It’s not hard to understand how Boulder could serve as a muse for a great artist. Visionary architect Charles Haertling (1928-1984) was a Boulder native. He had nothing but love and admiration for his hometown. He was constantly inspired by the dramatic landscapes in our city. And he channeled this inspiration into a career that put him in the history books.
Each design is inspired by a different element of local natural beauty. One build is inspired by a yucca pod… another aspen leaves. His bold designs are undeniably unique. But they all have two things in common:
They find a place where nature and mathematics meet. He combines symmetry, geometry, and organic beauty. The result is impressive. And, honestly… rather soothing.
Haertling designed over 40 buildings in the local area during his tenure. If you’re an architecture nerd like the Boulder realtors here at Burgess Group | Compass, we highly recommend taking a self-guided tour of Haertling’s impressive designs.
Take a self-guided tour
*Remember that many of these homes are currently occupied and private property. Please be respectful of the owners and admire them from afar.
The Conlin House: 440 Seven Hills Drive
This home was built in 1967 for James E. and Sharon Conlin, friends of Haertling from the University of Colorado. This home sits peacefully in Sunshine Canyon between towering pines and massive granite outcroppings. It’s multi-tiered with glass panelings and railings. A climbing wall connects the first floor to the third. The goal was to connect the space both visually and physically. Natural light and natural views consume the interior of the home and give the feeling of constant indoor-outdoor living.
The Boulder real estate agents at Burgess Group | Compass were honored to list this home in 2020 and twice before that.
The Stanley Brenton House: 3752 Wonderland Hill
During his navy years, Haertling spent hours chipping barnacles from ship hulls. In the ‘60s, this experience found its way into his artistic brain. The Brenton house was inspired by none other than… a crustacean. The unique curvilinear home has gained national recognition throughout the years. It was even featured in the Woody Allen film “Sleeper”.
The Menkick House: 165 Green Rock Drive
Mid-century modern design was recently widely popularized when this home was built. This design trend has certainly stood the test of time in the MenKick House. The home features three stone peaks, which mirror the peaks of Gyp Rock, a natural towering rock formation that looms over the home. Floor-to-ceiling windows look straight out onto Gyp and give the appearance that the formation is part of the home itself.
Our Boulder realtor team had the pleasure of selling this home in 2015.
The Noble House: 650 Pennsylvania Avenue
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Noble approached Haertling for a project, but gave no specifications other than “We want it to be different. And we want it to be economical”. Their lot was uneven with mature trees and a stream. Instead of building on top of them… Haertling decided to build around them in what he described as a “wigwam structure”. The home has two wings, which are made up of 16 different triangles. The triangles meet togather to form steepled skylights. Throughout the years, the home has been called “the spacecraft home”, “the pyramid”, and “the umbrella”.
The Volsky House: 711 Willowbrook Road
This home was built early in Haertling’s career. Theo Volsky’s lot was on a steep hillside that featured 360degree views. The finished product included a pinnacle tower, round living spaces, and winged roofs. The neighbors originally filed a petition for the build, afraid that the boldness of the design would decrease their property values. But the opposite happened. Within a year of completion, the home was given a 6-page feature in LIFE magazine.
The Kahn House: 760 Flagstaff Road
An entire wing of The Kahn house appears to be floating above the steep slopes below. Haertling’s geometric themes are certainly present in this home, as mathematics is the only way to make this kind of bold design possible. This home balances above a mountain road. It was originally constructed as the primary residence for a local doctor and his family.
The Aspen Leaf House: 52 Boulder View Lane
The pointed copper roof of this home is designed to resemble a fall Aspen Leaf. This home features 20-foot cathedral ceilings and sunrise-facing glass walls that illuminate the front range. Parallel wooden slats on the ceiling are meant to resemble the veins of a leaf. The Aspen Leaf home was Haertling’s final Boulder build. His family remembers him saying how fantastic the Aspen Leaf Home would look as “architectural ruins in 1,000 years”. So far, the home has stood the test of time.
Comprehensive List of Haertling Builds in Boulder
- Wheat House, 1515 Baseline Road
- Noble House, 650 Pennsylvania Ave.
- White House, 630 Pennsylvania Ave.
- Knudsen House, 420 Christmas Tree Drive
- Krueger House, 1025 Rosehill Drive
- Willard House, 125 Belleview Drive
- Albersheim House, 1440 Belleview Drive
- Dammann I House, 460 College Ave.
- McConnell House, 450 College Ave.
- Caldwell House,415 Drake St.
- Boulder Eye Clinic, 2405 Broadway
- Brenton House, 3752 Wonderland Hill Ave.
- Kahn House, 760 Flagstaff Road
- Menkick House, 165 Green Rock Drive
- Davis House, 65 Belleview Drive
- Gill House, 730 15th St.
- Jourgensen House, 780 Flagstaff Road
- Matheson House, 6087 Marshall Drive
- Wilson House, 550 College Ave.
- Dammann II House, 259 Spruce St.
- Ford House, 4 Benchmark Drive
- Johnson House, 630 Northstar Court
- Leaneagh House, 52 Boulder View Lane
- St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 10828 Huron
- The Warburton House, Gold Hill
- Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
- The Conlin House: 440 Seven Hills Drive
- The Stanley Brenton House: 3752 Wonderland Hill
- The Menkick House: 165 Green Rock Drive
- The Noble House: 650 Pennsylvania Avenue
- The Volsky House: 711 Willowbrook Road
- The Aspen Leaf House: 52 Boulder View Lane