Spencer Penrose was an entrepreneur and a visionary. A native Philadelphian, he came to Colorado in 1892 to partner with his boyhood friend, Charles L. Tutt, in various real estate and mining ventures. Buoyed by his early success in these activities, Mr. Penrose continued to invest in the mining business in Bingham Canyon, Utah, establishing the Utah Copper Company, which would later merge with Kennecott Copper.
Mr. Penrose's approach was straightforward: build for tomorrow. He did this in two ways. In a literal sense, he helped create some of Colorado Springs' most famous landmarks. Penrose first built The BROADMOOR, a world-class resort in the foothills of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, and then went on to create legacies including the Pikes Peak Highway and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Penrose's second approach to building for tomorrow began in 1937 when he and his wife Julie established a living legacy, El Pomar Foundation. Through El Pomar the Penroses supported cultural and civic institutions including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Central City Opera and Fountain Valley School. Mr. Penrose left the majority of his estate to El Pomar upon his death in 1939. Julie Penrose succeeded her husband as El Pomar president and served in that position with a generous and indomitable spirit. She left the majority of her estate to El Pomar in 1956.
As El Pomar eagerly continues its journey into tomorrow, its direction comes from its past. Spencer and Julie Penrose's lives, as they lived them, provide the principles that will continue to guide their foundation now and in the future.
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