The WESTMINSTER CASTLE, also locally known as "The Big Red Castle" or
"The Pillar of Fire" is a historic landmark located in Westminster,
* 1 Conception to construction * 2 The University opens * 3 Pillar of Fire * 4 Today * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links
CONCEPTION TO CONSTRUCTION
Now owned by the Pillar of Fire Church , the "Big Red Castle" started life in 1890 with dreams of becoming "The Princeton of the West" when New Yorker Henry T. Mayham received approval to build a Presbyterian university on his land atop a hill overlooking Denver, Colorado. This beautiful property was named Crown Point and was the highest point in the early, sprawling Adams County .
THE UNIVERSITY OPENS
Although the construction was completed in 1893, the doors of
Westminster University did not open until September 17, 1908 thanks to
Panic of 1893 and competition from a nearby
1911 saw some changes to the city in which the University was
located. The town, formerly known as Harris (for an early settler),
incorporated and changed their name to Westminster, in honor of
Westminster University. The next few years were basically uneventful
until, in 1915, the Board of
Trustees made the decision to exclude
women from the University. Just two years later, they found themselves
with no enrollment because all of the young men had gone to fight in
World War I
PILLAR OF FIRE
At its peak, the Crown Point property was worth nearly a half a million dollars. But after the devastating closure and three-year abandonment it was purchased by Bishop Alma Bridwell White of the White nationalist Pillar of Fire Church for $40,000 on January 31, 1920. Included in the sale was the main college building, 45 acres (180,000 m2) of land, a power plant, and two houses (one a student's dormitory , the other the President's house.)
The sale was a good deal, but the state of the buildings left the church with $75,000 worth of repairs. Shattered windows, cracked walls, and broken plaster were the main structural complaints, but the once regal building had also become a glorified barn with thousands of chickens in the basement and farm machinery on the first floor.
In spite of the enormity of the work, the new Westminster University opened to students on September 7, 1920, just eight months after the purchase. Within six years of opening, the school, now known as Belleview Schools, had received its educational accreditation and was ready for decades of education.
In the late 1920s the campus was frequently used for Ku Klux Klan meetings and cross burnings . But in 1997, the Pillar of Fire Church, the school's owner and parent organization, repudiated its historical association with the Klan.
Belleview Christian Schools still reside on the Westminster University campus which is home to Belleview Christian Childcare ">
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National Register of Historic Places