Thursday, March 23, 2017

Day 38: Key Room and West Wing Construction

Over the years, as the popularity of The Baldpate Inn increased, its buildings grew to meet the needs of guests, and the growing collection of keys!  

What started with the Mace family Homestead grew into a bustling business of tourist cabins, and in 1918, the Main Lodge opened. Over the years our Main Lodge also went through several renovations, growing in size and functionality. While the exact features and timing of events is really unknown, our Baldpate Seven Keys Armchair Tour is a reflection of our best estimates.

From roughly 1921 – 1934, the main lodge had only a small west wing. But the ever growing lodging business, and the expanding Key Collection, demanded change.

In 1935, the final renovation to the main building took place, with an extension to the west wing on the main floor and additional rooms upstairs. 


This 1935 addition brought big changes, creating our Library and world famous Key Room. 

An additional entrance was added on the west end, which is now our wheelchair accessible entrance.

Library 1935

Here is an image of the Library, brand new in 1935. (Can you call it a library if there are no books in sight?)  No doubt you recognize the Old Hickory rocking chairs, and the handmade table that now holds the soup pots in our Dining Room. 

And here is the library today (plenty of books to enjoy!) 

Library 2017

But of course the big feature of this addition was the now world famous Key Room!  Before the addition, we really don’t know how the collection of 7,000+ keys was housed? Was it in this Lounge or in the Spooning Room?  We don’t see anything in our old photos that tells the story.

Lounge prior to 1934 now part of Key Room

Regardless, the “new” Key Room was opened with much fanfare in 1935! 

Key Room postcard, circa 1935
While the spirit of the Key Room remains the same, a few more keys exist today (we think more than 30,000)!!  This photo, taken from the January 2017 edition of 5280, Denver’s premier lifestyle magazine, captures it well.

Baldpate Key Room 2017

Come join us and enjoy these enchanting spaces. 

Written by Liz Rodgers & Lois Smith
Source: Baldpate Archives & Baldpate Seven Keys Armchair Tour

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