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Edgeplain is located in Colorado
Edgeplain is located in the US
Location 1106 N. Nevada Avenue, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado (private residence)
Coordinates 38°50′59″N 104°49′15″W / 38.84972°N 104.82083°W / 38.84972; -104.82083Coordinates: 38°50′59″N 104°49′15″W / 38.84972°N 104.82083°W / 38.84972; -104.82083
Architect Thompson Hetherington, Walter Douglas
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference # 06001048
CSRHP # 5EP.5097
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 21, 2006[2]
Designated CSRHP November 21, 2006[1]

Edgeplain, also known as the Arthur House, is a historic building used as a dormitory on the Colorado College campus of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.[1][3]

Arthur House, now a small dormitory on the Colorado College campus, was home to Chester Alan Arthur II, son of President Chester A. Arthur. It was first built by Lyman Bass, a successful attorney who partnered with Grover Cleveland and worked for William Jackson Palmer's Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.


Bass family[edit]

Frances and Lyman K. Bass hired architect A.C. Williard to design a home for them in 1881. They named it "Edgeplain", and had its name etched into one of the building's stones, because it was located alongside undeveloped prairie. It cost $115,000 to build the stone Tudor Revival house.[4] The home has distinctive stonework, with different colors and finishes, such as pecked and vermiculated masonry dressings. Tinted mortar was used between sandstone blocks of different sizes.[1][4] Insides was John LaFarge designed "jeweled glass", tiled fireplaces and opulent paneling. The couple entertained singers and musicians.[4]

Lyman K. Bass[edit]

Lyman Kidder Bass was an attorney in practice with Grover Cleveland and a U.S. Representative, in the state of New York. In 1874, Bass married Frances Metcalfe of Buffalo. He moved to Colorado Springs in the hope of improving his health after having contracted tuberculosis. (See Tuberculosis treatment in Colorado Springs). While in the city he became an attorney for Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, General William Jackson Palmer's company. He died in New York City in May 1889. Francis sold the home following her husband's death; It was owned by several people before it was purchased by Chester Alan Arthur and his wife.[4]

Arthur family[edit]

Between 1901 and 1922, the home belonged to Chester Alan Arthur II, son of President Chester A. Arthur. After Alan Arthur and his wife Myra purchased the home, they had it expanded and remodeled by Thompson Hetherington and Walter Douglas, prominent local architects who built Colorado College residential halls. Their home was "one of the outstanding meetings places of the social leaders from Colorado Springs and Denver.[4]

Chester Alan Arthur II[edit]

Arthur was called "the Prince of Washington" for the way he made the most of being the son of the President, such as attending receptions and using the presidential yacht and car. After attending Princeton University, he studied law at Columbia University. After graduation he went to Europe and stayed there for 10 years, before he took the bar examination. He married wealthy divorcee Myra Fithian Andrews in May 1900 in Switzerland. Like Lyman Bass, in October 1900, Arthur and his bride came to Colorado for his health; he had asthma and bronchitis. His health improved in the Colorado climate. He was made president of Cheyenne Mountain Country Club. Polo became a favored sport as the result of top polo players to the area. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt came to Colorado Springs, he had dinner at Edgeplain and attended a polo match during his 1901 visit.[4]

Subsequent residents[edit]

Fannie and Oklahoma businessman Joseph Abraham bought the furnished house in 1922 as their summer home for $30,000. Between 1926 and 1927 the Phi Delta Theta fraternity inhabited the house.[4]

Joseph died and Fannie Abraham sold the house to Charlotte and John Shaver in 1929. He was owner of a department store chain from Minnesota to Washington and Oregon and sold his interests in 1927 to J. C. Penney Company. Charlotte was a gardener and studied painting. John was a businessman who worked until 1943. Charlotte and John both died in 1960. Their daughters sold the home to Colorado College in 1962.[4]

Colorado College[edit]

Colorado College bought the house to include it within their campus. Arthur House was used as a men's, and then a coed, dormitory.[4] About 20 students live in the dormitory on the western part of the campus that has a combination of rooms for 1, 2 or 3 people. It has living, kitchen and recreational space.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c El Paso County - Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. History Colorado. June 8, 2013.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places listing of El Paso County, Colorado". American Dreams, Inc. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Arthur House". Colorado College Historic Walking Tour. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Arthur House". Colorado College. Retrieved June 8, 2013.