Architect: Henry A. Koch
Referred to as being “the other castle” (the first being at 475 Circle Drive) this residence lies on three-fourths of an acre between Circle Drive and Hawthorne Place. The house was designed by Henry A. Koch, who came to Denver in 1923. He also designed the Centennial Race Track and the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The house was built by F. J. Kirchoff Construction Company for Bertha and Albert H. Seep, owner of the Mine and Smelter Company. “The house was very solidly constructed,” said neighbor Charlotte Croze of 555 Circle Drive. “You could have set a 20-story building on that basement floor.”
Dorothy and Mason Avery Lewis and their two children lived there for three decades. Lewis, a founder of the law firm, Lewis and Grant, was the son of Robers E. Lewis, a judge of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mason’s two sisters, who often lunched together at the Denver Country Club, were “Weddy” (Mrs. Josiah G.) Holland and Anne (Mrs. Henri) de Compiegne of 140 High Street. His daughter, Sally Lewis (Mrs. David) Keefe, was five years old when she moved there. “It was a wonderful place to grow up, and I remember the milkman clomping down the street in his wagon,” she said. “We went downtown on the 6th Avenue streetcar or bus to the movies, or we could walk to the Hiawatha (Esquire Theatre).” Dorothy Lewis, active on the Central City Opera and Denver Symphony Society boards, lived there until her death in 1968.
From the entrance on Circle Drive the eclectic Tudor house has a half-timbered front gable and dormers with lead-pane windows. There is fine stone detailing around the entry and terrace windows with terra-cotta ornamentation. The chimneys are notable for their tapered cast pots. The 4 car garage is set back and angles toward the garden so the front facade is less massive. From Hawthorne Place a large, serene garden leads to the house. A wide two-story bay is topped by brick battlements with stone coping. The back entrance opens to a wide terrace overlooking the garden.
The rooms are luxuriously generous in size. The fireplace surround is of carved stone. “The interior decorator was Havens-Batchelder, and the dining room wallpaper was imported from London,” Keefe said. “There were three maids’ rooms over the garage with a bath and back stairs. The attic of the house was unfinished. Mother didn’t like us up there but we loved it, as there was a little roof balcony towards the garden.”
When Tom Shane, “the Diamond King,” lived there he built a high brick wall in the Circle Drive entrance. The wide double entry is centered by a lower brick wall, marked by two large urns.
The house was sold in 1998 to Kelly and Kevin Gallagher, who performed a multi-million dollar renovation with Diamond Homes, Inc. The renovation was extensive but required few structural changes. The work was completed in 2001.
The home changed hands again in 2013 when it was purchased by Stephen and Kelleen Finn. Additional changes were made updating features in the kitchen and bathrooms, and adding many luxurious interior design touches such as a hand painted mural on the dining room wall.
The majority of this text was taken from “Country Club Heritage, A History and Guide to a Denver Neighborhood”, written by Alice Millett Bakemeier.