DENVER (CBS4)– Renovation work at the Denver Art Museum kicks off with a big celebration next weekend. The North Building, closest to Civic Center Park, is closing for several years.
Sunday, Nov. 19, general admission is free for all visitors. The museum is hosting a “See You Later, North Building!” party. Hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The only charge is for the special exhibit “Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism.”
The daylong celebration will include special tours, art making, performances that celebrate the museum’s collections, and access to the North Building’s 7th floor (weather permitting), a space typically closed to visitors. There will be music from the year the building opened, 1971, through present.
The Gio Ponti-designed North Building will be upgraded and a 50,000 square feet three-story welcome center will be added.
During the closure, the newer Hamilton Building, will be open seven days a week, starting Nov. 20. Architect Daniel Libeskind designed that addition that greatly expanded the museum. Typically, the museum has been closed on Mondays.
The museum will be giving away free “Let’s Make Something” kids’ activity books to the first 1,000 visitors who request them at the welcome desk on the first Monday. Guests can savor a special cup of “Gio” in the museum’s Callahan Café with “The Ponti,” an Italian-inspired latte.
Voter approval of Denver’s 2B bond election will fund much of the renovation, including updated heating and air conditioning systems, improved safety standards and upgraded electrical and technology infrastructure. The museum plans to match the public investment 3-to-1 with privately raised funds.
With the construction, Palettes, the museum’s restaurant, has been closed, as is the B-cycle station between the museum and the Denver Public Library. The new welcome center will include new dining opportunities.
The museum is hoping to have the North Building renovations and new welcome center completed by 2021, the building’s 50th anniversary.
By Doug Hoffacker