Friday July 25th 2014

Our local castle

Finding interesting locations for some of the quilt photography we do at TQL is one of the most fun (and challenging) parts of the job. We were lucky this time. We needed a place to do a “style shot” for Karen Eckmeier’s quilt Family Castle, and we just happen to have a castle handy.

Our castle is the Armory Building, right in the middle if historic downtown Golden, Colorado (home of Coors beer and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.) I had to find out why there’s a castle in a western town.
It turns out the castle was built in 1913 to house the Colorado National Guard. The architect was inspired by buildings at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, England. To save money, the Armory was built from local cobblestones hauled up from Clear Creek. Scroll down a little to see a picture I shot of the castle’s tower–that was the map room. The building served as an emergency hospital during the flu epidemic of 1918 and offices for the Civil Works Administration in 1933. Ripley’s Believe it or Not says it’s the largest cobblestone building in the country.

Today the Armory is student housing for Colorado School of Mines, which may explain why nobody batted an eye when we set up camera equipment and started sticking quilts to the staircase with double-sided tape.
Now you know the back story of the picture on page 28 of the October TQL. The other story is that I am totally intrigued by the process of building a Family Castle quilt, and I bet you will be, too. It’s playful, no stress, and there’s no right or wrong. Your quilt will look great no matter what you do–so please send us pictures of your castle…Jan Magee, The Quilt Life

The Armory Building - it's on the National Register of Historic Places.
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