The Highlands Ranch Mansion is one of the most architecturally unique structures in Colorado. The Mansion offers over 22,000 square feet (2,000 m2) and contains 14 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, a great room, a ballroom, a dining room, a library, a billiard room, a butler’s pantry and kitchen, and a private courtyard.
The Mansion was built by John W. Springer, a wealthy man with ties to politics, banking, and law. He actually built only about 60% of what is recognized as the Mansion today.
In 1920, the mansion was purchased by Waite Phillips, whose brothers started Phillips Petroleum. He appears to be the first person to have applied the name "Highland Ranch" to the site, after the Highland Hereford cattle on the ranch. Philips sold the ranch in 1926.
In 1926, Frank E. Kistler purchased the Mansion and the land surrounding it. He and his family renamed the ranch the "Diamond K" Ranch. Kistler did some expensive renovations, adding an additional wing to the mansion and changing the architectural style of the facade from that of a castle to Tudor Revival style. During the great depression he had to sell the mansion due to financial problems.
Lawrence Phipps, Jr., a son of former Colorado Senator Lawrence C. Phipps, bought the property to do cattle ranching. He changed the name of the property used at that time and changed it to Highland Ranch. During Phipps tenure, the site became the home to the Arapahoe Hunt, which continued through the 1980s.
Marvin Davis purchased the land and the Mansion in 1976 shortly after Phipps death. Mr. Davis then founded the "Highlands Ventures Corporation" to market the property. In 1978, the Mission Viejo Corporation agreed to a two-year option agreement to finally become the official owners of the Highlands Ranch lands in 1979.
Mission Viejo Corp. then began the planning for residential construction. Construction started in 1980 and the first new residents moved into their homes in Highlands Ranch in September 1981. The Highlands Ranch Mansion is now used for festivities and special events.