Glen Eyrie Castle
3820 North 30th Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado
This house is best associated with...
William Jackson Palmer
General William J. Palmer, Railroad Magnate & Founder of Colorado Springs
Mary (Mellen) Palmer
"Queen Palmer" Mary Lincoln (Mellen) Palmer of Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs
In 1920, Cochran became the third of the six husbands of the truly extraordinary, and notoriously bad opera singer, Ganna Walska, whose terrible voice - but total self-belief in her 'talents' - found her parodied in Citizen Kane. They divided their time between here, New York City, and Brookholt which was built by one of the most prolific mansion-builders in the Gilded Age, Mrs Alva Vanderbilt Belmont. Not long after divorcing Ganna, Cochran closed up the castle and spent $100,000 building the Pink House on the sunny-side of the valley but he spent little time there and died in New York in 1929.
The castle remained unoccupied during the Depression but it and the surrounding farmland was maintained by a skeleton staff presumably paid for out of Cochran's estate up until 1938. That year, it was sold to Texas oilman George W. Strake for $200,000. He expanded the Pink House and after making the necessary renovations opened up the castle once more as a venue for parties. He also did some ranching on the property.
In 1953, Strake sold the castle for a reduced price of $300,000 to "The Navigators," a Christian evangelical ministry who continue to operate the estate today as a Christian conference and retreat center, hosting about 350-events and 46,000-visitors per year.
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