Boulder House Built for Buddhist Founder of Universities Lists for $9 Million – BizWest

This story first appeared on, a press partner of BizWest.

A Boulder home built for the founder of Naropa University has gone on the market for $8.8 million.

The 5,267-square-foot home at 2323 Fourth St. in the Mapleton Hill neighborhood went on sale Aug. 22.

The “Zen retreat” was built in 1978 for Chogyam Trungpa, who founded the private Buddhist-inspired liberal arts college in 1974, according to the listing. Trungpa, who died in 1987, also founded the Shambhala Meditation Centers and is known for his contribution to the understanding of Buddhism in North America.

“This house is very solid,” said John Canova, listing agent for Compass, who is also the current owner of the house. “You feel restful here, and it’s almost like a retreat. You can feel that Chogyam has come here.

Sellers John and Lisa Canova updated the kitchen with Gaggenau appliances, bronze metal cabinets and Taj Mahal quartzite. Courtesy of Heather Burns Knierim.

The property was also previously home to Jirka Ryvasy, a Czech Olympian and founder of Gaia Inc., a yoga media company.

Canova and his wife, Lisa, bought the five-bedroom, six-bathroom home for $2.8 million in May last year, property records show.

The couple own a home staging and interior design business in Boulder called Studio 2299, but have recently become interested in flipping homes. They had previously built a three-door house from Trungpa’s property.

“My wife and I had a nice yard there, where we had a glass of wine in the evening by the fire pit, and we always looked down the ravine to that house,” Canova said. “Even before that, we had our eye on this house for 10 years. We thought this would be the coolest project to give some love to.

2323 - 4th scale chamber
The sellers have also updated the master suite and bathrooms. Courtesy of Heather Burns Knierim.

The Canovas completed a multimillion-dollar renovation on the home with high-end finishes, including updating the kitchen with Gaggenau appliances, bronze metal cabinets, and Taj Mahal quartzite; recreate a new master suite; and upgrade bathrooms with Cocoon by Piet Boon fixtures and imported Japanese tiles.

But they retained the Japanese inspiration and clean lines that were originally in place for Trungpa.

“It was almost like a job, so it’s like a whole new house in a really cool shell,” Canova said.

2323-4th Japanese scale
The house has Japanese influences throughout. Courtesy of Heather Burns Knierim.

The house is sold fully furnished. The backyard, which is Canova’s favorite part, has a creek running through it and features a saline pool, hot tub and cedar sauna, plus a two-car garage.

“I’ve lived in Boulder for over 30 years, and half of Boulder doesn’t even know this house exists because it’s so hidden away,” Canova said. “It has its own secret land, but it’s amazing as it’s a short walk from Pearl Street Mall.”

Although the Canovas would have loved to move in themselves, they hope this home will be one of many flipped properties they sell as part of their new venture.

Comments are closed.