In my search to get some facts about the founding of the Bal Swan School, I found some of the history on the founders of Broomfield, among them being Bal Swan.  I thought all of you who are new and know Broomfield only as this sprawling community of 70,000 plus that reaches from Flatirons Mall east to I-25 and Highway 7.  
Bal Swan was the owner, of Empire Savings and Loan, located on the northside of Midway Blvd and Nickel St. In those days, banks were to reflect the solidarity and trustworthiness through the architecture of their building.  This 1930's Frank Lloyd Wright style. I think you will appreciate its design with polished flagstone flooring, long pleated drapes, private offices, a secure room for safety deposit boxes, a private secretary for the president as well as the receptionist.  No ATMs, where money just spews out, that is if you remember your password. Only a well-dressed lady who knows your name. Today that building is a tribute to good design. When you are over that way and you appreciate architecture and design, I think you will be impressed.
And by the way, the basement of Empire Savings and Loan served as the first grocery store in the newly founded town of Broomfield, as well as later the police department.  
Partnering with K.C. Ensor a builder, Aksel Nielsen, and Spallone another builder formed a corporation called the Turnpike Land CO. Twenty other private investors along with his fishing buddy Dwight D.  Eisenhower. set out to develop this suburb, which once was a farm that grew broom corn. Financed primarily by Empire S & L Bank, the Broomfield Retail Center was built, and water and sewer became available from Broomfield Mutual Services. 
Eventually, after the elementary school was built, the community wanted a library.  As you know the library was named after Eisenhower's wife, Mamie Dowd Eisenhower.   She was a native of Colorado.
Bal Swan's legacy is the Bal Swan School.
I remember standing on the corner of 1st Ave and Coral Way, in about 1966 having stopped my walk with my son in the stroller to pass to the time of day, as we said then.  The topic was about one of the neighbors who may have been there also, looking at options for her child who had down syndrome.  Most parents had made the tough decision to send their children to Ridge Home in Arvada. The only institution that would care for these children. It was an institution that cared for the mentally and severely handicapped children.  This mother was torrn between making him a ward of the state and send him to Ridge home or to try and raise him at home. 
This is my memory, and I may not have everything correct.  What I do know was this was the concept of the Bal Swn School began.  It was the only such school for many years in the metropolitan area of Denver.  The first facility was the brick building at the corner of 8th and Kohl. Marlene Putnam ran this school for many years with compassion and tenderness.  When she passed away, over 1,000 people came to honor her dedication to the many children that attended there.  
There is more to be said about the school and the gifts given to sustain its growth.  I'll save it until next time.
In closing, Bal Swan passed an important piece of advice, directly from the mouth of President Eisenhower sage words that still hold meaning today: "never pass up a chance to use the bathroom" 1
Celebrate Life
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a reprint of Dotti's article from the Broomfield Enterprise.   August 18,2013