Denver Central Library

Architect: Burnham Hoyt; Michael Graves, Klipp Colussy, Jenks Dubois    

Year Built: 1955/1995

Photo Restrictions: Yes

The Denver Central Library is a regional icon showcasing elements of two important architectural movements: the International style and Postmodernism. The original portion the building’s flat-roof, reinforced concrete frame and random ashlar Indiana limestone veneer place it firmly in the International Style. Designed by architect Burnham Hoyt, the 1955 library is the only major work by Hoyt completed in Denver in the post-World War II period, and is one of only two major Hoyt projects in the International Style that survives.

Renowned architect, Michael Graves, with the Denver architectural firm of Klipp Colussy Jenks DuBois, designed a seven-story addition in 1995, bringing the vocabulary of Postmodernism to Denver without overwhelming the Hoyt library’s exterior elements. The 1995 Graves’ expansion’s multi-hued towers, turrets, and colonnades make the Central Library a mini skyline unto itself and a stellar example of the Postmodern style.

Libraries continually change to meet the needs of their changing communities and Denver’s Central Library is no exception. It’s likely undergone some changes since your last visit and major updates are planned for the future. Come by to learn more!

Inside, Grave’s signature color palette continues and unifies the library’s varied spaces and departments.  Renovations completed by Klipp Architects in 2011 have added interest and enhanced functionality throughout this Denver landmark. Stop by to see murals by Edward Ruscha, roam exhibits in level five and level seven galleries, and browse hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs. The Denver Central Library has something for everyone!

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