Work could begin later this year on the renovation of one of the most visible and architecturally unique buildings in Denver: the castle-like North Building of the Denver Art Museum.
Designed by the famed Italian architect Gio Ponti, and opened to great fanfare in 1971, the North Building is popular not only for its unusual look, but also because it houses a majority of the museum’s collection, including the vast Western American Art collection.
In late 2016, Denver Art Museum officials announced a fundraising campaign to pay for a number of different facility upgrades inside the 7-story, 210,000 square-foot building.
That fundraising campaign, for what is altogether a $150 million project, has been highly successful, with individual donors pledging tens of millions of dollars.
But added to that support is the $25 million approved last November by Denver voters as part of a much larger $937 million package of general obligation bonds.
That $25 million has now been approved by the City of Denver in a first $193 million round of approved bond projects.
The work expected to take place at the North Building will see an expansion of the structure’s exhibition space, upgrades to its plumbing and HVAC systems, and the addition of outdoor play features for children.
Museum officials say the building will also be made more Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.
With the renovation design being undertaken by the Denver-based Fentress Architects and Machado and Silvetti of Boston, work on the structure is expected to be completed in time for the North Building’s 50th anniversary in the fall of 2021.
By Garry Boulard
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