New Project: Buell Public Media Center

A mixed-use office/performance facility, the Buell Public Media Center is planned for the corner of 21st and Arapahoe streets in the Arapahoe Square district of Downtown Denver.

Rocky Mountain Public Media is the parent company of Rocky Mountain PBS, which produces local public television at KRMA (Channel 6) and radio at KUVO (89.3 FM). The new Buell Public Media Center will provide a new home for the organization’s various operations while also creating a studio/theater space for students and community events.

Fundraising for the $38 million facility continues, and construction will begin once 80% of the fundraising goal has been reached, currently anticipated for summer 2018.

The project site on Arapahoe Street at 21st is outlined on the Google Earth aerial below, along with a Google street view image showing the existing structure, a nondescript warehouse built in 1950. The rest of the site is a surface parking lot.

The 60,000 square foot Buell Public Media Center is being designed by Tryba Architects. Here is the newest rendering of the project, courtesy of Tryba.

Meanwhile, the city and the Downtown Denver Partnership are working together on a plan for the Downtown Loop—a five mile ped/bike trail and linear public space that will loop around downtown. The segment of the Downtown Loop that is the furthest along in planning is 21st Street, which will run along the side of the Buell Public Media Center.

The long-term vision for the new 21st Street includes the permanent closure of 21st between Lawrence and Larimer—one block from this project—to create a new public plaza for the neighborhood. This summer from June 15 – August 15, the city will be closing that block to install The Square on 21st, a “pop-up park” demonstration project. What is learned about the space during the summer will help inform the design of the eventual permanent plaza.

The surface parking lots that plague Arapahoe Square are steadily being replaced with new urban fabric-healing buildings that are adding thousands of new residents and employees to Arapahoe Square. The proposed Buell Public Media Center will continue that forward progress.

By | 2017-09-18T18:33:58+00:00 May 10, 2017|Categories: Arapahoe Square, Arts & Culture, Infill, Office|Tags: |8 Comments


  1. ChrisA May 11, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Have you seen the proposal on the architects website? Much better than the one proposed here.

    • KyleM May 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      That might be the old rendering. I like the brick better as well.

  2. JerryG May 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    While I can understand why they scaled back the size of the development, I prefer the glass and brick of the earlier design. It can still be seen on the architect’s website. I think it provided a stronger connection with the street. I also understand that the design is not finalized and so will likely change. In regards to the changes coming to 21st Street, I think if the city is going to close two blocks to traffic (as was originally planned), then it would be far better to close 21st Street between Lawrence and Curtis. This would allow for the potential expansion of the public space centered on Arapahoe St (since most of the corners are currently empty lots) and thus creating a ‘true’ Arapahoe Square.

  3. GC May 11, 2017 at 8:54 am

    You could not design an uglier building if you tried. Terrible.

  4. J Spending May 11, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Nice piece, thanks for sharing.

    89.3’s call letters are KUVO, not KUZO.

    • Ken Schroeppel May 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Thank you for spotting and reporting that typo! Fixed.

  5. Ryan May 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I find it ironic public television announces their move into downtown the same week the hedge-fund-owned newspaper announces they’re moving out of it.

    • ChrisA May 12, 2017 at 8:01 am


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