Denver architect Jules Jacques Benois Benedict designed the Cranmer House in 1917. Construction of large houses for wealthy clients was one of the principal components of Benedict’s practice, reaching its zenith in the 1920s. The Italian Renaissance style selected for the Cranmer residence was a favorite of the architect.
Many of the features of the house became Benedict trademarks for residential design, including the use of quality materials in an elegant manner, elaborate ornamentation of the main entrance as the focal point of the façade, and the inclusion of finely crafted interior features, such as vaulted ceilings, decoratively painted wood, stone fireplaces, exterior courtyards, and interior fountains.
Benedict designed the house for George Ernest Cranmer and his wife, Jean Louise Chappell Cranmer. Under George Cranmer’s bold and innovative tenure as Denver manager of improvements and parks from 1935 to 1947, the city constructed Red Rocks amphitheater, acquired the Winter Park Ski Area, built parkways, made improvements to the channels of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River, and developed or improved parks within the city. Jean Cranmer was a moving force in Denver’s cultural community, serving as president of the Civic Symphony Society in 1930 and being one of three founders of the Denver Symphony Orchestra in 1934. To help defray costs for the fledgling orchestra, visiting artists often stayed in the Cranmer home and performed in the dwelling’s large, vaulted living room. The property is associated with The Architecture of Jules Jacques Benois Benedict in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.