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Westminster Castle

The Westminster Castle, also locally known as "The Big Red Castle" or "The Pillar of Fire" is a historic landmark located in Westminster, Colorado, northwest of Denver near the intersection of 83rd and Federal. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Westminster University.


Now owned by the Pillar of Fire Church, the "Big Red Castle" started life in 1890 with dreams of becoming "The Princeton of the West" when New Yorker Henry T. Mayham received approval to build a Presbyterian university on his land atop a hill overlooking Denver, Colorado. This beautiful property was named Crown Point and was the highest point in the early, sprawling Adams County.


Architect E.B. Gregory designed and laid the cornerstone for the university's main building, which was to be constructed of gray stone from the Coal Creek area. Construction was delayed because of lack of funding, so Mayham hired New York architect Stanford White to finish the design and oversee construction. White changed a main design element, the stone, to a red sandstone from the Red Rocks/Manitou area. White's design was completed by 1893: 160 ft frontage, 80 ft depth, three stories tall, with a distinctive 175 ft tall tower. The building's architectural style is an excellent example of Richardsonian Romanesque. (Wikipedia)

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Taken on March 21, 2010