Haertling's Menkick House and the Legend of Gyp


Charles Haertling's stunning modernist design, the Menkick House, is on the market for the first time in almost 30 years. Listed as "arguably Boulder's most important piece of architecture," you won't find any diaagreement here. However, the $6,500,000 price tag will be prohibitive for most buyers.

"The Menkick House, completed in 1970, is situated on a site that contains a beautiful out-cropping. Due to the striking shape of the rock, Haertling and the client decided to use it as an integral part of the design. The rock form is related to architecturally by three pivotal rock masses in the building itself. A neutral horizontal roof line was chosen to allow for the prominence of both the natural and man-made rock masses.

The house features an exciting contrast between the formal south living room wing with the more informal end. The south living room is sunken in the earth and enjoys a view of the city. The north end with bedrooms and kitchen is submerged in trees with a cantilever balcony for the kids that overlooks the creek.

Natural materials relate the building to the environment with rock and wood surfaces moving from outside to inside, complementing the outdoor experience of the site. Practical considerations counseled against intersecting rock into room, but a pierced roof balcony off of the master bedroom that connects to the rock provides a wonderful experience for the parents upon awakening each day and looking up to the crest of the rock backlit with morning light" (atomix.com).



The Legend of Gyp

"Gyp was Josephine Snodgrass, a young pioneer girl who was abducted by Indians. She earned the nickname Gypsie, Gyp for short, from her father, because of her long black hair and dark eyes. On April 2, 1852, John, Mary and daughter Josephine Snodgrass, joined a wagon train.Some months later, they were near present-day Julesburg, Colo.

Gyp was an adventurous girl and she was riding her pony in front of the group when a buffalo calf appeared. Gyp raced after the animal. A band of Indians ambushed Snodgrass and his wife Mary, firing several shots and leaving her dead. The Indians then lassoed Gyp's pony, captured her and headed for the mountains.John Snodgrass and others made a search party and went after the captors.

A few nights passed and they saw smoke coming from Boulder's Red Rocks. They rode toward the campfire and came to an unusual formation of green rocks in the canyon. They spotted Gyp, who was making her escape. As she sought cover in the green rocks, she was shot by an Indian's arrow. Snodgrass climbed into an opening in the rocks and found his daughter dying.

As they grieved, a member of the search party carved the name GYP into the sandstone" (Green Rocks by Adam Patton).

The distinctive green rocks now tower above the Menkick House in the Knollwood subdivision.