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The 1994 Christmas tour
      Photo taken in second floor playroom
Quote: 1994-11-29: Boulder Historical Tour

The Denver Post
November 29, 1994



Historic Boulder's 11th annual Historic Homes for the Holidays Tour starts Saturday. Seven homes in the University Hill neighborhood will be featured. Once a cow pasture on an isolated hill above Boulder, development began here in the 1890s, with lots selling for $ 9.22 each. Today, the neighborhood features a variety of architectural styles and mature trees.

Three of the homes were designed by Boulder's first architect and master-builder, Glen Huntington. The earliest is a finely crafted Tudor Revival at 715 12th St., built in 1923, with cathedral ceilings in the living and dining rooms. Owner Emily Lowrance calls her place "a Christmas house" because she used shades of red and green.

Huntington's 1930 design is a Jacobean/Elizabethan residence at 1500 Baseline Road, with steeply pitched roofline, gables with half-timbering, and a spacious living room.

The last of this group, a Colonial Revival, was built in 1940 at 701 Seventh St., with gabled dormers and paneled windows. A large addition was built by Cindy and Charles Jones, the owners for 12 years.

A 1927 Tudor house at 755 15th St. is being restored to its original elegance by Patsy and John Ramsey, who also are opening it to light and air. A spacious master suite with dormers has gone into the unused attic, and a sun porch became a dining room.

A 1931 Jacobean/Elizabethan home at 1427 Cascade Ave. is enlivened with mementos from the career and travels of former U.S. State Department diplomat Robert Goold and his wife Libby. A sturdy Foursquare home at 845 12th St. was built in 1908, and has recently been given a window-filled addition by new owners Arnold Jacobson and Victoria Johns.

The 1935 Colonial Revival at 770 12th St. also has been given an addition - a large sun room and master bath by owners Carol Francipane and Donald Lococo. They also modernized the kitchen from the studs out.
Tracey: Patsy Ramsey says she has similar regrets. She was always inviting people to her home. She made this video and even held a Christmas open house for the Boulder Historical Society.
{shows video}

PR: And we had probably from 1500 to 2000 people come through our home in 2 days. But in retrospect I often wondered if, you know, that was just an open invitation to a murder. I mean, if somebody was trying to scope out your house, whose bedrooms were where, I mean there were a lot of people in that house.

Tracey: The Ramseys had people in their home for the last time just two days before the murder. It was a children's party.

JR: Well, she and one of her little friends were hanging up the coats and that kind of thing - she did that, that night - I remember that.

PR: I had gotten gingerbread houses and each family was going to decorate a gingerbread house. I had all these gum-drops and I'd bought a gallon of frosting and they were just having a ball. It was just a really fun evening.

(From JonBenet's America
How Patsy Ramsey Ruined My Life!

It all started when I decided to attend the Historic Boulder Homes for the Holidays Tour. Up until then, my required holiday decorations consisted of one fresh poinsettia and one Christmas tree. Little did I know that purchasing a ticket in 1994 to support Historic Boulder would ruin my life forever.

The tour included several homes located on “The Hill” in Boulder. As I trudged up the snowy path to a gingerbread-like house, I noticed a pretty black-haired lady walk up beside me. Being fairly outgoing, I said, “I love this wreath!”

“Why, thank you very much,” she said, then flashed me a broad smile. I realized this must be the owner. As I entered, my breath was taken away by the all the fresh magnolia and pine swags above picture frames and mirrors with a large one draped over the stairway. Others graced long buffets and table tops. The scent of fresh flowers mixed with evergreens raised my spirits, but unbeknownst to me, this would be the first enticement in turning me toward the dark side. “This is the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen. I only wish my mother was here in time for the tour. She would really enjoy this,” I said with tears in my eyes.

“Bring her over when she comes to town,” she replied. “I’m Patsy Ramsey, by the way.”

I introduced myself to this gracious lady knowing that I would never have the nerve to knock on her door again. I continued along with her for a while as I felt myself shifting into an altered state. Fabulous antiques graced each room. She informed me that many of the pieces came from estates in the south. I lost her as we entered the kitchen.

The sprawling house covered 3 floors culminating in a fabulous master suite in the newly remodeled attic space. Two curio cabinets flanked the entry. Neither the one filled to the brim with all of Patsy’s crowns and sashes from pageant competitions, nor the other stuffed with baby shoes, baptismal outfits and mementoes of her children Jon Benet and Blake, could possibly prepare me for what I saw when I entered the bedroom. The foot of the bed housed a television that rose by remote. The perfectly appointed space had entries to his and her bathrooms and closets. Although his was quite understated and unremarkable, hers was on a level, I had never seen before. Shoes and gowns bagged and boxed, marked and categorized with the dates and pageants lined the walls from floor to ceiling. I think that I owned 5 pair of shoes at the time. I wound back down from that third floor trophy room in a zombie-like state of shock.

I drove to North Boulder and stepped into my unadorned home knowing my life as I knew it was over. After being surrounded with lovely holiday décor, I shuddered while looking around at the bare surfaces. I greeted my husband and kids, gave them a quick hug and ran back out to the car, speeding off to the craft store. My addiction had begun.


Since that fateful day, I have anticipated the after Christmas sales like an addict waiting for a fix. I have poured over catalogs and then planned strategies – equal to a serious combat mission – for shopping on the 26th. I have dragged my mother and sister, Patty, along and we have taken turns standing in long lines while filling shopping baskets full of the half-price holiday items.

17 years later, I look around my home with the full knowledge that we will not be entertaining during the holiday season and this should put an end to the madness. But this obsession with the need to decorate runs deep. It has infected even the most logical part of my personality. Every last Christmas tree – yes there are several – will be put up and every box will be unpacked. Our home will be transformed for my family – oh please – for myself!

While touring the Ramsey home, I gasped at the amazing decorations and caught the bug that will probably infect me for a lifetime. It can be contagious and I have unwittingly infected others. This is the burden I have to bear. So this year as I look around at my own festive home I would like to say, “Thanks a lot Patsy Ramsey wherever you are…”

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