Museum Center + Art Hotel Update #1

In April was our first blog post about the new Museum Center + The Art Hotel project planned for the northwest corner of W. 12th Avenue and Broadway in the Golden Triangle district in Downtown Denver. Today, we’re happy to report the project has just broken ground!

As a quick refresher, the nine-story project includes 50,000 square feet of office space known as Museum Center, and a 165-room boutique hotel known as The Art. Both names are appropriate, as the project represents the final phase of the mixed-use public/private project from 2006 that included the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building, the Museum Residences, and the Civic Center Cultural Complex Parking Garage.

With the press release announcing the groundbreaking, Corporex Colorado and Davis Partnership Architects provided this rendering of the project, as viewed from the opposite corner of Broadway and 12th Avenue, looking northwest (click to view at full size):

If you compare this image to the ones we presented in our April 2013 post, you’ll see the design is essentially the same but with just a few relatively minor refinements and tweaks.

With the new History Colorado Center and Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center projects across the street, this project represents the capstone to a remarkably transformed two-block stretch of Broadway. Plus, I think we can all agree it will be nice to not have to look at the surface parking lot, big blank concrete wall, and weedy vacant lot that has occupied the site for the last seven years. What a great addition to Downtown Denver!

By | 2016-12-07T22:13:57+00:00 November 5, 2013|Categories: Golden Triangle, Infill, Lodging, Office, Urbanism|Tags: |9 Comments


  1. Kyle November 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

    To East West Partners and other developers of Union Station, please take note at what decent design looks like. Hiring a creative architect can go a long way. I personally don’t LOVE the look of this but I really like that it is different, modern, not cheap looking, fits in with the area, and looks like someone cared about the final product. Well done! I am sure it will do well!

  2. Jim Nash November 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Bending the box, rippling the streetwall. With the library, museums, courthouse, evolving a unique sense of place along the big street. So many opportunities ahead for walking through the heart of Denver on Broadway, to the north and the south.

    The Art further brackets Civic Center Park, apex of city and state, crossroads of robust downtown. Stand on Broadway in the park, and rotate 360. The center of the built city. At Colfax, crossroads of shopping and urban living. To the south, art and antiques. To the north through the canyon, high-rise living, shopping and nightclubs, we hope.

    Denver is more than neighborhoods and zoning. It’s also big streets, focal points, unique buildings. This stretch on Broadway is a destination, a place to relax and enjoy a sense of place.

    • TakeFive November 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Grreat comment, Mr. Jim Nash.

  3. eracer November 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Very cool building! So is the hotel portion going to be 1 unit in width (i.e. have views out both sides of the tower)?

  4. Stephanie November 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    This looks great, it is nice to see the detail & character with this new infill, its not just a colorful (red, blue, yellow) square box that seems to be popping up everywhere! This will be a great addition to Denver’s landscape.

  5. landon November 7, 2013 at 3:01 am

    not particularly inspiring architecture, especially considering the great building Daniel Libeskind designed. honestly, detracts from it a bit. I’d like to see more sheets of glass around Denver. There’s a really cool building off Detroit and 2nd in Cherry Creek that I like a lot. this is so… lacking.

    • Jim Nash November 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Sorry, Landon — when people call the Libeskind a “great building,” it makes me want to rant. The Denver art-museum elites are so ga-ga for anything New York or Europe-connected, they end up getting taken — for a lot of money — by egotists like this architect, who jumps all the way from the Bau House credo of Form Follows Function to MY STATEMENT.

      What does this “great building” have to do with anything around it? Looking at it, I see a huge piece of sculpture, pretending to be a building. A life-long Denver friend, who’s an art collector and museum director, sums it up: “Where do they hang the paintings?”

      It’s possible Libeskind was inspired by the amazing quartz crystals in the mineral exhibit at the Denver Museum of Natural History, but I think it’s more likely he just wanted to lay his trip on a city that was impressed by his other work, in very different settings, and was willing pay his price. For me, it’s a good thing that it’s surrounded by other buildings, and can’t be seen from Broadway or Civic Center.

      Which raises the broader issue of recent Denver public art. Not tasteful or elegant, like the Alexander Calder construction in Chicago — or even the brass Bear and Bull on Wall Street. No, in front of our Denver airport you see a fighting stallion — which panders to Broncos fans — but his glowing eyes look more demonic, cartoonish than Super Bowl. Then there’s the BIG BLUE BEAR in front of the convention center, a photo op for tourists — but why? On the west side of the complex, don’t miss those trite minimalist dancing figures. And be sure to see the BIG RED CHAIR next to the library. It goes so well with all the other sculptures and buildings around it. Embarrassing.

      My rant here, because one of these days there’ll be somebody commissioned to do a new Mizpah Arch in or near Union Station. Let’s hope, for a change, it’s something we can all be proud of. Whew…..!!!

  6. […] little over a week ago, we announced the groundbreaking of the Museum Center & Art Hotel project along with a new rendering. Now […]

  7. Carl December 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    It’s not too bad but I wish Liebeskind had designed it to match the Museum Residences. It just look like a cheaper imitation, although I do like the first 3 floors.

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