Husted House bought as place to retire

       The Husted House, 3001 W. Kiowa St., one of the most admired historic houses on the Westside, changed hands in the past year and will be undergoing a long-term restoration project.
       “We bought the house for my retirement,” said Capt. Eric Wilkerson of the Salvation Army in a recent interview, speaking of himself and his wife Janet. “We'll spend the next 15 years fixing it up, so it will be ready when I retire.”
       Designed in an “elaborate Queen Anne style,” the structure was originally built in 1884 as the ranch house for a 40-acre property belonging to Calvin Husted, “a leading pioneer businessman in Colorado Springs and El Paso County,” according to the 2001 book, “In and Around Old Colorado City: A Walking Tour,” by Cathleen Norman. “Husted made a fortune in lumber, mining and railroad interests. He died penniless in 1908 at the El Paso County Poor Farm.”
       Dave Hughes, treasurer of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), described the Husted House as “elegant throughout, everything from the Hassel Iron Fencing and proportions of the features to the detail not only on the house but the secondary structure. After all, Husted was the most prominent man in Colorado City when it was built. He obviously hired the best architect around.”
       Initial restorative work has involved the upstairs interior. “It was a bit of a mess,” said Wilkerson, who is the administrator of the area Salvation Army. “But the nice thing is the entire house is constructed of cedar, including the frame and the siding. That's why it's so straight and level. With a lot of older houses, you see how the porches sag, but this one is perfectly straight because they used the best materials.”
       He and his wife are not residents of the house. “I have somebody living there,” he said. “I don't want to leave it vacant.”
       At the same time, he said in answer to a question, the house is his own, and as such it will be not be used for any Salvation Army programs. “It's not connected to the Salvation Army in any way,” Wilkerson said.
       Until a few years ago, the house was a bed and breakfast establishment. This use had already ceased when the Wilkersons bought the place in October 2005, he said.
       A big future job for the house will be painting it. “It hasn't been painted properly for 50 years,” he said. What's happened is that each coat of paint was put on over the previous one. “Nobody had taken the old paint off. Once we start, it's going to be quite a project.”

Westside Pioneer article