In the late 1800s, Mayor Robert W. Speer embraced the City Beautiful movement and acted to turn Denver into an urban sprawl of parks, civic centers and streets that would eventually make up Denver's Civic Center Park. The stunning Greek Revival style McNichols Building, originally opened as a Carnegie Library in 1910, was a cornerstone of that vision.
The library eventually outgrew the space, then became home to the Denver Water Board in 1955, and later the Denver Treasury. In 1999 it was renamed the McNichols Building after Colorado's 35th Governor, Stephen McNichols. The building then sat vacant for many years, to be revived in July 2010 for the inaugural Biennial of the Americas with public-private funding for basic phase one renovations.
Since 2011, Arts & Venues Denver has invested $1.8 million toward the second phase of construction and renovations include abatement, life safety upgrades, exterior cleaning, catering kitchen, restrooms, and windows. Other major funders are Boettcher Foundation, History Colorado | State Historical Fund, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and the Gates Family Foundation. The second floor houses the Boettcher Cultural Pavilion, dedicated to bringing cultural opportunities to the people of Denver.
The building will be managed and programmed by Arts & Venues Denver. The first and second floors are available for rental for private and public events and will be coordinated through Arts & Venues Denver. The third floor will eventually be occupied by a long-term tenant that supports cultural endeavors and will help activate the park.
FALL EVENTS AT MCNICHOLS BUILDING
Light: An Illuminated Event - Wednesday, October 24, 6-10pm
The Civic Center Conservancy will host Light: An Illuminated Event Celebrating the McNichols Building, featuring music by DJ Almighty I.Z. and DJ Ginger Perry; light demonstrations by Ghost Pixel in partnership with CEAVCO; and illuminated art displays by Collin Parson, and light installations from Blazen Illuminations. Attendees will enjoy food and drinks from Aria Restaurant, Cru Wine Bar, LoHi Steakbar, Panzano, Pinche Tacos, The Populist, Vesta Dipping Grill, Zengo and OAK at fourteenth co-owner/mixologist Bryan Dayton, with bartending provided by Three Tomatoes Catering. For more information and tickets, visit www.civiccenterconservancy.org.
One Book, One Denver: An Evening with the Author - Saturday, October 27, 6pm. FREE
Sonia Nazario, author of the 2012 book selection, "Enrique's Journey," has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have tackled some of this country's most intractable problems: hunger, drug addiction and immigration to name a few. Don't miss this opportunity to hear about the migrant struggle from a person who took the ride on "The Train of Death."
Denver Treasures - Saturday, November 3rd, 10am - 6pm, FREE
Arts & Venues Denver presents FREE live performances throughout the day, including music, dance and spoken word demonstrations during Denver Arts Week. Don't miss the chance to see this architectural treasure in Civic Center Park, once home to the Carnegie Library and the City Treasury.
Debut: An Open House - Friday, November 9th, 6 - 9pm, FREE
An free open house celebration of the newly transformed and historic McNichols Building featuring exhibitions, installations, and architecture during Denver Arts Week.
Divine Matrix Flow by Highraff - Through January 2013, FREE
In January, São Paulo's famed street artist Highraff made a trip to Denver to paint this itinerate mural for the Denver International Airport Art & Culture Program as part of the live painting event Terminal Kings, presented by the University of Denver. For Denver Arts Week Highraff's mural, Divine Matrix Flow, will be transformed into a sculpture as it makes a rare appearance outside the secure environment of the airport: no boarding pass required!
Design by Colorado - Through April 2013, FREE
First Floor Exhibition
Comprising the fields of furniture, consumer products, communication, interior design, and fashion, the Design by Colorado exhibition features some of Colorado's leading designers, while highlighting the state's thriving creative sector, the fifth largest economy in Colorado. The exhibit, in conjunction with AVD and Colorado Creative Industries, was originally shown at Denver International Airport in 2011. The 2012 show, Design by Colorado 2.0, presents the next level of dynamic design from chosen design studios. Sponsored by Wells Fargo.
Lightscapes by Collin Parson - Through January 2013, FREE
Second Floor Installation
Denver artist Collin Parson will present a body of artworks which combine light, space, color and dimension. Each glowing light box changes colors in subtle intervals creating unique meditative experiences.
Fuera de la Frontera/Outside the Border - Through January 2013, FREE
Third Floor Exhibition
Arts & Venues Denver partnered with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Colorado Creative Industries, and the Museo de las Americas to bring together 15 contemporary Colorado Hispanic artists, presenting works in various media including site-specific installations. Artists include, Ana Maria Hernando, Daniel Salazar, Jolt, Emilio Lobato, Esteban Blanco, Bob Maes, Don Quade, Carlos Fresquez, Frank Zamora, Lui Ferreyra, Tony Ortega, Quintin Gonzales, Derrick Velasquez, Mark Villareal, and David Ocelot.
Eclipse by Adam Frank & Lecture - November 13, 6:30pm, 8-9pm
On the east façade of the Minoru Yasui Building at 14th & Court Streets, lives SUNLIGHT, a unique light projection by artist Adam Frank. Each night as the sun sets in Denver, a projected sun rises, timed with the actual setting of the sun. Denver will be able to witness a solar eclipse occurring on the other side of the globe, at night, in real time, with Frank's latest piece, Eclipse. Arts & Venues Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Denver's Office of Sustainability will host a lecture preceding Eclipse at 6:30pm on the 3rd floor of the McNichols Building, featuring artist Adam Frank and the Space Science Department of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The artist will speak on his innovative installations, and the Museum of Nature & Science will speak about on the physics of an eclipse. Following the lecture, guests are welcome to view Eclipse from the 4th floor balcony of the Wellington E. Webb Building and enjoy light refreshments and live cello performance by Marcelo Sanches.