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Happy Birthday to Julie Penrose!


Alex Johnson

A news report from 2005 called Julie Penrose, wife of Spencer Penrose, the “Queen of Colorado Springs.” She was a socialite, a dedicated philanthropist, and an astute business leader who headed El Pomar Foundation and the Broadmoor Hotel after her husband’s death in 1939.

She was born on August 12, 1870, in Detroit. From her beginnings in the Midwest, she would become one of the most influential women in the history of Colorado Springs.

Born Julie Lewis, she married a Senator’s son and came to Colorado Springs for the health benefits of a dry climate. Sadly, her husband and young son died of tuberculosis in 1902. Julie and her only surviving child, Gladys, chose to stay in Colorado Springs, where they had a large home at 30 West Dale Street, the present site of the Fine Arts Center.

She met Spencer Penrose in Colorado Springs, and they married  in 1906 in London.

Julie was also a benefactor of the world-renowned Central City Opera, one of the oldest opera houses in the nation. She was an ardent patron of the arts in the community.

By the time she passed away in 1956, Julie was a well-respected community leader who had carved out a prominent place in the Colorado Springs business, social and philanthropic communities.