Sherry Roberts
The Roberts Group


DENVER, CO, May 22, 2009—After more than a million footsteps, the Karastan carpet in the Molly Brown House in Denver, CO, is being replaced with the exact same carpet: Karastan’s 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman. Somehow, it seems fitting—an enduring design for the home of an enduring woman.

Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown was best known to Americans as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown.” The wealthy philanthropist, reformer and stage actress lived for many years in an opulent 1889 home in Denver, designed by architect William Lang. After Brown’s death in 1932, the home went through incarnations as rental property, a gentleman’s boarding house and a home for wayward girls. Then in 1970 local citizens organized Historic Denver to preserve the Molly Brown House and open it as a museum. The group installed Karastan’s 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman carpet in 1971 on the front stairs from the first to the third floor and on the second floor hallway, which includes the sunroom.

When it came to replacing the carpet in 2009, the museum decided to go with Karastan’s Kirman again based on two factors: the Kirman’s popular design and incredible durability. “With more than one million visitors since the early seventies, this carpet has held up remarkably well,” said curator Kelly Rasmussen. “We feel it’s a high quality carpet and that, with all the colors in the carpet, it brings a special appearance to the house. People have come to associate that carpet with the house.”

The 717 has more than 50 rich colors in a graceful style associated with ancient Persian shawl makers. It combines this beauty with the durability of woven construction and Wools of New Zealand brand wool for a lasting legacy.

The Multicolor Panel Kirman in the Molly Brown House has seen busloads of schoolchildren and thousands of visitors at special events such as monthly teas; a speakeasy party during a 1920s exhibit; and the annual Victorian Horrors, where actors depicting authors of the time period read scary Halloween stories. After the release of the movie Titanic, attendance at the museum jumped and now averages about 40,000 visitors a year.

Howard Lorton Galleries of Denver installed the new Kirman in May. The Karastan dealer was founded in 1927 by the grandfather of owner and president Bill Cook. Located practically on the state capitol’s doorstep (two blocks away), Howard Lorton has a long history of community involvement; in fact, some its employees were involved in the original restoration of the Molly Brown House.

“They’re neighbors being only seven blocks away,” Cook said of the museum. “We wanted to be involved in this project because it was an opportunity to step up and help a friend in difficult times.” It was a major “redo,” as Cook put it, with 144 square yards of carpet covering broad stairs and landings on two floors.

Cook was not surprised the museum chose the Multicolor Panel Kirman again. “The success of the 717 has been phenomenal. How can you not find the color you want in that pattern? That is the real secret. As values go up and down and colors change, it was all there in the thirties and it’s still all there. It’s an amazing piece of goods.”

Connie Berry, director of marketing at Karastan, agrees. “The 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman has been popular since its introduction in 1938. It demonstrates the beauty, elegance and durability of Karastan’s carpets. We are honored to be a part of the Molly Brown House and happy that Karastan can continue to be a part of the remarkable Molly Brown story.”

Historic Denver led a fund-raising drive to replace the carpet in the Molly Brown House. Donors included Karastan, Howard Lorton Galleries, Molson Coors, museum volunteers and descendants of Margaret Brown.

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Karastan’s 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman greets visitors to the Molly Brown House in Denver.
The 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman by Karastan provided the perfect color palette for the sunroom of the Molly Brown House.
Karastan’s 717 Multicolor Panel Kirman was first installed in the Molly Brown House in 1971—and again in 2009.

Karastan is part of Mohawk Industries, a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, wood, stone, laminate, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which, in addition to Karastan, include Mohawk, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, Marazzi, Pergo, Unilin and Quick-Step. Mohawk’s unique merchandising and marketing assists consumers in creating their dreams. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and more than 250 local distribution locations.

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Press Contact: Sherry Roberts | 952-322-4005