Colorado - Mount Evans: Crest House
The Mount Evans Crest House, located at the terminus of the Mount Evans Scenic Byway at the summit of Mount Evans, was constructed between 1940 and 1941 by contractor Justus "Gus" Roehling. The building was financed by Thayer Tutt, who owned similar attractions atop Pikes Peak and the Broadmoor Hotel, and future Denver mayor Quigg Newton, and was designed with a mixture of Organic, Futuristic and Art Moderne styles by Edwin A. Francis. It originally served as a restaurant, gift shop, and tourist attraction, making it the highest business structure in the United States, until it was partially destroyed in a fire in 1979. Its ruins have since been partially reconstructed.
Mount Evans is a 14,265-foot mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains and the highest peak in a massif known historically as the Chicago Peaks. It is one of 54 fourteeners--mountains with peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado, and the closet to Denver, standing just 38 miles west. Originally known as Mount Rosa or Mount Rosalie, it was named by Albert Bierstadt for the wife of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whom he would later marry. Bieerstadt and his guide, William Newton Byers approached the mountain along Chicago Creek in 1863, and spent several days painting sketches from the Chicago Lakes before climbing to the summit. In 1895, the peak was renamed in honor of John Evans, second governor of the Colorado Territory from 1862 to 1865
Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which begins at the junction of Interstate 70 and State Highway 103 near Idaho Springs ontinues on State Highway 5 through the Mount Evans Wilderness ending near the summit of Mount Evans. The byway runs 28-miles, and gains over 7,000 feet of altitude, reaching an altitude of 14,130-feet, making it the highest paved road in North America. The road, built from 1917 to 1927, was set by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.