-class residents was established in what we now know as the historic neighborhood of Mapleton Hill. This land was purchased from the federal government by the Tourtellot and Squires families, years previous to this in 1858 for $5,500. In 1888 Mapleton Hill was plotted out and mapped by The Boulder Land and Improvement Company which brought in several developers including H.M. Bradley, John G. Cope, Samuel C. Brown, Andrew J. Macky, Fred Lockwood, James P. Maxwell, James Cowie and Charles L. Spencer. When development began, the area was barren which resulted in the planting of 200 silver maple and cottonwood trees. Later on, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr recommended the planting of Norway maple, pin oak, and ash trees. The community hence took on the modern name of Mapleton Hill after that.
The oldest surviving home in Boulder was built in 1865 and is located in this area which is known as The Squires-Tourtellot House. You can find it located at 1019 Spruces Street. The home features material derived from local river rock and fieldstone and has 20 inch thick walls. This home is the only example in Boulder of New England rural architecture, and includes other features like “double-hung windows, six over six wood lintels, louvered shutters, and a steep gable roof with chimneys” on either end.
The Spruce Street Mansion located at 1123 Spruce Street, is Boulder’s oldest remaining brick home which holds architectural significance. This was the home of the Arnett, Soule and Coates families who were early prominent Boulder residents. This home sits on land that was purchased from the federal government by Anthony Arnett in 1866. Construction of the home began in 1875 by Arnett’s daughter Jennie and her husband Albert Soule.
Not far from Mapleton Hill you will find The Arnett-Fullen House which is located at 646 Pearl St. This home was built in 1877 by Williamette Arnett for $4,000 and featured one of Boulder’s first indoor bathrooms, central heating, and cold running water systems. The Victorian style of the home is still beautiful today with its lush gardens, intricate design elements and irons fences.