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Category Archive:   historic preservation


“Quoins” are the exposed stone pieces that you sometimes see stacking up only on the corner of a building. They sometimes look like a zipper applied to the corner edges of a structure.  And their use today is odd and usually fake and is trying to allude to traditional masonry construction and presumably the sense […]

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One of Denver’s sort of hidden architectural gems is the Mullen Building, part of the Saint Joseph hospital complex. Built in 1933, the Mullen Building was designed as a nursing school and dormitory by Denver architect Temple Hoyne Buell.  Buell was from Chicago and like so many Coloradans, came out West for the treatment of […]

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On the east side of US36 that runs between Boulder and Denver, is a large, hulking building that you can just see above the suburban sprawl of car lots and muffler shops.  This massive stone building is currently a Christian school but in its early life it was home to a Presbyterian college called Westminster […]

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So much of our understanding of what makes a building beautiful is based on a notion of discovering or uncovering the perfectly pleasing proportions of an architectural space or facade.  From the earliest writing on architecture in the western world, we have been obsessively concerned with the proper height to width ratio of a column, […]

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A few days ago a friend and I happened along this beautiful stone church in Hygiene, Colorado. This is about as simple as a building can be – a single, simple gabled building, about twice as long as it is wide.  And, about as tall as it is wide. It is the Church of the […]

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Each year Colorado Preservation Inc identifies a number of interesting and threatened buildings across the state. This year, prominent on the list, was a collective entry – the older advertising signs along Denver’s Colfax Avenue. I have been making images of these signs for years, so I decided to re-post this blog entry of mine from some time ago:

Colfax Avenue runs east-west through Denver, Colorado and is an approximately 26 mile journey from the eastern plains through the heart of the city westward to the base of the mountains.  Starting out as US Highway 40, it was the main entry into Denver from the east until the interstate highway system displaced its welcoming role.  The vestiges of that motor age are still evident in the aging signs that dot its length.  Once known as the “wickedest street in America”, Colfax is pretty tame these days as the muffler shops and fast-food outlets slowly displace the decaying motor inns and diners, vice and violence.

Starting from the eastern edge, you can get ready for your trip to the West by dressing the part

share save 120 16 Colfax Avenue, signs of western journey
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As Chair of Boulder’s Landmarks Board, I have been heading up an effort to engender greater appreciation and recognition of some of Boulder’s remarkable 1960′s architecture. Boulder really flowered in this decade as a number of new, high tech industries moved to town and the overall prosperity lead to a explosive building boom.  On the […]

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I am giving a public talk on February 19th on a brief history of Modern Architecture in Boulder at the public library Canyon Theater.  I have given a version of this talk in the past, with emphasis on preservation of the recent past.  This time around I have rewritten the focus of the talk to […]

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