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Inside the Henry Lee House

Once home to a Denver pioneer, this historic mansion is now an elegant crash pad for the modern traveler



Photography courtesy Henry Lee House

In the midst of ultra-modern hotels debuting in downtown Denver (read: Le Méridien, The Maven Hotel, Hotel Born), one stay-cation spot is relishing the past. Originally built in 1894 and used as a family home for over 120 years, the Henry Lee House now operates as a luxury group-lodging and events space situated in the heart of the Highlands neighborhood.

The house gets its name from its original owner and builder, Henry Lee, a farmer from Iowa who settled in Denver in the 1860s. Lee is best known for being a staunch Democrat—he served as a state representative and senator—as well as fathering the Denver Parks system, where he developed some of the city’s most beloved outdoor spaces including City Park and Sloan’s Lake. (Unfortunately, he’s also remembered for his tragic death. He was apparently the first pedestrian to be struck and killed by an automobile in Denver in 1914.)

After purchasing the historic property last summer, local apartment and home rental company Stay West completed a sensitive renovation that would make Mr. Lee proud. The remodel kept many Victorian-era elements in tact (the fireplace, floors, windows, doors and wood trim are all original), while incorporating a mix of contemporary accessories, furnishings and art—including a massive Pop Art-style painting of Henry Lee in the entryway.  

At 4,000 square feet, the home is divided into six private bedrooms, five and a half baths, two kitchens, two living areas and a formal dining room. It sleeps up to 20 people comfortably, and the outdoor area—a fenced-in, newly landscaped yard—can accommodate a 150-person event. Created with wedding parties and group celebrations in mind, the house is only available for full-home rental (not individual rooms). 

Take a tour of the reimagined historic digs below. 

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