Students helping with building denver

Building Denver: Where Corners Meet

June 18, 2021

At Downtown Denver’s Smithsonian-affiliate museum, three unique installations visualize hidden histories and brighter futures in the Mile High City.
June 12th – September 6, 2021

Building Denver: Where Corners Meet takes you on a journey to visualize hidden histories and brighter futures in the Mile High City, offering three collaborative, investigative projects at History Colorado. The exhibition, in collaboration with the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture & Planning, is a part of History Colorado’s Building Denver initiative now empowering Denverites to collectively envision a healthier, more inclusive, more equitable city.

Where Corners Meet, running from June 12 – September 6, 20201, will take guests across History Colorado Center’s front porch, lobby, and Anschutz-Hamilton Hall, hosting architecturally-focused, creative interventions by students, architects and members of CU Denver’s National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAS) student chapter.

Structural elements on the museum’s front porch provide commentary on access—and barriers—to cultural institutions and mainstream culture while depicting personal struggle and uplift. In the lobby, other students reimagine Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood through the lens of Afrofuturism, imagining a future Five Points unhindered by prior racial segregation, ongoing discrimination, and gentrification. 

Inside the vast Anschutz-Hamilton Hall, guests can step into a large temporary structure designed to amplify Denver’s distinct architectural voice. Inside, renderings of more than 80 buildings throughout Denver reveal the energy and attitude of Denver-specific collective architecture hiding around us in plain sight. 

Stoked by climate change, public-health crises, and a burning quest for more justice within our metropolis, Denver is in the midst of accelerating urban and social transformation. 

Denver’s population has exploded over the last two decades, and while the city is more diverse than ever, it was also identified in a recent study to be one of the most rapidly gentrifying cities in the nation. 

How did we get to this point? Where are we, exactly? And where should we go from here? Building Denver: Where Corners Meet and other facets of the Building Denver initiative help answer some of these questions.

The Organizers:
Building Denver: Where Corners Meet is organized by faculty members Kevin Hirth, Rick Sommerfeld, and Annicia Streete. Participating students include Xiomara Amaro, Tyson Burch, Ramiro Castillo, Jazmyn Dennard, Ricardo Gonzalez, Luis Gutierrez, Jocelyn Mujica Martinez, Maslin Mellick, Ethan Miller, Samuel Lara Palacios, Benjamin Pitney, Illiana Ramirez, Joseph Rutledge, Malavika Premanand Shenoy, Emanuil Sklianin, Alisson Quinones, Isamar Quinones, Jordyn Watters, and Mohamad Zaina.

Ticket Information, Hours & Duration:
Tickets ($0–14) are discounted when purchased in advance via historycolorado.org/welcome. The History Colorado Center is open late until 8 p.m. on Thursday evenings this summer. 

Building Denver: Where Corners Meet can also be explored at no charge during the opening celebration for Five Points Plus: Neighborhood Memory Project on Thursday, June 24, 6–9 p.m. No advance registration is required for the celebration. 

Related Exhibitions at the History of Colorado:

All exhibits are always included in general admission tickets at no extra charge. Children under five receive free admission. 

Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City
Through August 31, 2022
A fascinating exhibition of architecture, ambition, activism, and urban planning, Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City explores the growth, urban development, and built environment of Denver from 1860 to today. Throughout 3,000 interactive square-feet, the exhibition reveals how civic leaders, designers, and residents have steadily worked to bring their own visions for Denver to life. It is built on five chronological sections that focus on different visions for the capital—including the future—and residents are encouraged to advocate for their ideas for tomorrow. In each section, the exhibition examines how design affects everyday life. An original light post from I.M. Pei’s 16th Street Mall is on display, as well as a partial reconstruction of an 1859 Auraria plank house that was saved from demolition by May Bonfils Stanton in 1939 and is thought to be one of the oldest surviving structures in Denver. Drawings by John R. Henderson, Jr., who was Colorado’s first licensed Black architect, are also among the artifacts on view. Visitors can listen to the poems featured in the Living Denver podcast, and have an opportunity to share their own neighborhood memories in the exhibit. 

Black in Denver
Through March 2022
The History Colorado Center is proud to be among the host venues for Black in Denver, a portrait and interview series by Denverite Narkita Gold, who notes that the project “takes a critical look at identity, specifically at small Black communities, solitude, and the evolution of the self.” Gold’s approach includes participant observation, empathy interviews, and surveying both locals and transplants to gain a better understanding of Black life in Denver. The project’s online home is blackindenver.com.

State Historical Fund Retrospective
Through Spring 2022
Within every historic structure or project supported by the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF) lies a vibrant community and an individual story. In this 30th-anniversary exhibit at the History Colorado Center, heartfelt testimonials and powerful photography show how preserving history has changed lives. The nation’s largest preservation program of its kind, the SHF currently administers more than 270 grants across Colorado. The Denver Woman’s Press Club, Shorter Community AME Church, State Capitol, and Temple Emanuel are featured local sites. 

Five Points Plus: Neighborhood Memory Project
June 26, 2021–November 2021
History Colorado is collaborating with members of the Five Points community and the Black American West Museum & Heritage Center on a Museum of Memory project that showcases the human stories and collective memory of this important neighborhood. Built on narratives about living, working, and growing up in Five Points, it features a mural created by artist Adri Norris in partnership with residents, artifacts from a variety of different Five Points eras, a sound installation featuring the voices of the community storytellers, photos from the community, and a soundtrack provided by KUVO radio. This exhibit complements the imaginative lobby installation by partners from the University of Colorado Denver that is also on view this summer.

Brick and Soul
July 30, 2021–July 2022
This fourth-floor exhibit of more than 30 photographs by Denver photographer Armando Geneyro connects the built environment with the people who shape its meaning. A versatile creator, Geneyro specializes in events coverage and photojournalism. His passion for street photography allows him to connect to his subjects and immerse himself in different cultures.