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Doors Open Denver Preview: Art Students’ League of Denver

Built in 1893, the Sherman School is a prominent landmark that represents the grandeur and pride that was once part of the public school image. Rising above the surrounding residential neighborhood, the main Richardson Romanesque structure features a sandstone base and arched portico entries that welcome students today as they have for 110 years. The building was designed by architect Henry Dozier, and is one of only a few of his structures that are still in existence.

Here is an image of the Art Students’ League of Denver at the Sherman School building, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.

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The Annex building on the North side of the main building was built in 1920 and is typical of the “bungalow school.” It was designed with a decidedly homey character to accommodate kindergarten children, featuring fireplaces in its two rooms that today are spacious sculpture studios. Once covered in blacktop and surrounded by a rusted chain link fence, the surrounding gardens were landscaped in 2001 and have since been lovingly designed, planted and maintained through the hard work and green thumbs of a team of garden volunteers. The gardens include many native Rocky Mountain Region perennials. Funding was generated through private donations and foundation contributions.

This building preview is part of DenverUrbanism’s special countdown series to Doors Open Denver 2015. Click here for more information on Doors Open Denver.


Doors Open Denver Preview: Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre

A local and national treasure, the Historic Elitch Theatre is located in the Highlands and has been an anchor to the 38th and Tennyson corridor on the edge of Berkeley for a 124 years. The theatre is one of the original buildings within the famous Elitch’s Zoological Gardens and Amusement Park. It exemplifies America resort architecture predominantly exhibited in great resort hotels. The building is constructed with a combination of stick and shingle style that is similar to two other well- known National Register of Historic Places in Colorado; the Stanley Hotel and the Chautauqua Auditorium. Through the years there have been additions and changes, but the main structure, housing the auditorium has retained its original structural form. It is octagonal in shape , rising two stories with a tent shaped shingle roof.  Above the central portion of the roof is a miniature version of the building which is crowned by an open look-out tower or belvedere, topped with a flag pole.  On opening day the roof was painted with geometric designs; stars, circles and semi-circles. In 1954, an addition of no architectural merit was added as a backstage building and is strictly utilitarian.

Here is an image of the Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.

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The theatre is the first woman-owned theatre in the country. Its bear pits were designed by Denver architects Charles Herbert Lee and Rudolph Liden. The National Register of Historic Places recognized the theatre for the significance it represents as a part of American architecture and the contribution it played to the theatrical world. Today, it still remains the longest running summer stock theatre in the nation were Hollywood notables graced its stage. Stars like early vaudeville sensation Harold Lloyd to the beautiful faces of Grace Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner and the striking debonair of Douglas Fairbanks, Robert Redford and William Shatner are just a small representation of the hundreds of the Elitch Theatre alumnus.

The current Board of Directors of the non-profit Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation are proud to open the doors of the theatre as they begin Phase Three of restoration. The “Then and Now” theme will be well represented with entertainment, exhibits, displays and artifacts. The audience will walk away knowing that a breath of new life has come back to this iconic gem.

This building preview is part of DenverUrbanism’s special countdown series to Doors Open Denver 2015. Click here for more information on Doors Open Denver.


Doors Open Denver Preview: Hotel Teatro

The 110-room, eight-story, 42,000-square-foot tower is a Renaissance Revival, clad in glazed red brick and white terra cotta, with coffered plaster ceilings, overhanging parapet and galvanized metal cornice. Interior marble from Tennessee, Vermont and Arizona complement Pike’s Peak granite in the façade of this streetcar headquarters, once scarred with bullet holes during the 1920 Tramway Strike. Additionally, onyx chandeliers adorn the ceilings, and an eight-story, restored brass mail chute adds vintage charm through the property.

Hotel Teatro recently received a new round of renovations in Summer 2014, led by Colorado-based interior design firm Studio Frank. With the renovations came The Study, the new contemporary-yet-rustic lobby area of the hotel, as well as the Barista Bar, which offers coffee from local vendor, Method Roasters. At this time, the property also welcomed The Nickel, a new chef-driven restaurant within Hotel Teatro that focuses on modern Rocky Mountain comfort food while distilling flavors from the best of Colorado.

Here is an image of Hotel Teatro, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.

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Hotel Teatro is renowned for its exceptional guest amenities, distinctively appointed guest rooms, dog-friendly policy, complimentary vintage cruiser bikes for guest use and more. Additionally, the property has received notable accolades from Travel + Leisure, Sunset Magazine and Condé Nast Traveler. During this year’s Doors Open Denver weekend, Hotel Teatro will offer guests informational programs regarding the property, as well as an exclusive tour of the hotel’s recent renovations, The Nickel restaurant, ornate meeting spaces and a guest room.

This building preview is part of DenverUrbanism’s special countdown series to Doors Open Denver 2015. Click here for more information on Doors Open Denver.


Doors Open Denver Preview: Republic Plaza

Republic Plaza is a skyscraper in Denver, Colorado. Rising 714 feet, the building currently stands as the tallest building not only in the City of Denver, but also the entire Rocky Mountain region of the United States. Additionally, the building currently stands as the 109th-tallest building in the United States. The Plaza was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and built in 1984 by PCL Construction Services, Inc. The building contains 56 floors, the majority of which (1,200,000 sqaure feet) are used as office space, and three retail levels containing shops, restaurants, and service businesses.

Here is an image of the Republic Plaza building, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.

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The Plaza is built largely of reinforced concrete clad in Sardinian granite. Also, it contains a 3-story marble lobby that features a quarterly “Art in Public Places” program of Colorado and regional artists. The free public arts program, “Arts Brookfield” offers 2 galleries of outstanding exhibits all year round. This is one of the few large-scale exhibit spaces that are free and open to the public in the metro area. Currently showing are: Photosynthesis, Southwest Voices and Elements at Play by Marc Berghaus.

Simlarly, Republic Plaza is involved in ongoing Denver events. For example, on October 27, 2007, the building’s top 20 stories were lit in purple with giant white letters “C” and “R” to celebrate the Colorado Rockies’ World Series debut. Today, the Republic Plaza is also the home to the American Lung Association in Colorado’s Anthem Fight for Air Climb. The event is held the last Sunday in February and is a 56-story stair climb to the top of the building.

This building preview is part of DenverUrbanism’s special countdown series to Doors Open Denver 2015. Click here for more information on Doors Open Denver.


Doors Open Denver Preview: Bindery on Blake

2901 Blake Street originated as the home to Magnus Metals, a foundry. It remains a River North mystery as to how long Magnus Metals operated for, because in 1976 when Noah Siegel bought the building, it had been converted into a moving and storage warehouse. There were rows of Prestone Antifreeze filling the building from floor to ceiling and in one room Noah uncovered a motorboat. Despite the puzzling contents of the building, Siegel believed that the warehouse’s lofty ceilings with is spacious bays would be perfect for housing his company, Eastwood Printing. Thus in 1979 Siegel moved his printing business to 2901 Blake Street where the company thrived under his leadership for next thirteen years.  In 1992, Siegel’s daughter, Sonia Danielsen, bought the family business and proceeded to run Eastwood Printing for twelve more years at 2901 Blake Street. In 2004, Sonia sold her business to Consolidated Graphics, a national printing company, but kept ownership of the real estate. Consolidated Graphics operated in the building for an additional ten years, but in 2014 Sonia was faced with dilemma.

Here is an image of the Bindery on Blake building, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.

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The printing industry was shrinking and Consolidated Graphics was forced to discontinue their operations at 2901 Blake Street, thus Sonia needed to decide what the future of the building would hold.  She was repeatedly approached by a number of developers hoping to tear down 2901 Blake Street and build a trendy five-story apartment complex in its place. However, Sonia felt invested in the rich history of 2901 Blake Street and couldn’t bear to see the 100-year-old building with its aged brick façade and clearstory windows demolished.

At this point in time, the River North neighborhood was growing and transforming into a nexus of Denver culture. The area was booming with local businesses and had developed a flourishing arts scene. Sonia acknowledged this shift, and decided that her building needed to be repurposed to fit the changing environment of River North. Thus, she embarked on a project to conserve the architectural and historical integrity of the building, while making its function relevant to the neighborhood.

In 2014 Sonia began the process of renovating 2901 Blake Street with the intent to create a suitable environment for creative office and retail space. To start the transformation process, Sonia had the white and silver paint removed from the walls, revealing beautiful red brick. Then she replaced the leaky roof, fixed 400 broken clerestory windows, and redid the street level windows with new energy efficient storefront glass. After this, she shifted her attention to the back of the building where there was a concrete train dock used to bring in raw materials for both Magnus Metals and Eastwood Printing. She decided to transform this dock into a covered patio with views of Longs Peak. The original building has retained its riveted steel trusses, and large open bays with tons of natural light from the 8,000 original steel-sashed clerestory windows. The building’s structure and history remains intact, but the building is primed to become a space for collaborative businesses.

Thus, it is appropriate that new name for 2901 is the Bindery on Blake, because the latest renovations hope to bind the building’s rich printing history with a future of creative business and innovative ideas.

This building preview is part of DenverUrbanism’s special countdown series to Doors Open Denver 2015. Click here for more information on Doors Open Denver.