Fitzroy Mansion

The Mansion, also referred to as the Fitzroy House, was completed in 1893, having been designed by the New York architects Fuller and Wheeler, and built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style extremely popular on the east coast at the time. The architects were noted for the numerous educational buildings they designed both in the United States and overseas. Constructed of red stone, the Mansion is large (three floors, a full basement and carriage house), and has ornate fireplaces in most rooms. It also had several unusual features for a home in those days: indoor plumbing, an elevator, a central vacuuming system, an air cooling system and a refrigeration system in the basement for meat and other perishable items. Many of the original furnishings and decorative pieces acquired by Mrs. Iliff in the U.S. and abroad, such as chandeliers, tapestries, paintings and other artifacts still enhance the interior beauty of the Mansion.

The Mansion was commissioned by Elizabeth Iliff Warren, widow of John Wesley Iliff, a successful cattle baron and Denver philanthropist. (Source of Fitzroy name?) He died in 1878 of a gall bladder obstruction, leaving Elizabeth Warren, at 34, with four children, numerous cattle and a land empire. Mrs. Warren assumed the family responsibilities and successfully ran her husband’s business as well as continued to support various charities.

Mrs. Warren used the family wealth to fulfill her deceased husband’s wishes – the endowment of two educational institutions, a vocational facility to provide education in the mechanical arts and a school dedicated to educating men interested in training for the Methodist Ministry. The latter became the Iliff School of Theology, which still stands today. After Mrs. Elizabeth Iliff married Henry White Warren, a Methodist Bishop, both continued to support the University of Denver, the Iliff School of Theology, as well as other educational efforts. Although Bishop Warren and the now Mrs. Elizabeth Iliff-Warren relocated to other homes periodically for vacations and other business, they returned to reside at the Mansion until their deaths. In 1910 a fire, which started in the basement, caused considerable damage to the Mansion and restoration took several years. Mrs. Iliff-Warren returned to the home and lived there until her death in 1920. Her daughter, Louise Iliff, lived in the Mansion until her death in 1966 after which the Mansion became home to the Randel-Moore School. In 1977 the founder of Accelerated Schools was requested to combine its unique teaching system with the Randell-Moore School curriculum. The incorporation of this successful teaching method resulted in the changing of the School’s name to Accelerated Schools in 1984 to more appropriately reflect its goals. The Fitzroy Mansion holds the distinction of being named to the National Historical and the Denver Historical Society. (need information as to formal designation)

The Mansion’s fate and its residents, perhaps without intention at first, were destined to play an integral role in education for more than 100 years, as it continues to do today.