History you can experience
Beyond leaving their wealth with El Pomar Foundation to benefit the well-being of Coloradans, three historic properties that were either created by or tied to our co-founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, are also in the Foundation’s care. Each a unique destination in and of itself, these properties connect us with the history of the Penroses and their contributions to Colorado — as well as their continued legacy this region still treasures — and also provide space to convene, reflect, and learn about critical issues of today.
As a manifestation of El Pomar's commitment to convening people for learning and dialogue, and to support the sustainability of Colorado's nonprofit sector, El Pomar renovated the Penrose’s former home in 1992 to serve as a nonprofit conference and education center. We welcome Colorado nonprofits and government equivalents to use the space at no charge for meetings, retreats, and trainings. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Penrose House has a variety of beautiful and unique meeting spaces, amenities included with each, and abundant flora and fauna across the expansive grounds for an inspirational backdrop.
Completed in 1937, the solid granite Shrine stands 114 feet into the sky, high above Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was named in a two-part tribute. The first is to actor, philosopher and humorist Will Rogers after his untimely death in a plane crash in 1935. The second is in appreciation for the sun, captured each morning and evening as it illuminates the tower’s stark angles. The Shrine is the final resting place for Spencer and Julie Penrose and houses several notable cultural attractions, including a 340-square-foot mural by renowned Santa Fe artist Randall Davey, and an education center.
Whether you are interested in the Penrose legacy, regional history, transportation, or motorsports, Penrose Heritage Museum is a cultural institution that connects you with a treasure trove of Colorado Springs stories. Created originally by Julie Penrose, the Museum features the Penroses' personal vintage carriage and car collection, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race cars and memorabilia, personal artifacts from the Penroses' lives, and quirky remnants of the past. Admission is free.