Securing this historic treasure as a public site would be an economic, educational, and cultural "win" for our community by preserving the legacy of this very civic-minded family. There is no greater contribution to the founding and development of Estes Park than that of F.O. and Flora Stanley, beginning in 1904. Our community is presented a unique opportunity, right now, to purchase and preserve the Stanley Home. As our Mission Statement says, "The mission of The Historic Stanley Home Foundation is to purchase, renovate, preserve and operate Rockside, the F.O. Stanley home as a cultural center for local history education. The home will be an enduring reminder of the evolution and development of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park."
The Stanleys provided a role model in effective civic engagement and leadership for current and future leaders.
The Historic Stanley Home Foundation was started in the fall of 2016 to provide a mechanism for the purchase, renovation, and long-term operation of Rockside, the home built by F. O. Stanley in 1904. Rockside, located at 415 West Wonderview Avenue, will serve as a cultural center for local history education. When purchased, Rockside will be referred to as the Historic Stanley Home Museum and Education Center to better describe the benefit to our community.
The Board anticipates that the Home will be a center for education about the history of the Estes Valley and a living reminder of the development and evolution of our town. The F. O. Stanley story provides a shining example of how one individual can impact a community and the lives of countless people. As such, we believe the home will provide a sense of pride for the community, as well as a gathering place for history lovers and educators.
The Foundation is a 501 (C) (3) entity, governed by Bylaws and guided by a board of ten directors. The Foundation pays one employee, who also serves as the President, and all other work is conducted by a cadre of volunteers. The Foundation office is located at 166 Virginia Drive, Suite 1, Estes Park, Colorado, 80517.
The Foundation developed a capital campaign plan in 2018 designed to raise $1,950,000 for the initial purchase of the property, some furnishings, administrative, and fundraising costs. Sources of funds include individual gifts, corporate gifts, and foundation grants.
For a breakdown of the anticipated sources and uses of funding, please download our 2019 Campaign brochure.
The Foundation has an exclusive purchase agreement with the current owners until January 31, 2020. The capital campaign is making expected progress towards the goal of purchasing the home.
At this point the only remaining barrier, with unanimous Town Board approval of the project, is raising the required funds. The capital campaign is progressing as expected, and the Board is confident that the fund-raising goal can be achieved.
Yes. The Town Trustees approved the special permit with 13 conditions including:
- The maximum size of the tours shall be 12 persons in any given group. No more than one group shall be on the property at one time, except occasional brief and incidental overlap at the beginning and end of a tour.
- Operating hours shall be limited to 5.5 days per week with the exception of operations on holidays that may fall on a Monday, e.g. Labor Day.
- Special events hosted by the museum may not extend past 8:00 p.m., shall be limited to 50 people, shall not be held outdoors, and a maximum of 2 special events per month shall be enforced.
- Use of the property for private facility events, including weddings, shall not be permitted.
- A conservation easement on parcel numbered 3524300025 shall be initiated within one year of closing by the Historic Stanley Home Foundation.
- Additional landscaping is required to add 1 tree for every 35 feet concentrated along the adjacent eastern driveway, installed and maintained per EVDC Chapter 7 – Landscaping Requirements.
- Original fencing shall receive routine maintenance.
- On-site food preparation shall not be permitted.
- The eastern driveway shall be removed and reclaimed and shall not be used for property access. During time of re-seeding of pavement/road base, a blockade shall be placed at the entrance from Wonderview Avenue to prevent access.
- Shuttle service shall be required from May 1 – October 31.
- Onsite parking shall be limited to 11 parking spaces for ADA parking and employee parking from May 1 – October 31.
- Dark Sky Compliant Lighting shall be required.
- An initial annual review shall be given to the Planning Commission after one year of operation.
Approval of the Special Review Use would not constitute a change in the base zoning and would only grant the specific use.
Under the stewardship of the Foundation, the property will be nominated for inclusion on the State and/or Federal Register of Historic Places after the purchase is complete. Renovations will take place to facilitate preservation and rehabilitation as a Museum and Education Center featuring guided public tours. Visitors will be limited in number and activity to respect the historic value of the home and of the surrounding residential area, and to meet restrictions established during the approval process by the Town. Hours of operation will vary seasonally.
The Board envisions use by local non-profit organizations for meetings and gatherings, as well as a location for the display of locally relevant historic information and items. We hope to be a strong partner with other preservation and history-oriented organizations.
The Board envisions several sources of income to continue to operate, restore, and maintain the facility. The first source of revenue will be from tours. With a robust tourist population during the summer months, the Board envisions this income will provide for most of the operating and administrative costs the Foundation incurs. Restoration and maintenance costs will need to be managed to correspond with available funds from grants and membership of donors towards the ongoing preservation of the Home.
The land, consisting of 4.4 acres total in 3 parcels, will be kept intact. The first parcel consists of the main house, a garage, and a small carriage house on approximately 1.4 acres. The garage may be used for some storage and a small gift shop in the future. The carriage house, also dating to 1904, is intended to be used as caretaker’s quarters. The remaining two parcels are to be placed in a conservation easement. In addition to preserving the land as open space, this approach should also provide for funds via tax credits that will be applied for the purchase of the property. The open space designation would also prevent single family home development on the property as current zoning allows.
The educational programs are defined in concept only at this time, but as the purchase gets closer, volunteers will work on program design and content. The first focus will be on designing the tour format and schedule. Scripts will be developed, and volunteer docents will be recruited and trained. Foundation volunteers are currently working with the school system to include students volunteers as docents or in other capacities. After the tour process is defined, additional program content will be developed as identified by audiences and volunteers to further enhance educational opportunities and the history of Estes Park and F. O. Stanley.
Yes. Support for the Foundation efforts is currently in the form of donors, a list of supporters called the First 500, and a Community Advisory Group. Once purchased, the Board envisions establishing a Friends group to support ongoing needs.
The Town has supported the effort by unanimous approval by the Town Trustees.
This is a project of and for the community, and as such, we envision our support team numbering in the hundreds and consisting of both local and out-of-town people. There is no limit to the number of individuals on the team. We, of course, need donors, but docents, program developers, teachers, landscapers, general maintenance personnel, and program administrators are all essential to the long-term sustainment of the Historic Stanley Home and Education Center. Please contact us if you are interested in being part of our team.
Donations may be made via check, cash, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Donors are asked to complete a pledge card which outlines your preferred payment schedule. A small percentage of the total pledge to cover ongoing administrative and campaign costs would be appreciated, but the bulk of contributions can be made at the time of the purchase and over-time afterwards.