Stabilization of the Historic Driggs Mansion

Stabilization of the Historic Driggs Mansion

Highway 141 in Mesa County

Lonely skeletons of a once-magnificent archway and broad stone walls of an old mansion have captivated travelers through the beautiful but remote Unaweep canyon for decades. Who built it? Why here? How could it be neglected?

Construction of the home began in 1914 by Lawrence LaThourette Driggs, an author, socialite and attorney from New York. When finished four years later, it had 7 or 8 rooms. There are conflicting reports about whether or not the family actually occupied the house. Stone mason Nunzio Grasso’s work included hand-carved stone mantles on the two fireplaces, and the arch over the entryway was supposed to have been designed to match the arch in the thimble rock behind the house. Driggs acquired the 320 acres through the Desert Entry Act, with a plan to develop and cultivate desert land.

In 2005 IAWC submitted a request to the State Historic Fund for a Historic Structure Assessment of the Driggs Mansion. But the Assessment sat on a shelf until a new owner purchased the historic property. IAWC approached the owner and they agreed to review the Assessment, and expressed interest to pursue stabilizing the ruins per the Assessment recommendations. IAWC submitted an application to the State Historic Fund, and the grant was awarded to IAWC with the new owner’s approval.

Stabilization, a new perimeter fence bordering the highway right of way and new interpretive signs were included in the grant, a 50 /50 match with the owner contributing 50%.

Stabilization of the Historic Driggs Mansion Photo Gallery