Open Door Policy

The grand passage of Denver history past and present, so well preserved in the city’s buildings, is the theme of this year’s Doors Open Denver, dubbed an architectural paean to Adaptive Reuse: Buildings With a Second Life. The sixth annual lookie-loo tourfest that features dozens of buildings both historic and state-of-the-art has added forty new buildings to its 2010 roster of more than eighty locations, which are open today and tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“There are a lot of old buildings in Denver with a second life, or even a third or a fourth,” notes city spokeswoman Pauline Herrera, and one of those enjoying a long and useful life is the elegant Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Building, built of Colorado granite at 931 14th Street and also known as the “last of the Bell system palaces.” Tours there, which include a look at the structure’s well-preserved Allen True murals, will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today and tomorrow. Conversely, folks are also invited to visit a building so new that it’s not even open yet: the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center on the new Denver Justice Center campus, which will offer two tours, one a Behind Bars jailhouse jaunt with a Denver sheriff, the other an architectural tour with Joe Levi of OZ Architecture. Both are offered three times on Saturday; all are considered “expert tours” and require advance registration, available the day of the tour at DOD headquarters in Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street.

All events are free. Find a comprehensive list of DOD tours — divided into self-guided, urban adventure and expert tour categories — as well as a map and general information, at, or drop by Union Station on tour days.
Sat., April 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., April 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd