A man named McGee bought 90 acres at the top of the mountain across from our house years ago. He planned to subdivide it into lots. But first he needed to have his property annexed into Manitou Springs so that he could get the taxpayers to foot the bill to put in roads and utilities in order that he could become wealthy. Our very wise city officials refused. So out of spite, in 1991 McGee decided to build a house on the very top. But first he had to pay $12,500 for a membership in the adjoining mountain’s (Crystal Park) homeowners association to have access to their private road so that he could get close enough to build his house of spite.
According to a newspaper article “He even tried to bulldoze a road down the face of the mountain to reach city streets, further enraging townsfolk and resulting in a court-issued restraining order and demands for expensive engineering studies and design work that killed his plan.”
For years Manitou city officials had attempted to buy the property from him only to have him back out at the last minute. But now McGee is 76 and has cancer so the city government was finally able to buy his property for $1.1 million dollars. This week the big story was the bulldozing of the house and is no longer the eye sore that bothered so many.
One of the benefits to the city now owning this property is that a trail system that runs all along these mountains can be completed. Currently, the trail stops next to his mountain and then starts up again on the other side.
The bump on top is the house
Another view of the house
Now as to Crystal Park, that is another story:
In 1975 a couple of Texans bought the next mountain over to create a private 2,000 acre retreat for residents of Texas. They felt mistreated in Colorado and wanted a haven for Texans. And can you believe, they even tried to create a Texas State Park using 40 acres which they planned to deed back to the state of Texas?! Lawmakers in the Colorado House of Representatives quickly passed a bill to outlaw ownership of Colorado land by other states.
Then in October 1975, the property was “dedicated to God and his loving people” as the Crystal Park Christian Community. Needless to say, you had to meet certain criteria to be approved to live there. I believe that has all since changed and heathens are not turned away.
Not many people in Colorado Springs have been on that mountain or actually even know about the community as there is a gate at the bottom and it is a 6 mile drive to the top. One of my childhood friends was employed by the community to maintain the road. He was provided a house to live in as he had to be constantly ready in the winter to plow the road if it snowed. I was up there several times to visit and it is a very beautiful pristine area with a nice lake.
Crystal Park is the middle mountain.