In November of 1894 the Colorado State Capitol Building opened for use, and with it came a new civic region that was later referred to as the Golden Triangle Creative District. As the century turned, new government buildings were erected and cultural facilities followed. From Colfax Avenue to the north, Lincoln Street to the east and flanked by Speer Boulevard to the west and south, the “Triangle” today is flourishing with many museums, civic buildings, galleries and artist’s studios. Exploring the area’s vast buildings and cultural centers provides a glimpse into this energetic epicenter of Denver’s creative community.
The Arts And Museums
Among the many studios in the district lay one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast. The Denver Art Museum houses more than 70,000 works of art with collections represented that span the globe, including an homage to Colorado’s rich history and regional Native American cultures. With its educational programming and interactive displays, this family-friendly museum succeeds in bringing innovative opportunities for the community to appreciate the creative arts.
Across 13th Avenue from the Denver Art Museum, stands a two-story museum dedicated to preserving the works of Clyfford Still. Also providing exhibits and programs that foster innovation and engagement within the community, the Clifford Still Museum is dedicated to promoting artistic exploration.
Situated on Bannock Street and 12th Avenue, the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art stands as one of the newest museums in the district. From its exterior artistic touches such as the yellow terra cotta and intersecting glass bars to the interior Promenade Gallery running the center length of the building, this public museum provides ample space for unique displays and exhibits arranged in a “salon style” fashion.
Heading east to Broadway, you’ll find the History Colorado Center. The center houses the Office of Archaeology and the Hart Research Library along with spaces for core and traveling exhibits. Rounding out the facility are rental spaces, and events designed to provide cultural and historical education programming to the community. Finding relevance and connection of the past to the present day is what the History Colorado Center strives to accomplish.
Civic Buildings And Open Spaces
The Civic Center Park, at the northeast corner of the Golden Triangle Creative District, stands west of the Colorado State Capitol. Constantly beaming with energy and events, the park houses a Greek amphitheater, over 25,000 feet of flowerbeds, ample open grass areas and Voorhies Memorial with a shallow water feature.
The historic McNichols Civic Center Building located in Civic Center Park initially opened as a three-story public library in 1910. After serving many purposes for the City of Denver, the building is used as an art and cultural center today. With well over 800 events and exhibits since its 2012 renovation, the McNichols building is a perfect example of how a designated National Historic Landmark can be revitalized.
South of the park is the Denver Central Library easily spotted by its exterior sculptures. “The Yearling” sculpture at the front of the building brings a child’s perspective while looking up at a large red chair with a pinto standing on it. The “Lao Tzu” sculpture, a notable favorite among children, resides to the west between the library and the Denver Art Museum. Interior displays, cultural events, and community programming continue the cultural experience of this facility while also connecting to the library’s mission of enriching lives and strengthening the community.
The Future Of The “Triangle”
So many more fine art galleries, museums, and civic buildings flourish in the area and can be visited as you explore. Walker Fine Art, Rocky Mountain Bank Note Building, William Havu Gallery, Native American Trade Company and the U.S. Mint are just a few of the more notable facilities. In the past ten years, multiple renovations have been undertaken to reenergize and shore up economic growth in the community through creative arts and urban development. While the area beams with a rich cultural history, the future of the “Triangle” looks even brighter.