From the nationally known Denver Art Museum to some of the lesser-known and more historical sites, Denver’s size and culture lend themselves to making this an architectural spectacular worth exploring.
Denver Art Museum
Price: $10 adults/$8 students and seniors/$3 youth, free to everyone first Saturday each month
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can’t talk about architecture in Denver without talking about the Denver Art Museum. The Hamilton building was opened to the public Oct. 7 2006, and it is truly an impressive work. Architect Daniel Libeskind was commissioned to design the new wing. Be sure to check out the Denver Art Museum website to hear Libeskind discuss the structure in his own words.
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Denver International Airport
The Denver International Airport may be the largest international airport in the United States, but it is also a truly spectacular architectural work of art. The building was designed by Perez Architects and Fentress Bradburn, and it was completed in 1995. A series of cables, similar to the Brooklyn Bridge, supports the roof and the main building. It was designed to be reminiscent of the Rocky Mountains with tent-like fiberglass structures.
East High School
Denver’s East High School was built in 1875, the first high school in Denver. It moved to its current location in 1925 and the new building was modeled after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The giant clock tower watches over East Colfax, and it is truly a sight to see. Denver native George Hebard Willimason designed the building years after graduating from the old East High School in 1893.
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Hours: Wed and Sat – 3 p.m. guided historical tours
A landmark in Denver, the historic Brown Palace lives on as the picture of luxury and elegance. Designed by Frank E. Edbrook, it was opened in 1892 in the Italian Renaissance style. Colorado red granite and Arizona sandstone were used in the construction of the exterior of the building. James Whitehouse was hired to create 26 medallions to decorate the building. They were carved out of stone to depict native Colorado animals, and these medallions still hang today between the seventh-floor windows on the exterior of the building. Public tours are complimentary to all hotel guests, or $10 per person.
Just a short drive west on I-70 you’ll see the house that every Colorado native knows about. Some call it the Jetsons House, or the Flying Saucer House, but most refer to it as the Sleeper House because it was used as the iconic house in the 1973 Woody Allen comedy “Sleeper.” Built in 1963, the Genesee house has a distinct modern design created by architect Charles Deaton. The home is now privately owned, but take a drive down I-70 and you are sure to see it.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.