Historic mansion under the gondola has unique, storied past
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It was 1994 when Jim and Kathy Manolios first came to Steamboat Springs for their honeymoon. And that’s when they first saw on the “Victorian Under the Gondola.”
Every year they visited, the Australian couple would keep an eye on the unusual home sitting along the slopes of Steamboat Resort.
“We saw it being rebuilt all those years ago… the whole nine yards,” said Jim Manolios from his home in Melbourne, Australia.
Anyone who has ridden the gondola is quite familiar with the now soft yellow home with old-fashioned turret, iron railings, bay windows and gingerbread accents.
The Manolioses were so enchanted with the home they eventually purchased it in 2012, after it had undergone multiple makeovers from the time it was first built in 1882 in Lyons, Kansas.
“We did our share in looking after it, and now it’s time for someone else,” Jim Manolios said.
“Who would have thought a couple of Australians would have bought it in the first place,” he chuckled.
The Manolios family are downsizing in Steamboat after it became clear they weren’t spending as much time in town as they wanted. The Australian family owns a popular vineyard south of Melbourne and is involved in the motorsports industry.
The Victorian’s history is long and storied. It started as a 4,000-square-foot mansion in Lyons, Kansas, which was split apart by one family. One section went to ruin while the other portion was slated for demolition by another family. That section was then bought by a Victorian enthusiast for $1,500 with only 90 days to get it off the Kansas property. That man, Larry Coleman, then chain sawed the old house apart and put it in storage until he found a piece of property in Steamboat by the ski area.
Larry and Brooke Coleman started bringing the pieces of the historic home to Steamboat in 1991. At one point, Larry had to buy his own 18-wheeler to bring the pieces over the pass from Denver, said listing Realtor Carol Moore with Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, who has her own history with the stunning piece of property.
“It (The Victorian) is the compilation of everything that each owner put into the home,” said Moore, who remembers when the pieces of the home came in on flatbed trucks. “It was the talk of the town. There were no homes like that in Steamboat, and there still isn’t one.”
Since then, Moore said each owner added their own history to the home as they expanded, renovated and updated.
“Yet, they stay trued to the Victorian premise of the home,” she said.
The home has gone back and forth from being a family home to a vacation rental during its tenure under the gondola.
Previous owners added a large addition in 2003 to make it look more like the original home first built in Kansas. And the current owners did their part as well.
“When we bought it eight years ago … we added some bathrooms and added some woodwork and fixed up the outside, rebuilt the deck and modernized it a bit,” Manolios said.
Modernization included heating the path to the front door, decorating with local Steamboat-themed photos and making bathrooms easier to use. But fortunately, the Australians left enough antiques and beautiful Victorian touches behind to complement the old house with its original stained glass windows and stunning woodwork.
“As you step through the front door into the old world entry hall with the high ceiling and curved staircase, you are walking into history,” Moore said. “I love the living room with the Tiffany fireplace and Steinway piano. It’s so warm and inviting.”
In every corner of the house, visitors come upon unexpected gems like a charming little book nook upstairs where a teen could curl up with a book on the floor or sit at a desk with homework.
The Victorian has 6,775 square feet of livable space with additional storage, decks and a three-car garage. Moore said there are two large suites that can be turned into a caretaker unit for the new owners. In all, there are nine bedrooms, eight full baths, two half baths and one quarter bath.
The Victorian Under the Gondola will be sold with most of its furnishings on .75 acres and is listed at $5,290,000.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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