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COBWEB CORNERS: An odd little neighborhood

By Mel McFarland

        We have an area near Centennial and Garden of the Gods Road with Dutch names, but did you know about the "other one"? A friend of mine brought this to my attention, since it relates to a spot I know very well.
       There is a little neighborhood off North Cascade Avenue that very few know about. In my research I learned that a good friend grew up in one of the houses. Through him, I have learned more about the houses.
       It all started as I was reading the 1926 newspapers. Here was a full-page ad for property being developed by Benjamin Lefkowsky. If you do not know the name, I will tell you about him further on in this story. I recognized the name, but not the neighborhood. What attracted my attention was the first house being built. The house, called "the Windmill House," was part of the Zuider Zee development. Two familiar names, Paint Supply and Newton Lumber, were prominent in the project. What an interesting house, but the address for the project was 610 N. Cascade. I know that address, but could not connect it with the Windmill House.
       The address was that of James J. Hagerman, of the Colorado Midland Railway, and in 1926 Lefkowsky lived there.
       The next day, after reading the newspaper, I drove to the area and located the street, very close to Monument Creek. It's called Zuider Zee (also spelled Zyder or Zuyder), and three houses have addresses on it. There, almost completely hidden in the trees, is the Windmill House. Right next door is the Peck house! He was an important Cripple Creek mine owner. I know the family, and learned how close this area came to being lost in the Flood of 1935.
       Lefkowsky was from Russia, but was he was interested in Holland. He developed the Zuider Zee area and nearby Park View Terrace from parts of the Hagerman estate.
       In 1927 he started another project - an apartment hotel, just north of the Hagerman house, which he also had built. The site of an earlier fine home, the hotel would include 32 apartments, several dining rooms, including modern hotel facilities. The building was designed to complement the Hagerman house. The apartments became Rus-Amer Apartments, after his Russian and American interests. The ownership has changed over the years, and the hotel dining room idea vanished into more apartments.
       I have been in the old portion of the house, as well as the newer apartment end, several times. The Hagerman residence's interior is recognizable, which is amazing. Fine woodwork, nearly 150 years old, is still in excellent condition. Part of the Hagerman house was even moved when the apartment conversion was done! But that could be another column!

(Posted 4/3/15; Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

       Editor's note: Local historian Mel McFarland has been writing his Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer since early 2004. To see past columns, go to the Pioneer's Archives. Either look for desired articles under the Cobweb Corners category for any year, or search by keywords in the Find box.

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