03 Sep Saved from the Wrecking Ball Three Times
On the brink of destruction multiple times, the Redstone Castle has endured despite the odds.
If not for a few lucky breaks, the Redstone Castle’s story may have been a tragedy—dismantled brick-by-brick or its land gobbled up for a sprawling subdivision.
On shaky ground
After Mr. Osgood died in 1926, his third wife Lucille Reid Osgood inherited the Redstone Castle, in addition to all his holdings. After his death, Lucille continued to live at the estate. She invested much of her new fortune in the stock market—just in time to lose it all in the crash of 1929. Through the depression years, the property became more difficult to manage and bits and pieces of it were sold off.
Rescued from neglect
According to Darrel Munsell, a Redstone resident, former history professor and former president of the Redstone Historical Society(RHS), the future of the castle was bleak before concerned citizens stepped in. “During much of the 1960s, the Redstone Castle remained vacant and subject to vandalism,” Munsell said. “To protect it, the State Historical Society gained National Register of Historical Places designation in 1971. Ken Johnson of Grand Junction saved it from the wrecking ball for the first time in 1975.”
Johnson lavished attention on the property and guarded the castle’s treasures. He held on to it until thelate1990s when it once again went up for sale, igniting fears of what would happen to the property after Johnson’s stewardship.”
Rescued from the IRS
When Tranquil Options bought the castle in 2000, the town breathed a collective sigh of relief. However, the company was not what it appeared, but rather a front for an elaborate international Ponzi scheme that swindled investors out of $56million.The IRS seized the property in 2003, stirring up worries about the future of the landmark. Through a court order obtained by the RHS, the IRS was forced to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This genius move proved to be the path for a long-term preservation solution. The castle was listed on the Endangered Places Program and is one of the few buildings in the U.S.to have historic easements that protect not only the exterior and grounds but also fixed elements on the interior. By 2006, the Redstone Castle was considered “saved,” thanks to the heroic efforts led by the RHS.
Rescued from the auction block
As intended the historic conservation easements proved to be a stumbling block for potential buyers who were not interested in conservation and restoration of the castle, and many of them passed on purchasing the property. However, there was still concern that a wealthy buyer might buy the property as a residence, closing it indefinitely to public access. In 2016, the Redstone Castle was on the auction block yet again. Due largely to the constraints of the historic easements, the price fell from a listing high of $7.5millionin 2015 to selling at auction for $2million. April and Steve Carver, owners of the Hotel Denver and Glenwood Canyon BrewingCompanyin Glenwood Springs, placed the winning bid. The Carvers spent two years painstakingly restoring every inch of the castle to its former grandeur, even going so far as to bring in restoration experts to repair water-damaged ceilings. The Carver’s love of history and hospitality is evident in every room throughout the Redstone Castle.
Against all odds, the story of the Redstone Castle has a happy ending. Today, the castle is open year-round for tours and overnight accommodations; it is also an ideal setting for weddings, corporate retreats, and other special events. Learn more at www.TheRedstoneCastle.com.