All in the Family: Architect Comes Home to Help Summit


All in the Family: Architect Comes Home to Help SummitIn 1891, The Grandview opened as a luxurious hotel in Manitou Springs, Colo. Built by Dutch immigrant William Paulson, the hotel remained in the family until the 1950s. In 1962, Summit Founder Dr. David Noebel purchased the hotel and began Summit’s program to engage students in learning biblical worldview.

“When young people come here, do they get born again?” the architect asked as he surveyed the property.

Jack Paulson came to Summit after a series of interviews with contractors who all suggested him as the right architect to help Summit embark on the historic renovation of the Summit hotel. Dr. Noebel had envisioned a year-round program that would help Christians of all ages develop a robust biblical worldview. In 2012, Summit President Dr. Jeff Myers and the Summit board of directors agreed the time was right to begin working toward that vision.

When Dr. Myers called Paulson, an amazing connection with Summit was reveled. Paulson shared that, in fact, his great grandfather was William Paulson — the original owner of the hotel. His family had owned the building for nearly 50 years before Dr. Noebel took possession in 1962.

Dr. Myers wasn’t certain if Paulson would approve of his answer to the question about students getting born again, but he prepared for whatever was to come: “Yes Jack, sometimes they do.”

“That’s fantastic!” Paulson responded.

Stepping foot on the Summit property was like taking a ride in a time machine, says Paulson. “At first it was a little overwhelming walking through the front door. Nothing had changed since I left.” (Paulson lived on-site until he was about 10 years old.)

It’s no coincidence that Paulson connected with Summit, according to Dr. Myers.

“I have no doubt that God brought Jack to us,” Dr. Myers said. “We’d never find a more committed person to see this through. The fact that Jack’s great grandfather built this hotel is nothing less than evidence that God’s fingerprints are all over this. I believe God had this special family build and steward this building especially for Summit all along. It’s all part of God’s design!”

Now, after 54 years of Summit students learning to live biblically at the Summit hotel, another generation of Paulsons is again shaping the building’s future.

Having Paulson on the team is a true asset, says Summit’s project manager, Adam Hinkle.

“It has been a joy to work with Jack as he remembers running through the halls of this hotel as a kid back when his parents owned it,” Hinkle says. “Jack’s connections locally make him the ideal partner for this project. He’s masterfully helped us determine how to fit our needs for the building with the modern code requirements. He’s been very patient with us, and I’m truly grateful for him!”

Managing the complexities of the fire and building code has been a real challenge. Summit’s team has guarded the historic nature of the building like it’s gold. Paulson has orchestrated meeting after meeting to facilitate discussion on the part of the Historic Preservation Society, the Regional Building Department, and the Manitou Springs Planning Department.

“It’s gratifying to me because of what Summit does,” Paulson said. “We think it’s a great program and ministry; you are helping kids stay in line with their faith.”