The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, an operating legacy of El Pomar Foundation, is located on the side of Cheyenne Mountain at 8,000 feet above sea level. Just above the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it provides an impressive panoramic view of the Pikes Peak region.
By its name it is a lasting memorial to actor, philosopher, and humorist Will Rogers, an acquaintance of El Pomar founder Spencer Penrose, who died tragically in a plane crash in 1935. Photographs of Rogers' life are displayed in the stairways and enclaves. Through a separate entrance in the lower level of the Shrine are the tombs of Julie and Spencer Penrose, founders of El Pomar Foundation. Spencer's long-time friends, Harry Leonard and Horace Devereux, are also entombed there.
The Shrine, which stands 114 feet high, was fashioned from a single sheet of granite and completed in 1937. It was constructed entirely without nails and wood, but was bound together by 200,000 pounds of steel and 30 wagonloads of cement. It is a square-sided tower that resembles a medieval castle and boasts a 340-square-foot mural depicting the history of the Pikes Peak region. This mural was painted by renowned Santa Fe artist Randall Davey.
The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is open to the public year-round weather permitting. The Shrine is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day and from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Labor Day through Memorial Day. Visitors may reach the Shrine by way of the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway, which passes through the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo located at 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road in Colorado Springs. While admission to the Shrine is free, visitors must purchase a zoo admission to access the road leading to the Shrine. The last admission is sold one hour before closing time. To contact the Shrine call 719-578-5367.
Julie Penrose, widow of entrepreneur Spencer Penrose who built The BROADMOOR in 1918, built the original Carriage Museum in 1941. The Museum features the many carriages that Mr. and Mrs. Penrose collected throughout their lifetime. El Pomar Foundation operates this prominent historic resource in keeping with the Penrose commitment to preserve and promote the region's history and heritage.
The Museum's extensive collection contains 31 horse-drawn carriages and five motorized carriages, including three Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb race cars (circa 1920s), Mrs. Penrose's 1928 Cadillac limousine, and a 1906 Renault (pictured above).
Among the exhibits are two presidential carriages, including an 1841 Williamsburg Brougham used for the inauguration ceremony of William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States. The other presidential carriage, an 1862 C-Spring Victoria, belonged to the 21st U.S. President, Chester A. Arthur.
Museum doors recently re-opened to a brand new 8,500 square foot facility adjacent to Broadmoor Hall. Several new exhibits are featured, along with a Broadmoor casino table, authentic Native American artifacts, antique firearms and a collection of vintage riding tack-saddles, harnesses and stirrups. The Museum is open to the public and free of charge. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. To contact the El Pomar Carriage Museum call 719-577-7065. The Carriage Museum is located at 11 Lake Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. Click here for directions.
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