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Denver Museum of Nature & Science Expansion Update

If you have been by City Park lately, you have probably noticed a red tower crane hanging out with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. There is an annex being built connecting to the museum. This is a five level expansion with two of the floors underground. This is how the breakdown will work. The two underground floors are going to be for the Rocky Mountain Science Collections, the ground floor will have science studios for schoolchildren, and the second floor will feature a science center for early learners. That leaves the top floor which will contain a new gallery for temporary exhibits. Life on Capitol Hill did a great article with the full details that can be found here. Renderings can be found here, and here courtesy of GH Phipps.

Now for some pictures! Given there are two sub-levels in this project, it is very hard to see what is actually going on down there. The fence wraps around very far outside the actual site but from general observation, it looks like an elevator core is rising and there is a gigantic hole where they are building the underground section (where the mobile crane is located).

 

 

One of the things I love about this museum is the park at its feet as well as the view of Denver from it. Here is a little bonus picture of that wonderful Denver view.

That little ‘crane forest’ is the St. Joseph’s expansion in Uptown which we will be covering in the next post or two!

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12 Comments

  1. IZen says:

    Thanks for the update. I was admiring the hole and new construction a couple weeks ago during a picnic on the hill there and wondered what the project entailed.

    On a side note, does anyone know what is being built on the northeast corner of speer and 14th Ave?

    It’s a tiny corner lot and I see a narrow foundation/slab with all sorts of plumbing rising up at regular intervals.

    I suppose it too much to hope for; that it’s a gas station for the King Soopers diagonally across 14th.

    • Rob C says:

      Funny you mention it, I just saw a permit pulled for that work. Although I have no idea what’s going to be built there. I truly hope it is NOT a gas station for King Soopers.

      • IZen says:

        I guess you might prefer yet another Starbucks over the a gas station but I live .2 miles from there and would love a cheaper place to fill up. There is already another Starbucks two blocks away at Colfax and Kalamath

        On the occasions when I take out my car I am usually heading out of town and have to fill up at the way overpriced shell or go quite a bit off course to other King Soopers or Costco for affordable gas.

        I have friends, who live in the CBD and drive scooters, that often complain about having to go out of their way to find gas.

        I know our city needs to shift it focus away from cars to other forms of gas but we will still need places to fill up for the foreseeable future and having vehicles driving around in search of gas does not help congestion.

        • IZen says:

          OOPs.. I meant ‘other forms of transportation’, not ‘gas’.

          Should have proofed before post.

        • Aaron says:

          Gas stations are huge wastes of space in a downtown not because they do not provide utility, but because they provide such a small amount of utility compared to what could be there.

          Additionally, we still have plenty of Gas stations in central Denver surrounding downtown including one near the Starbacks at Colfax and Kalamatah, one a few blocks south on 11th and Santa Fe, one in the parking lot of the Pepsi center, one on 17th and Penn, Colfax and Ogden, 6th and Speer, one on Park Ave near I25, and those are just off the top of my head. I am not sure if any of them are ‘affordable’, but I doubt it because gas prices are almost always higher in urban areas.

          Also for it to be worth it to drive to get cheaper gas, price differentials per gallon need to be greater than 10 cents, and the cheaper station still has to be within a few miles (exact distance and price depends on size of tank and MPG). So on top of driving around contributing to congestion it is very likely you are hurting not helping your pocket book.

          Not that I am for the Starbucks, but gas stations just do not make sense, and I seriously doubt that adding them will make gas more affordable.

    • Ken Schroeppel says:

      The small building under construction at the NE corner of Speer and 14th Avenue is a Starbucks drive-thru

  2. Steve says:

    I keep hearing about the “crane forest” at the building site for the new St. Joseph Hospital, and that is certainly true. However, just to clarigy, the large yellow crane is actually for othe expansion (addition of 2 floors) to the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children on the campus of Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. RMHC opened a little over 2 years ago and it is already undergoing expansion. It will include a new neonatal intensive care unit (approximately 90 beds, the largest in the Rocky Mountain region) as well as expansion of the pediatric intensive care unit from 10 to 20 beds. I work at that hospital and we are very excited about the growth.

  3. Nick M says:

    Hmmm…I’m perpetually annoyed by how much of that museum seems to be unused. Granted, hallway space isn’t traditionally considered exhibit space, but there is a LOT of it and it could easily be put to far better use before spending a gob of money on additional levels.

    That said, I approve of improved museums…but seriously…can we not have those drab, empty hallways and escalators on the way to all those exhibits? This place should be OVERFLOWING with nature and science!

    • keeg says:

      That space is used for events often. I went to a prom there one time. The atrium areas bring light and space into the museum. It is sometimes used as space for parts of exhibits, like entry or intro features. You don’t really want to permanently fill this space with exhibits.

  4. Lisa says:

    The museum also has info on the addition, including a construction time lapse, at http://www.dmns.org/about-us/future-plans. Thanks for all of your updates.

  5. Chad Reischl says:

    Ok, If Denverinfill.com can talk about construction of a building in a city park 2.25 miles EASt of Downtown, then it REALLY aught to talk about a REAL infill project 2.25 WEST of Downtown (from Broadway and Colfax) at Colfax and Irving. The Urban Land Conservancy has broken ground on a highly urban project that covers what was once a nearly 2 acre parking lot for a strip mall (built under the guise of urban renewal) that hasn’t functioned as a parking lot in over a decade. This site will contain a 25,000 SF Denver Public Library, a building with 72 units of workforce-housing and a three story office/retail building along Colfax. This is going to be an AMAZING infill project and should be posted on this site (I realize that its outside the original boundaries set up by Ken when he started this blog, but so is the Museum of Nature and Science.) More info can be found at the following websites.

    http://westcolfaxbid.org/mile-high-vista/
    http://www.urbanlandc.org/assets-investments/mile-high-vista/about-mile-high-vista/
    http://www.urbanlandc.org/assets-investments/mile-high-vista/new-library-on-west-colfax/