J.D. Forney became interested in antique and classic cars after his wife and children gave him a 1921 yellow Kissel Tourister, the same model he used to court his wife, Rae. Today, the Forney Museum is one of the country’s finest historical transportation collections museums, comprised of over 600 artifacts including vehicles, buggies, motorcycles, steam locomotives, aircraft, carriages, rail equipment, fire apparatus, public transportation, sleighs, bicycles, toys and diecast models, and vintage apparel. The collection also showcases the world’s largest steam locomotive, Amelia Earhart’s first automobile, and Denver’s only cable car.

The Forney Museum is housed in a repurposed industrial warehouse originally built by Union Pacific in 1951. The concrete and steel structure was subsequently utilized as a food distribution business until the Museum acquired the buildings in 1999. At that time, significant renovations occurred to transform the building into exhibit space, a gift shop, gallery, meeting room, offices and a library. The entire 70,000 square feet structure is now available to the public, and another 70,000 square feet is available for future expansion.

Here is an image of the Forney Museum of Transportation, courtesy of Doors Open Denver.


During DOD, the Museum will be featuring a special exhibit of industrial designer Virgil Exner entitled Chrysler Corporation’s Bold Design, 1955-62. Guided tours (by reservation) will be offered both days for a nominal fee.  Please contact the Museum for information.

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.