Update: The Denver City Council unanimously approved the preservation of Cableland on April 29, 2019.
There’s a compound at 4150 East Shangri La Drive that characters in the “The Wolf of Wall Street” would have loved for its postmodern excess.
The former home of Bill Daniels, the late cable television magnate and philanthropist, is full of small, confined, dark rooms because his time spent on aircraft carriers as a Navy pilot gave him an appreciation for tight spaces.
But Cableland (known also as the “Mauve Mansion”) sports large, luxurious rooms meant for entertaining and fundraising as well. Some might call the ornate columns and giant, bronze elephant sculptures garish, but architects and historical preservationists call the style postmodern.
The mansion has four bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, three fireplaces, four kitchens, a sunken bar, a swimming pool and a cabana and guesthouse. At one point, it had 88 televisions.
The Denver City Council’s Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a historic designation application for the property on Tuesday. The move, once adopted by the full legislative body, will essentially freeze the building in time. It’s a relatively rare local example of postmodern architecture and a nod to Daniels as an important character in Denver’s history, city planner Kara Hahn said.
Daniels was on a business trip from Wyoming when he stopped into a Denver bar and saw a television for the first time. It was playing a boxing match on the East Coast, a concept that awed him.
“He just became enamored with television and how to make that work,” Hahn said.
Long story short, Daniels was inspired and became instrumental in making cable television a thing. He made a lot of money and gave a lot of it away — and his foundation still does — in the form of scholarships and other grants.
Daniels donated Cableland to the city before he died, and it’s technically the official residence of Denver’s mayor. The mayor doesn’t live there, but the compound is used for meetings and other city business.