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427 W. Columbia Avenue Telluride, Colorado 81435
For Sale! $6,125,000

Property Info

427 W. Columbia Avenue
Telluride, Colorado 81435
MLS# 36427

Property Summary

One of the most historic and completely restored homes in the town of Telluride.

Property Description

One of the most historic homes in the town of Telluride is the Cornell House, truly one of a kind, given its historical significance to Telluride and the invention of alternating electric current. Lucien Lucius Nunn, an American entrepreneur who made alternating electrical current functional, acquired this house in 1891 and was one of the first homes in the country built with alternating electrical current. In 1902 Nunn housed the ''Telluride Institute'' in this building where students from Cornell University in New York could come to learn the practical application of electrical engineering, hence the name.

When the owners purchased this home in 1996, the foundation was in ruins and the interior in need of repair. Shortly after the owners began to meticulously and lovingly restore it taking it down to the studs, adding a new foundation as well as some modern upgrades all while carefully keeping it true to its original form. The house literally needed to be picked up and moved into the street for foundation work to be completed. Even the parquet wood floors, the only historic inlaid floors in Telluride, were restored to their original piano key pattern. Without changing the front facade of the house, they added a contemporary kitchen on the first floor and a master bedroom suite with his and hers bathrooms upstairs. It took over two years to fully restore the historic house. Throughout the process, which included following the town’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission guidelines, the owners learned about Nunn and the history that their newfound home harbored. It seemed like fate brought them here, since the owner was an electrical engineer who graduated from Cornell University.

Today the historic Cornell House is 2,154 sq. ft. with three bedrooms, three and one-half bathrooms plus a large basement housing the mechanical equipment and providing plenty of storage. The detached remodeled guesthouse incorporates the previous garage and today is 848 sq. ft. featuring wormy chestnut interior with a living and sleeping area, kitchenette, a large sleeping loft accessed by a library ladder, bathroom, storage basement and an attached heated one-car garage.

The lot size is one of the largest oversized and beautifully landscaped lots in the entire town of Telluride. Some of the best views of the ski area and the box canyon can be enjoyed from this Telluride treasured gem. Elaborate landscaping, a salt-water hot tub, back yard patio and front yard fire-pit enhance the property.


  • Rooms: 12
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 4 full baths, 1 partial baths
  • 3,002 ft²
  • Lot size 7,343 ft²
  • Built in 1891
  • School District: Telluride
  • Year Remodeled: 1998
  • Historical Qualifctn: Contributing
  • View 1: Ski area
  • View 2: Box Canyon
  • Covered Parking: 1 Car; Heated
  • Heat: Gas; Radiant in Floor
  • Fireplace: 1; Artificial Gas Logs
  • Appliances: Dishwasher; Disposal; Dryer; Freezer; Gas Oven/Range; Kitchenette; Microwave; Refrigerator; Washer; Water Softener & Purifier
  • Humidifier & Air Cleaner
  • Central Vac in both houses


  • The Cornell House
  • 4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms including Guesthouse
  • Parquet Wood Floors
  • Contemporary Kitchen
  • Master Bedroom Suite with His and Hers Bathrooms
  • Large Basement with Plenty of Storage
  • Front Yard Fire-Pit
  • Back Yard Patio
  • Outdoor Salt-Water Hot Tub
  • Detached Remodeled Guesthouse
  • Heated One-Car Garage
  • Extensive Landscaping
  • One of the largest lots in the town of Telluride

Exclusively Listed By

George R. Harvey, Jr.



Contact Me

Mobile: 970-729-0111


“Locally Known, Globally Connected.”

In 1983, when I decided to get my real estate license, I heard around town that real estate brokers didn’t have a very good reputation. That bothered me so much that I made a promise to myself that I’d do everything I could to earn a good reputation in this new industry I was about to pursue. For the first four years of my real estate career that started on January 2, 1984 I did all I could to learn from the 30 or so real estate agents in Telluride at the time and to study the market as thoroughly as possible.
In 1987 when local real estate agents wanted to form the Telluride Association of REALTORS®, I was part of that founding group. The two biggest reasons for this were to demonstrate our commitment to the Code of Ethics promoted by the National Association of REALTORS® and to form the first Multiple Listing Service in Telluride. At the same time, I pursued all of the continuous education opportunities I could find in the Telluride region, the state of Colorado and around the country. Improving my skills has always been important to my goal of providing the best service possible for my clients as sellers or buyers.
When I began my volunteer REALTOR® career, first as president of the Telluride Association of REALTORS® in 1992, then in other positions at the state and national REALTOR® associations, I started to learn that not only did becoming involved in my industry make me a better agent for my clients, but it greatly expanded my referral network. For the last 20 years, I have attended at least 10 real estate events or conventions every year in Colorado, the United States and around the world. That network now exceeds 12,000 REALTORS®. Nothing compares to face-to-face interaction with other Realtors® and global real estate agents in building trusted relationships with them and for their clients and customers.
My wife, Becky, joined our real estate brokerage, The Harvey Team, 12 years ago after working as a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser for 10 years. Becky’s value in our practice is tremendous in our evaluation of listings for our seller clients and assisting me with buyer property pursuits. She is also a great concierge of client services for Telluride festivals, lodging suggestions, restaurant recommendations and those special client requests that only a longtime local can accomplish. Many of our clients regard Becky clearly as the best part of The Harvey Team.
Becky and I are passionate about achieving our clients’ goals, and to that end we still pursue continuous education that surpasses what the Colorado Real Estate Commission requires. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics isn’t just a piece of paper for us…it’s our bible for our standard of practice. If our story sounds like we might be a good fit for your buying or selling needs, please email us at George@TheHarveyTeam.net or call me on my cell at 970-729-0111.
Our services will always mirror your timetable and your needs.
Our goal is to provide you the best market information possible so you can make a great decision for you and your family.

The Harvey Team

PO Box 2283, Telluride, CO 81435