housestory 2: A Contemporary Home for Artists

A burst of modernityI love this house! It’s a little burst of modernity on Columbia Street, among the many Victorian and Craftsman homes of downtown’s Patty Jewett neighborhood.

And it recently got a facelift, so I decided to celebrate by researching its housestory. The current owners have done a fantastic renovation, enhancing the home’s original clean lines and boxy shape. And the story of the home’s original owners is interesting as well…

County files show the home was built in 1949, and the first record of owners is two years later, in 1951 for Stanley James and Dorothy Grout Young. A painter by trade, Stanley was born in 1898 in Greenville, Ohio, and moved to Colorado Springs in the 1920’s. He founded Youngs’ Decorating Service in the 1950’s, which would run for more than 30 years.

Dorothy was a noted artist on her own, lauded in the press for her rock paintings. An October 1950 article in the Colorado Springs Gazette by Rubye White reads,

“Picture Mrs. Stanley Young, seated at her easel doing a landscape. Suddenly she discovers she is fresh out of browns. Does Mrs. Young dash down to the nearest paint-supply store for a tube of burnt umber? Not at all. Instead she dashed down into her basement workshop and pulverizes a piece of petrified wood!

Yes, Mrs. Young makes pictures out of rock. She has elevated the lowly pebble to a place in the art world.”

According to White, Dorothy used a variety of local rocks as her palette, including sandstone from Austin Bluffs and Cripple Creek gold ore. She fashioned the powder harvested from ground stone into landscape depictions of local landmarks like Garden of the Gods and Helen Hunt Falls.

Stanley and Dorothy lived in the house on Columbia for just two years with their young sons Morris and Stanley, Jr. In 1956, the Youngs moved on, to a home in the Canyon Wood neighborhood near North Cheyenne Canyon.

• • • • •

Resources:

Colorado Springs City Directory, 1950-1956 volumes.

“Dorothy Young Has Exhibit of Rock Paintings at YWCA.” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph,  Colorado Springs, Colorado. (September 2, 1959): p. 10.

“Obituaries.” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph,  Colorado Springs, Colorado. (February 4, 1989): p. B8.

“Woman Uses Pulverized Rock to Paint Pictures.” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph,  Colorado Springs, Colorado. (October 14, 1950): p. 12.

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4 thoughts on “housestory 2: A Contemporary Home for Artists

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I came to check yours out, and I did a double-take when I read this post. I used to walk my dog past this house every day when I lived in the Springs! Love this house.

    • Not yet–it would be great to see the full inside though! They did such a nice job on the reno, I’m sure it’s beautiful throughout. And, apparently, one of the bedrooms was used by the original owners as an exhibit space for the family’s rock collection–I’d love to try and guess which one. 🙂

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