Tuesday, September 30, 2014

415 Drake:Charles Haertling's House for Lawrence and Helen Caldwell

"There's more excitement and movement in curves than in straight lines.  When you use them, everyday existence gets to be exciting; it's an elevating experience."

Charles Haertling and the Lawrence Caldwell Residence,  
A collectible house for sale!

After 19 years as an electrical engineer for mining companies in Venezuela, Lawrence Caldwell retired with his wife Helen to Boulder in 1966.  By 1968 they were in this house, having had the good fortune to hire Charles Haertling as architect.  Lawrence's past is obscure to me; because he came to Boulder so late in life there is not much local information, and I have not seen an obituary.

Haertling, on the other hand, had a deep and wide career here as possibly the most creative architect in Boulder's history.  Except for some churches, most of his projects were residential, and they are as far as I know all different. But most shared an organic (in a biological sense) quality, as if they were living organisms.  He never saw a curve he didn't like.  His houses were sculptures you could live in, and as a rule they were very muscular, partaking in the lives of their owners.  Two people living in a Haertling house were two of three, the house being an active third.  Often the house would be very active, since he often made use of curves and sharp angles, with the drama those shapes created.  He paid attention to and studied his clients' ways of living and their needs, and made houses that would suit him and them:

"The building has my signature, but if I kept my clients at arms length, all my buildings would look the same."

He designed the Boulder Eye Clinic at 2401 Broadway, St Stephen Church in Northglenn (his son Joel showed a film of its construction several years ago), the Volsky residence at 711 Willowbrook, then the Kahn and Jourgensen residences on Flagstaff Road.  For a complete list, see Joel Haertling's site about his father's work. Another reference, by Andrea Coberly in 2012, is here.

The Caldwell Residence has had only two owners after Helen sold, and they both live there now.  But they want to pass it on to someone else who will take the same care they did.  Call or email me if you would like to see it. I am not the listing agent, but can represent you as a buyer.

Jim Broaddus            Real Estate of the Rockies             303-819-8895              jim@jimbroaddus.com

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