Downtime in Downtown Denver

libeskind museum

Daniel Libeskind designed the new wing of the Denver Art Museum, completed in 2006.

Thanks to Airbnb, Ene and I were able to rent a very cozy apartment in the Capital Hill neighborhood of downtown Denver during our recent three day sojourn. The majority of our Tsuru-related business took place in Denver’s Civic Center, a mile long stretch comprising the city’s major cultural and governmental institutions, so our days consisted of commuting on foot from our brick-faced, art deco apartment building typical of the neighborhood, to a corridor of Starchitecture just down the hill. The daily walk gave us a collapsed sense of the city’s history through its architecture, and we agreed that one of Denver’s most unique attributes is its easy juxtaposition of building styles and scale. As the highest altitude corner of the Great Plains, on the edge of the Rockies and with about 300 days of sunshine annually, Denver is the ideal setting for exuberance in architecture.

ponti bldg

I love the high modern/midieval mashup of Gio Ponti’s wing of the Denver Art Museum, from 1971, his only building in the US; “AS TO BE IN PLAIN SIGHT” by Lawrence Weiner, in the foreground.

ponti staircase2

The stairwells in Ponti’s building are sublime.

denver brick

Most of the brick-faced apartment buildings have names in Denver’s Capital Hill neighborhood. ‘Helene’ on Pearl Street is a lovely example of vernacular craftsmanship and design.