With the public grand opening less than two months away, renovation at the Highlands Ranch Mansion has kicked into overdrive.
So too has fundraising to furnish the mansion.
“It’s a great gift of the past for us to hand down to future generations,” said Bradd Johnson, president of the Highlands Ranch Park & Recreation Foundation, in regard to the historic building that has 90 years on the community itself. “When our foundation learned that the metro district did not have funding for the furnishings of the mansion, we thought this was an ideal project to partner with them on.”
Thus far the nonprofit group has raised $66,000 toward its $250,000 goal to purchase 1920s and 30s style furniture and artwork for the mansion. The HRPRF is the same organization that has raised more than $500,000 since 2000 to help fund such projects as Civic Green Park, the Highlands Ranch Veterans Monument and to have recycling containers placed around town.
“It hasn’t been furnished in more than 30 years,” Johnson said, referring to the point in time when Mission Viejo took over the mansion property in 1979.
The mansion, which was gifted to the Highlands Ranch Metro District by Shea Homes in 2010, is currently going through a full renovation inside and out and is preparing for a June 1 opening with a scheduled public open house on June 15.
Aside from getting everything from a new roof to new state-of-the-art healing, cooling and electrical systems, the building is also getting an addition put on in back. The Carriage House, which is connecting where the old stone garage sat to the back of the mansion, will provide a reception hall area for weddings and serve multiple purposes for both public and private use.
“With all the renovations and furnishings it will be like it was when people lived here,” said Carrie Ward, director of Parks, Recreation and Open Space for the metro district. “The main historic rooms will be furnished for the opening June 1. We’ll phase things in as we go from there.”
Johnson said he expects to see more funds come in to furnish the remainder of the mansion once people get a chance to see the refinished inside.
Adding incentives for possible donators the foundation has created a tiered donor recognition program. Each of the six tiers, ranging from $500 and under to $25,001 and higher, is named after a former owner of the mansion. The higher the tax-deductible donation the more incentives that come with it, including getting one’s name permanently displayed on the donor recognition wall at the entrance of the mansion for donations $1,001 and up.