Category Archives: Builder’s Journal

Dream Home: 65 Penn Lode, A Contemporary, Artistic Masterpiece

[Note: The home at 65 Penn Lode has sold. Contact Susie for more information on additional projects created by Ty and his team.]

Perhaps the most artistic home ever constructed in the town of Breckenridge, 65 Penn Lode assembles the best architectural talent and creative minds in the mountain region to create a contemporary luxury home that is truly beyond compare.

65 Penn Lode was the 2015 Summit County Parade of Homes Winner for homes 5000 square feet and over, winning the following awards:Best Overall, Best Builder Concept & Workmanship, Best Exterior Design & Elevation, Best Kitchen, Best Master Bedroom, Best Interior Finishes, Best Landscaping & Outdoor Living Space. 65 Penn Lode was also the recipient of Mountain Living magazine’s Peak Award.

Sculptural stair at 65 Penn Lode

This sculptural staircase, imported from Switzerland, is just one of the great many design surprises at 65 Penn Lode in Shock Hill

All iconic homes need a title. This home is Le Chatel de Breckenridge.

In addition to my role as a Breckenridge Realtor, I spend part of each day assisting my husband, Ty Cortright, in his business creating fine custom homes. To that end, I have been involved at some level with the construction of this home since it began. I’ve been eager to showcase this creative masterpiece since it was a hole in the ground, and now it is complete.

Collaborating with Ty on weekly progress photos and daily correspondence, I know this home as I know my own. Come along with me as I take you on a tour of this, the design jewel of Breckenridge’s prestigious Shock Hill subdivision, as the home was constructed.

Several of the photos below were taken directly from Ty’s weekly progress updates throughout the construction process to lend a “Builder’s Journal” perspective.

[Note: The home at 65 Penn Lode has sold. Contact Susie for more information on additional projects created by Ty and his team.]

Sold in March of 2016, 65 Penn Lode was listed by Mark Thomas of Paffrath & Thomas in Breckenridge.

See current photos on this property's listing.

Exterior of 65 Penn Lode

The architectural masterpiece at 65 Penn Lode was designed by renowned local architect Suzanne Allen and constructed by the luxury home building team of Ty Cortright and Ethan Guerra. As you would imagine from this high-caliber collaboration, the home represents the finest quality in construction, with nothing left to chance and no detail overlooked.

Just a short walk from the Gondola on Shock Hill, 65 Penn Lode perches atop the highest location in the filing, protecting the unsurpassed views even as other homes and projects get underway.

As you begin your ascent up the private drive, you’ll note impressive antiqued posts atop massive granite boulders, with more granite anchoring the masonry.


Each boulder is thoughtfully and artistically placed.

A combination of siding melds a rich variety of natural elements with contemporary elegance. Matte steel blocks; dark, distressed timbers; vertical board-by-board spruce; soaring sheets of glass; exposed structural steel; asymmetrical awnings and masterful masonry. All are embellished with striking visual and spatial elements that add both character and dimension.


As you make your way farther up the drive, you may pull in to the singular garage door on the left. Though there exists but a single one-car opening to the exterior,  once inside, the garage is a cavernous and cleverly designed 1072 square feet, with room for four or more cars, plus your winter and summer recreational gear (and room to maneuver about.)

Just past the garage door, the driveway swings left to flank the east side of the home, where a singularly unique entrance — complete with shaded verandas and black basalt tilework — invites you inside.


The Great Room at 65 Penn Lode

It’s exceedingly rare for this combination of views, location, privacy and artistic vision to come together in a single luxury property.

The custom front door, a walnut-veneered 3”-thick, 4’6” x 9’ monolith inlaid with steel, is set on a pivot hinge, opening wide to the vaulted entry.


There is no threshold here, and so the basalt tile flows uninterrupted from the exterior to the interior of the home.

Basalt at entry, 65 Penn Lode

The entry at 65 Penn Lode before the door is placed. Note how the basalt tilework flows uninterrupted from exterior to interior.


Standing at the entry, the home’s elevator is to the left and the soaring Great Room just beyond.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the voluminous, indoor space with natural light and perfectly frame stunning views of Peaks One through Ten. The great many windows in the home are from the Jeld-Wen Custom Collection (Pozzi). The wood flooring on the main level is reclaimed oak veneer on engineered planks, imported from France, from Arrigoni Woods of Vail, Colorado.



Anchoring the Great Room to the north is a grandly designed fireplace and a set of hearth boulders you’ll not soon forget. These boulders are so difficult to place and yet so singularly dazzling when complete, they are fast becoming a signature of Ty and Ethan’s luxury custom homes.



The search for granite boulders to create this type of massive hearth begins weeks before they are installed. Knowing the precise shape and size he is looking for, Ty creates templates for his mason. Together, they find the perfect stone for each hearth.

The boulder that comprises the hearth in the Great Room at 65 Penn Lode is, in actuality, two parts from a single stone, artfully placed together by master mason, Jose Perez.

65 Penn Lode hearth boulders

The hearth boulders have been located and, here, are sitting on the exterior of the home waiting to be craned into place.

The hearth boulders you see here are so massive that a crane was required to set them into place.

The beams and timbers in the home are as unique as its stonework. As you may know, it is exceedingly difficult to find antiqued, reclaimed timbers of this magnitude that both lend the proper old-world appearance and maintain complete structural integrity. So for this particular project, master carpenter Ty Cortright started with a series of new Douglas fir beams and, using an innovative artistic process, which was both time- and labor-intensive, he successfully replicated the appearance of reclaimed, distressed timbers.

To ensure the highest accuracy, Ty located an antique photograph of a newly constructed bridge, circa 1848. He posted the photograph in the home and instructed his crew of carpenters to create timbers that resembled various and specific timbers from this bridge.

65 Penn Lode timbers

This bridge, built in 1848, was the inspriration for the antiqued timbers at 65 Penn Lode

The result is art in itself.


Before Ty’s antiquing process, these beams were new Douglas Fir. A solution was applied to achieve the proper effect in color, and the wood was distressed with custom-made proprietary antiquing tools.


Note the new Douglas fir beams in the background, before the antiquing process, which you see in the foreground.

The results in the finished home:


Timberwork in kitchen.


Beyond the Great Room, and showcasing the same awe-inspiring views, is a spacious wrap-around, west-facing deck complete with an outdoor kitchen, including a built in 36” Viking Barbecue grill/rotisserie in stainless steel.

Gourmet Chef’s Kitchen and Catering Kitchen
The Chef’s Kitchen at 65 Penn Lode is equipped with flagship appliances: A 36” Wolf Gas Cooktop with five burners, a Wolf Downdraft Ventilation System, a double Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer, a 36” Subzero Dual-Fit Refrigerator and Freezer, a Sharp microwave, and a Bosch Ascenta Dishwasher, all in stainless steel.

The kitchen cabinetry was custom built of walnut with inlays of zinc by Todd Scholl of T. Scholl Fine Woodworks in Fairplay, Colorado. Countertops are black Brazilian Soapstone and, instead of terminating at the end of the counter, continue down the end panels to the floor (a very unique and attractive feature known as “waterfalling.”).


Waterfalling countertops.

Walnut cabinets with live edge zinc inlay

Walnut cabinets with live edge zinc inlay

A solid white marble farm sink is set here, and, just beyond, a custom-bent all-steel bartop runs the length of the Chef’s Kitchen, for a sleek and modern feel.




Just to the east of the Chef’s Kitchen, a distinct Catering Kitchen provides additional space and functionality with an additional microwave and dishwasher, a Gaggenau Gas Cooktop and ventilation system, and two 30” Wolf E-series ovens – one steam unit and one conventional oven set in a dual stack. There is also a private, dedicated entrance where catering and kitchen staff may enter.

The Bar area, just to the north of the Catering Kitchen and adjoining the Great Room, is equipped with a Scottsman ice machine, an under-counter GE refrigerator (dual beverage center), a second Bosch Ascenta dishwasher, and an additional microwave.

Side view of the bar area at 65 Penn Lode

Side view of the bar area at 65 Penn Lode

As you continue through the home, you’ll note that two impressive features continue with you: the majestic, sweeping views from every window, and the innovative design work, showcasing the highest creativity and craftsmanship.

In addition to the Great Room, Kitchen, Catering Kitchen, and Bar, the Main Floor at 65 Penn Lode also features two bedroom suites. The home features five bedroom suites in all, three of which are ready for laundry facilities to be installed in their closets. The home has a full-size Maytag electric Washer and Dryer on the walkout level.



To the north of the Great Room, through a masonry passage headered by reclaimed wood planking and accent lighting reminiscent of the European Alps, is a sculptural spiral stair, custom built in Switzerland by famed master craftsman Matthias Luginbuhl. The stair leads to an observatory, perched in a crow’s nest.


A crane was necessary to fly the structural stair into place.

Sculptural stair at 65 Penn Lode

Sculptural stair set in place with completed custom wood rail

A custom wood railing for the sculptural stair was built and installed by Ty Cortright’s father, master carpenter Richard Cortright, who led Ty’s talented team of carpenters to create this and other custom pieces in the home, thus making it a project for multiple generations of fine woodworkers.

As you descend the spiral staircase from the crow’s nest, the sculptural stair ends but the spiral continues below the main floor – here encased in old-world masonry.

spiral stair at 65 Penn Lode

At the base of this impressive stair lies the entry to the home’s walkout level Master Bedroom, flanked at its entry by massive custom walnut doors.

Inside, expansive windows showcase more exquisite views and another artistically-created stone hearth.

master bedroom

Master bedroom


Fireplace and hearth in master bedroom.

The Master Bath features a wildly spacious shower and a Kohler tub, set artistically askew. Beyond this is the sprawling master closet.


Master shower at 65 Penn Lode.

To the north of the spiral stair is a second living area, with stone hearth. The east wall here is finished with unique split oak blocks, also from Arrigoni woods, leading to the sleek glass encased wine room.


Downstairs living area with bar and 16-foot accordion party door opening to patio and outdoor living area.


To the west is another bar area and a 16-foot wide accordion party door that opens entirely to a stone patio with outdoor fireplace and hot tub. The multiple patios and verandas on the home ensure you can always find a sunny or shaded outdoor space, all depending on your moment-by-moment preference.


Outdoor fireplace just outside the home’s 16-foot accordion party door.

The walkout level continues on to feature two additional bedroom suites, a bunkroom, a ski locker area with wall to wall, handcrafted built-ins.


The walkout level at 65 Penn Lode also features a laundry room, mechanical room and garage entrance, as well as a spa bath, complete with steam shower and private water closet. The countertop is walnut with steel inlay and the pedestal sink is onyx.


Spa bath at 65 Penn Lode.

Countertops and sink vessels throughout the home are either soapstone, granite, quartzite,  onyx, or marble, in a striking palette of white, black, or gray.

In total, there are 6,883 finished square feet of luxurious living in this singularly unique architectural masterpiece.

[Note: The home at 65 Penn Lode has sold. Contact Susie for more information on additional projects created by Ty and his team.]

For more photographs of 65 Penn Lode as well as Ty’s other projects in progress, please visit Ty Cortright’s Google Photos page. Ty’s clients each receive weekly progress photos with captions, as you see here. 

View Ty’s portfolio of fine custom carpentry here: Cortright Fine Carpentry

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