Almost seven years ago, the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver opened in a two-level space in the former Granada Fish Market at 19th and Lawrence streets. Since its inception in 1996, the MCA (then known as MoCA/D) had been ensconced on the mezzanine of 1999 Broadway.
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The MCA originally intended to present one exhibit at the old Granada space and then immediately find permanent digs. For a while, a former iron works near the Auraria campus was considered, as was a spot at Lowry, but neither of these possibilities panned out. Then the decision was made to create a built-from-the-ground-up facility, a reality only made possible after zillionaires Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss donated a site at the corner of 15th and Delgany streets.
An architectural competition was held to pick a designer, with African-born, London-based architect David Adjaye ultimately being selected. His neo-formalist box, now under construction (pictured), is meant to be consummately functional; it encompasses five separate gallery spaces and a rooftop sculpture garden, and features an exterior covered in translucent panels that will glow in the dark.
Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver
The MCA planned to move directly from its current location to the new building when it was completed, but a chance came up to secure space at 1490 Delgany Street, right across from the construction site. The new location has been dubbed "The Temporary Contemporary." The move is more or less imminent, so Extended Remix, the marvelous group show that was set to run until after the first of the year, is coming down on October 29, meaning there's less than a month left to see it.
The new space will open on November 18 with Fade (Denver), a large-scale installation by Austrian artist Erwin Redl, and a variety of events are scheduled that day to celebrate the MCA's tenth anniversary. It's too bad the excellent Extended Remix has to be packed up early, but that's simply collateral damage. The opportunity to have front-row seats for the creation of the new museum was clearly irresistible for the powers-that-be at the MCA.