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Archive of posts filed under the Civic Center category.

New Golden Triangle Project: Denver Art Museum Offices

When the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building opened in 2006, occupying the east half of the block bounded by W. 13th Avenue, Acoma Plaza, W. 12th Avenue, and Bannock Street, the west half of the block featured nondescript buildings and parking lots—the only exception being the nice historic building at the corner with W. 12th Avenue. In 2012, the Clyfford Still Museum cleaned up the northern half of that side of the block, and now the remaining vacant parcel on the block is being developed. Here’s the site in question:

Recently, the Denver Art Museum began construction on their new 50,000-sf administrative office building that will house 100 museum employees, a research library, and a 9,000-sf storage area for museum collections that will free up space in the museum’s North building for additional exhibit space. The project is designed by local architects Roth Sheppard. Here’s a rendering of the project from the Roth Sheppard website:

The two-story building’s design takes its architectural cues from the Clyfford Still, rather than Libeskind’s Hamilton Building, by taking a minimalist, horizontal approach. The ground floor will feature folded glass panels. Here’s a site photo I took yesterday:

The new building is scheduled to be finished by Spring 2014.


Inside the Infill: Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center (Final)

It’s time to conclude our coverage of the development of the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center with this special Inside the Infill post.

The roots of this project go back to the early 2000s. This post from 2007 references a 2005 newspaper article about building a replacement for the undersized and out-of-date Colorado State Judicial Building. This post from early 2010 gives us a first glimpse of the project’s design, and that the new home to the state’s highest courts would be named after Colorado’s heroic governor during WWII, Ralph Carr, who fiercely opposed the internment of Japanese-Americans. Over the past six years, we’ve featured over 20 posts about this project, including the demolition and implosion of the former judicial building that once stood on the site. State court employees have now moved in, and the building opens for business to the public tomorrow. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in January, and an official dedication of the building in May.

Let’s wrap things up with some photos of the completed interior. Ryan and I each had a chance last week to tour the new judicial center, so the photos below represent contributions from both of us. There are three courtrooms in the complex: two for the Colorado Court of Appeals (first and third levels) and one for the Colorado Supreme Court (fourth level). Here’s a shot (left) of the entrance to the larger Court of Appeals courtroom on the first floor featuring white marble (from Marble, Colorado), and a photo (right) of the inside of the smaller Court of Appeals courtroom on the third floor, which feels more intimate with lots of rich wood accents:

 

The Supreme Court courtroom on the fourth level of the courthouse portion of the project is stunning. Here are two images. On the left is the bench where the seven justices will sit. On the right, is the glass-domed ceiling that floods the courtroom with natural light:

 

Hints of Colorado symbols and icons are integrated throughout the building’s design. The Colorado flag’s big block “C” is subtly evident as a decorative detail in wood trim found throughout the building (left) and the columbine, our state flower, can been seen (right) in numerous carpet patterns through the building (OK, I really need to polish my shoes!):

 

The most dramatic space in the project is the grand atrium, a voluminous public space topped by a glass rotunda that serves as the central orienting feature to the courthouse. Speaking of Colorado symbols, the floor of the grand atrium features a huge columbine design (left) and, if you stand in the middle of that columbine and look straight up at the rotunda at just the right angle, you see another big Colorado “C” (right):

 

From the upper levels of the courthouse, the view out the glass-walled grand atrium looks directly at the Colorado State Capitol, currently undergoing a major renovation (left). In the courthouse’s main staircase, a dramatic piece of public art celebrates different milestones in Colorado’s history (right):

 

The courthouse includes the Colorado State Law Library, which features a mix of traditional library shelving, public art, and high-tech digital capabilities (left). On the right is a view of the chambers of a Supreme Court justice:

 

On the south side of the block rises the 12-story office tower portion of the project, which houses the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and other legal offices and agencies of the state. Here’s a photo of the main hallway leading from the courthouse to the office tower (left) and the ceiling and public art inside the atrium/reception area of the office tower lobby:

 

The new Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center is beautiful on the inside and outside, and it appropriately represents one of the three branches of state government in a dignified and civic manner. Additionally, the new Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center offers fantastic views of Downtown Denver! So, here are four bonus photos for your enjoyment. On the left, the view straight north up Broadway, and on the right, the view of the Denver City & County Building and Civic Center Park:

 

Finally, here’s a great view of the Denver Central Public Library and the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building (left), and a sweet shot of the Denver Art Museum’s Ponti tower, the Denver Justice Center, Mile High Stadium, North Table Mountain, and the Rockies beyond (right):

 

Welcome, Ralph Carr Colorado Judicial Center, to Downtown Denver!


Ralph Carr Judicial Center Update #8

While riding the bus on my way home last night, I was thinking to myself: what really makes a city shine at night and what can Denver do to achieve this? One huge step in the right direction is lighting. Whenever there’s a newscast, sporting event, or special story on a city, the camera will always focus on well lit buildings. Nobody likes the look of dark boxes. My point? The new Ralph Carr Judicial Center is doing everything right. The lighting couldn’t be more perfect.

When Ken and I did the Inside the Infill tour over a year ago, I was told a secret I had to hold until it was visible to the public eye. “The lighting will make you stop in your tracks,” I was told. And sure enough, it did. (I haven’t enhanced these photos in any way. They are as close to the naked eye as I could get.)

 

The fences were recently taken down so its street presence is much more prominent, not to mention you can now get up close and personal to it.

The four main columns on the office tower are illuminated providing a great accent between the top and bottom.

Here is the 4-story court house. The city and county building will compliment Ralph Carr Judicial Center nicely when all the holiday decorations are up.

Given the lighting was not in the original renderings, I am very pleased on how well they fit this in. What do you think of the lighting feature?


Ralph Carr Judicial Center Update #7

As time goes on, projects do not really change much from the outside as they near completion. This is a very true case with the Ralph Carr Judicial Center. However, there are some changes and some interesting angles that we haven’t yet seen of this wonderful development.

First, we will start out with the courthouse side. It looks like the stairs to the entrance are starting to be constructed and the columns are beginning to be unwrapped. One very unique, and great, feature is the grass roof on top of the courthouse. There aren’t many of these in Downtown Denver so it’s always very neat to see one.

 

Notice anything different when looking at the overall view of the Ralph Carr Judicial Center? No cranes. Cranes show a great sign of development but it’s only when they get taken down you can get the full effect of what the project will really look like. The hoist elevator has also been taken down from the office tower and has been sealed in. This will pretty much be what it looks like (unless there are more surprises on hand).

 

Here are a couple more angles of this development I took while photographing other projects. I really like the presence and feel of this project in our Civic Center district.

 

As a little bonus, I stepped out on my patio in April and noticed the big yellow crane was being taken down. Since it was a wonderful weekend day, I took many pictures and complied them into a sort of time-lapse. I didn’t have the idea at the time of using a tripod and making a legitimate time-lapse so it’s a little jittery but still a neat little video.


Denver Police Crime Lab: Final Update

The Denver Police Crime Lab very recently cut its ribbon for opening making this the third recently completed project in the Civic Center district. We were even lucky to get an inside look of the crime lab when it was somewhat completed. Here are all the updates for this one.

Better Denver Bond Projects

Denver Police Crime Lab Update

Denver Police Crime Lab Update #2

Inside the Infill

Denver Police Crime Lab Update #3

Not much has changed since I did the last update in March but it is always nice seeing a project completed without any of the construction fences up and the street landscaping in place. Here are some angles of the new and shiny Denver Police Crime Lab.

 

 

 

On the left is the atrium at the front of the building. You can see that it is lit up and there is some decorative art hanging from the ceiling. I bet this looks really cool at night. On the right, I was able to capture the back side of the Cesar Chavez Modernization. The crane has been taken down and the facade is pretty much complete along with the parking garage.

 

I love seeing all these new buildings and streetscapes. Downtown Denver is becoming a great world class city.


Clyfford Still Museum: Final Update

The next project we will be looking at is the recently completed Clyfford Still Museum. This is a great addition to the Denver Art Museum area and to our Civic Center district. Since this is a completed project I will link all the updates below so you can follow the progress.

Clyfford Still Museum Update

Denver Museum Update

Denver Museum Update #2

Just like the History Colorado Center, they did a great job with the landscaping and making this development very welcoming and pleasing to the eye. There is a lot of abstract art in this area on the lawns and passageways. I am glad they continued this with the Clyfford Still Museum.

 

 

A lot of civic projects have recently completed in this area. Can you guess which one we will be looking at next?


History Colorado Center: Final Update

Since I have started to contribute to DenverInfill about 15 months ago, there were many projects in the works and many updates from then till now. Some of those projects have been completed now and I feel they need that one final update showing the completed product. Today I want to share with you the final update on the History Colorado Center. Below you can follow the legacy from the original announcement on this site..

Announcement and Design

Denver Museum Update

Denver Museum Update #2

Inside the Infill Part 1

Inside the Infill Part 2

And today here are some shots of the completed History Colorado Center. One of the things I noticed about this particular project is the landscaping. They did a very good job integrating the museum at the street level and making it very pleasing to the eye. You can also see the large signs for events and exhibits that are posted for both automotive and foot traffic to see.

 

I never really noticed the broken up glass along 12th Avenue. It definatley adds a unique character and a great modern feel to this development. On the right is the street view from Broadway. It’s hard to tell in this picture but, in the full resolution shot you can see the pedestrians walking down Broadway were looking up at the museum. It is pretty impressive from the grand entrance.

 

I snapped two bonus pictures for you. I have recently discovered that parking garages are great ways to get up to see some great angles of these developments. Broadway at 12th Avenue sure looks different than it did a couple years ago. Can you spot the people on the top floor patio?

 

Throughout the next couple weeks we will be looking at some more projects that have completed as well as some that have just begun. Overall, Denver is building rapidly and as soon as one development finishes, at least one begins.


A New Lincoln Street

Every once in a while I will walk against the grain on Lincoln Street on my way home from work. As I approached 14th Avenue I had to stop and stare at this amazing project in our Civic Center district. The Ralph Carr Judicial Center has a massive presence and changes the entire feel of the Lincoln Street / Broadway corridor. When you’re driving down the one way street towards the North, it’s hard to notice the boldness of this development but I encourage you, if you’re on foot, to walk against traffic on Lincoln Street and observe this project. From its Neoclassical architecture to some contemporary touches, what do you think of this overall development?

Not to mention, just down the street is the History Colorado Center which is another huge part of the new Lincoln / Broadway streetscape. Kudos to these two projects in making the gateway into downtown just that much better.

UPDATE: The hoist elevator has also come down on the office tower and they are starting to seal it up. This is a great step in the visual completion of this development.