Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Phipps Estate sells quickly

DU will use proceeds from the sale of the historic Phipps Mansion to fund student scholarships. The mansion was donated to the University in 1964. Photo: Richard Chapman

After a little more than a month on the market, DU’s Lawrence C. Phipps Memorial Conference Center has a buyer.

Tim Gill, founder of Quark Inc. and the Gill Foundation, and his husband, Scott Miller, a local investment adviser, have announced plans to purchase the historic Phipps estate. The sale is expected to close in December 2010.

Gill and Miller plan to live in the 33,123-square-foot Georgian home in Denver’s Belcaro neighborhood.

“University officials are pleased that Mr. Gill and Mr. Miller are purchasing the property and have chosen to maintain it as a private residence,” says DU spokesman Jim Berscheidt, noting that the University will use the sale proceeds to fund student scholarships.

The sale price was around the $9 million listed for the property.

The University has contacted clients to cancel events scheduled for Nov. 8–Dec. 31.

“The University is trying to accommodate groups that had scheduled events in Phipps,” Berscheidt says. Even though the closing is in December, DU needs time to move out.

Furnishings, artwork and other household contents were not included in the purchase, Berscheidt says, and plans for disposition of contents have not been announced.

“We are delighted to become stewards of this Colorado and Denver treasure,”  Gill says. Miller adds, “It will become our private residence and we are committed to preserving its historical integrity for generations to come.”

Sen. Lawrence Phipps built the 6.5-acre estate between 1931–33. His widow, Margaret Rogers Phipps, donated the estate’s tennis pavilion to DU in 1960 and the mansion in 1964.

Gill founded Quark in 1981, and the company became a world leader in the development of page-layout software. He started the Denver-based Gill Foundation in 1994 to support nonprofit organizations that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied individuals, as well as people with HIV/AIDS.

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