Reader: DeBoer's relative reveals drama behind historic property
You wouldn't think a photo post spotlighting a historic home built by architect S.R. DeBoer would cause controversy.
But a DeBoer family member is upset at what's described as a plan to tear down the property back in the 1970s. Here's her take.
I am S.R.DeBoer's granddaughter. My married name is Elizabeth (Wright) Potts. My mother's name was Elizabeth (DeBoer) Wright . My family lived on that property until the last of it was sold in 2011. I took care of my grandfather on several occasions as I grew up, and after I was married. My grandmother (S.R. DeBoer's wife) developed dementia and was not safe cooking anymore. After high school every night, I cooked dinner with her and for my grandfather. After I was married, he stayed with us while he was recovering from surgery.
We were a close family. My mother lived on that property, almost her entire life. My grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. S.R.DeBoer, never lived in 515 or 505 or 575 East Iliff Avenue. The building you are celebrating is not, and never has been, his home. The small addition on the west side of my grandfather's office was built as a place for me, my parents and my two brothers and sister to live. We lived there until I was 12 years old. We then moved to 575 East Iliff Avenue (a house my father, Wistar Wright, built), one lot to the east of my grandfather's office at 515 East Iliff.
The pictures of the remodeled 515 East Iliff Avenue building seem to show extreme interior changes. I don''t recognize the inside anymore. My two brothers and I are the immediate family members who lived, worked, and cared for our parents and grandparents, and that property, until we were forced to sell it to pay for our mother's' late life care, and the huge legal fees caused by the actions of the very people who are now -- again -- inflicting their fantasized version of our family history on an unsuspecting public. If you want to know the real, accurate history of our family and our property -- ask one of us. We know who our grandfather was, what he did, and where he lived. We know it better than anyone else.
Channel 9 and Westword have been duped into providing free advertising for the company that is selling the property, along with a falsified version of its history. I guess if you don't know the history, you just make it up. It's lazy -- and worse, unethical -- to allow misguided wannabes to continue to ladle out their misinformation. It saddens me to see a fantasy be treated as actual history, when the real history can be readily obtained by anyone who desires to take the time.
Throughout the turmoil of the last few years, with the constant attacks by nasty self-serving neighbors and their misguided followers, my family took the high road. I am very proud of them, and as a family we have nothing to be ashamed of. I can't say the same for some of the neighbors, and some public officials, who were involved variously in the hostile landmarking with made-up information, personal verbal and physical assaults towards us, and the seeming unwillingness to communicate with S.R. DeBoer's real family in any rational way. I guess it is true, if you don't know the history, make it up and print the legend. It's too bad. I feel sorry for people who have to live vicariously through others' history and accomplishments. We are moving on with our lives, and bumps in the road, such as the current kerfuffle over my grandfather's office will not weaken our resolve to hold our heads up high. We know the truth and we know the history, and our love and regard for each other is unbreakable, no matter how much others try to defame and demean us.
For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.