Sat Closed, Sun 10AM–4PM
Architect: Tryba Architects
Architectural Style: Contemporary
Year Built: 2009–2011
Photo Restrictions: Yes
The angular, modern structure of the History Colorado Center, designed by Tryba Architects, opened in April 2012. Thanks to skylights that mimic the shape of the Rocky Mountains, visitors feel the warmth of Colorado’s famous sunshine as it pools across a map of Colorado made of 234 precast terazzon tiles embedded in the atrium floor. Enjoy the vistas from the south and western sides of the building and follow the Green Trail, which describes how the museum achieved its LEED Gold certification.
While at the History Colorado Center, visit its newest exhibit Backstory: Western American Art in Context. Albert Bierstadt’s magnificent landscapes, Frederic Remington’s exuberant bronzes, the Taos painters’ colorful scenes of the Southwest: you may know some of these legendary artworks, but what are the stories behind them? Artists of the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries captured the landscapes and people of a rapidly changing West—as events set in motion dynamics that still shape the region to this day. Backstory pairs nearly 50 masterpieces from the Denver Art Museum’s renowned collection with History Colorado’s wealth of artifacts to tell the stories of these artists and their times.
See the art. See the artifacts. Get the backstory.
The Colorado History Center is owned and administered by History Colorado, formerly known as The Colorado Historical Society. The State Historical Society was established in 1879, only 20 years after Denver was founded. It currently owns and maintains thirteen historic sites and museums at ten locations around the state, and functions as both a nonprofit agency and as part of the state department of higher education. The History Colorado Center serves as headquarters for History Colorado administration, including the State Historical Fund, the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation, and the Stephen H. Hart research library.
David Owen Tryba founded his Denver-based architectural firm in 1988. The firm is known for integrating contemporary buildings into traditional neighborhoods, and it specializes in historic preservation, urban architecture, and city planning. In addition to the History Colorado building, Tryba Architects has also designed the restoration and rejuvenation of Union Station, the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and The Visitor Center and Parking Garage at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Tryba Architects has developed a national reputation for designing distinctive places and unique works of architecture. Principal David Tryba noted that museums are “community anchor institutions. They are places that are critical to the quality of life in our communities. The History Colorado Center will provide just that kind of anchor.”
The new History Colorado Center is located in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District and Civic Center cultural complex. The general boundaries of this district are Colfax Avenue on the north and Broadway on the east. Speer Boulevard completes the southwest edge of the triangular district. Many of Denver’s museums, cultural, and civic buildings lie within this zone.
Tryba Architects fact sheet on History Colorado Center; www.trybaarchitects.com; historycolorado.org.