United States of America, Colorado, Denver County, Denver
Cranmer Gardens (Denver, Colorado)
Originally comprising three acres, this garden was designed to complement an Italianate home constructed in 1917. The site, at 5,434 feet above sea level, commanded a spectacular view of the Front Range, and the planting of trees was restricted to maintain this view. The main flower gardens were located to the east of the 22-room house, and featured a "grande allee" containing perennial borders, container gardens, and pyramidal evergreen shrubs in a formal, classical design. A patio between north and south arcades on the east side of the house featured a statue and fountain with water coursing eastward to another fountain and on to a lily pond. A swimming pool was added in 1922 to the south of the house.
The property was subdivided in 1977, and the present owners have inherited very little of the original gardens. "Their focus in re-landscaping was mostly to the west, reflecting the Cranmers' original idea of keeping mountain views visible. A perennial and shrub border was added on the south and south-east lawn as well as a new allee of deciduous trees on the east lawn. . . . The original stone terrace and fountain were restored, although the statue was lost. In place of the original allee, a new stone terrace and pergola were added."
Persons associated with the property include: George E. Cranmer and Jane Chappell Cranmer (former owners, 1917-1963); Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kerwin (former owners, 1965-1995); Jacques B. Benedict (architect, 1916); S. R. DeBoer (landscape consultant, ca. 1918); M. H. Hoyt and B. Hoyt (architects, 1922); Elizabeth Metz (architect, 1995-96); and Laurel Raines (landscape architect, 1995-96).
The folder includes a worksheet, copies of garden plans, a bibliography of printed and unpublished sources about the Cranmers, their house, and the gardens, and photocopies of articles and documents. The gardens are noted not only for their design (the original garden was designed by Jane Cranmer), but because George Cranmer was the founder of Denver's parks and recreation system. Both he and his wife were tremendously involved in the civic life of Denver.
Garden has been featured in Denver Municipal Facts, September, 1920
Garden has been featured in Denver Municipal Facts, May, June, July, 1926