A Hidden Surprise 13

One-of-a-Kind Farmhouse Radiates Charm and History in Old Cherry Hills Village

Timeline:

1867 – Three-story round grain silo constructed

1920’s – Original farmhouse constructed

1980 – Mark Van Loucks purchased property, becoming the third owner of record

1990 – Honduran mahogany gates hand-made by Van Loucks

2001 – Major renovation including new kitchen, bathrooms and wine room in basement

2017 – Van Louckses listing the property for sale
Even longtime residents of Cherry Hills Village may have driven past either of the two driveways that reach the Van Loucks’ home without noticing it. Tucked away in Old Cherry Hills Village, the property offers a private, storybook setting, protected from the outside world by large trees, ivy and manicured hedges. A Honduran mahogany gate on each private drive furthers the sense of intrigue and wonder upon entering, each hand-carved and installed by Mark Van Loucks himself. The peaceful oasis beyond these gates is impressive and surprising to all guests lucky enough to visit.

“Why haven’t I seen this before?” Jeff Hendley, listing agent with LIV | Sotheby’s, wondered upon recently finding himself in this unfamiliar territory for the first time. “This is incredible.”

The Grounds

The property was the original farm for the section of land that would later become Cherry Hills Village. A cedar fence connecting large granite stone columns surrounds the entire grounds—this stone is from the original Denver County Courthouse. Towering centuries-old elm trees envelop the central part of the grounds, providing complete privacy. In fact, two private drives bring guests to the home from two separate streets, yet neighbors cannot see the house thanks to being completely secluded and hidden from view. This privacy attracts nesting owls and various bird species and provides sanctuary to other wildlife who frequent the property.

Lee Van Loucks maintains the park-like grounds and incredibly landscaped gardens, and she enjoys utilizing the outdoor kitchen and various seating areas to host barbeques and parties. An in-ground spa and greenhouse add to the peaceful, relaxing appeal of the grounds, while a bronze fountain imported from France trickles into a pond to complete the ambient soundscape.

Structures include the three-story round silo built in 1867 that is currently used as a garage, home gym and office with an adjacent woodshop. There is a guest house and the main house, both in Italian country style and roofed in handmade Spanish tiles. Other structures include a nursery and three-car garage.

The Home

From floor to ceiling, the main house is a treasure-trove of museum-quality details on which to feast the eyes. Original pegged white oak floors remain in place, and the walls are 18-inch stone, helping insulate the home. Petrified wood surrounds the fireplace in the great room, and hand-hewn teak ceiling beams feature original strap ironwork, while painted surfaces add texture and warmth to every room.

A special feature at the top of the long list of unique assets of this home is the stone-faced wine room in the basement. Lee and Mark Van Loucks—she is a retired interior designer and he a retired cable television executive and one of the founders of HBO—were married in Italy and spent their extended honeymoon antiquing in the region. They brought back many amazing pieces, among them a reclaimed antique wine storage unit that covers one wall of the cellar. The remaining walls are covered with a hand-painted mural of the Italian countryside vineyard where they were married.

The Future

Mark has lived in the farmhouse for nearly 37 years. After much deliberation, he and Lee have decided to sell the beautiful property.

“It was such a joy raising children here thanks to its privacy and security,” says Mark. “We will miss this home terribly, and it will always be near and dear to our hearts. Right now, we are looking forward to getting on a boat.”

Listing agent Hendley believes the future owner of this special place will be someone who recognizes the rarity of the property within Cherry Hills Village and appreciates the idyllic setting and privacy it offers.

“This property is extraordinary and has amazing personality,” says Hendley. “It deserves to be honored as such.”