Sculptured House
I-70 commuters call it "the flying-saucer house" or "the Sleeper house," after its cameo appearance in a Woody Allen movie, but architect Charles Deaton considered it a personal statement of freedom. The acquisition of Deaton's masterpiece by software mogul John Huggins, after years of neglect by a previous owner, is good news for all lovers of non-Euclidean geometry. Huggins is investing the care and cash needed to finish the interior of the never-occupied house with the aid of Deaton's designing daughter, Charlee. He's also building an addition, following the plans drawn up by Deaton (who died a few years ago) and local architect Nicholas Antonopoulos of Praxis Design. When completed this summer, the result will be an incredible mountain retreat -- and the unique vision of an important artist realized at last.

Best surviving example of classic Cherry Creek chic

Ilona of Hungary building

Cherry Creek has undergone relentless change in the last ten years, and although the neighborhood has never been more alive with shoppers and residents, the new buildings being thrown up to accommodate them are...not so alive. Among the ugly new additions, however, is an elite but ever-dwindling group of gorgeous older buildings that have long defined Cherry Creek as a center of urbane luxury. None of these is more beautiful or more impeccably maintained than the Ilona of Hungary building. Designed by the Denver architectural firm of Frank & Lundquist, the white building has a muscular frame of exposed structural members that elegantly contrasts with the delicately pierced sunscreens that shelter it. The suave 1970s confection communicates the dedication to beauty that is the chief pursuit at Ilona of Hungary, a European-style spa and a health- and beauty-aids manufacturer. The company was founded by George Meszaros, a world-renowned beauty consultant, and his wife, Ilona. The two were 1940s emigrés from Hungary who met in this country and moved to Denver in the 1960s for our then-clean air. Hopefully, the just-announced plan to renovate the building will do nothing to spoil its swank character.

Best surviving example of classic Cherry Creek chic

Ilona of Hungary building

Cherry Creek has undergone relentless change in the last ten years, and although the neighborhood has never been more alive with shoppers and residents, the new buildings being thrown up to accommodate them are...not so alive. Among the ugly new additions, however, is an elite but ever-dwindling group of gorgeous older buildings that have long defined Cherry Creek as a center of urbane luxury. None of these is more beautiful or more impeccably maintained than the Ilona of Hungary building. Designed by the Denver architectural firm of Frank & Lundquist, the white building has a muscular frame of exposed structural members that elegantly contrasts with the delicately pierced sunscreens that shelter it. The suave 1970s confection communicates the dedication to beauty that is the chief pursuit at Ilona of Hungary, a European-style spa and a health- and beauty-aids manufacturer. The company was founded by George Meszaros, a world-renowned beauty consultant, and his wife, Ilona. The two were 1940s emigrés from Hungary who met in this country and moved to Denver in the 1960s for our then-clean air. Hopefully, the just-announced plan to renovate the building will do nothing to spoil its swank character.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, people were so excited by the development of the electric light that they found applications for it that we can hardly imagine today, like attaching bare lightbulbs to oak beams. One forgotten device was bathing a building's facade in light after nightfall. When Silversmith Cohen began to rehab the old Chamber of Commerce building -- which was designed by Denver architects Marean and Norton in 1909 -- in order to turn it into the Chamber Apartments, they found, first in local history books, and then buried in the terra cotta on the building itself, a hidden indirect lighting system. But like the rest of the place, the wiring was decrepit. The system was refitted to state-of-the-art standards, and this spring, though the building itself isn't finished, the electricity was turned on again. Now this old-fashioned light show is one of downtown's brightest spots.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, people were so excited by the development of the electric light that they found applications for it that we can hardly imagine today, like attaching bare lightbulbs to oak beams. One forgotten device was bathing a building's facade in light after nightfall. When Silversmith Cohen began to rehab the old Chamber of Commerce building -- which was designed by Denver architects Marean and Norton in 1909 -- in order to turn it into the Chamber Apartments, they found, first in local history books, and then buried in the terra cotta on the building itself, a hidden indirect lighting system. But like the rest of the place, the wiring was decrepit. The system was refitted to state-of-the-art standards, and this spring, though the building itself isn't finished, the electricity was turned on again. Now this old-fashioned light show is one of downtown's brightest spots.
It's fashionable in architecture to put up new buildings in styles that date back a hundred years. But many of these new old-timey buildings are too conservative to be visually interesting. Not so for the 1899 Wynkoop Building, which was developed by the Nichols Partnership and Loftus Development and designed by Sheers + Leese Associates and the Neenan Company. The particulars of the handsome neo-traditional building were worked out by Chris Sheers to complement its next-door neighbor, the beloved Ice House. With design oversight by the Colorado Historical Foundation, the bulk of the building -- which according to zoning could have been a skyscraper -- was downsized in a deal that allowed the developers to punch windows in the formerly windowless walls of the Ice House. The tradeoff was necessary because, surprisingly, the Ice House and nearby Union Station aren't within the boundaries of the landmark district, like the rest of LoDo, and therefore not protected. In spite of this, the building fits in and is a lot better than what we might have expected.

It's fashionable in architecture to put up new buildings in styles that date back a hundred years. But many of these new old-timey buildings are too conservative to be visually interesting. Not so for the 1899 Wynkoop Building, which was developed by the Nichols Partnership and Loftus Development and designed by Sheers + Leese Associates and the Neenan Company. The particulars of the handsome neo-traditional building were worked out by Chris Sheers to complement its next-door neighbor, the beloved Ice House. With design oversight by the Colorado Historical Foundation, the bulk of the building -- which according to zoning could have been a skyscraper -- was downsized in a deal that allowed the developers to punch windows in the formerly windowless walls of the Ice House. The tradeoff was necessary because, surprisingly, the Ice House and nearby Union Station aren't within the boundaries of the landmark district, like the rest of LoDo, and therefore not protected. In spite of this, the building fits in and is a lot better than what we might have expected.

Best place to take an afternoon nap without being disturbed

The State Capitol committee meeting rooms

Most people prefer to nod off in their own homes or offices, but then again, not every home or office has central air conditioning. So why not head over to the three-month homes/offices of our elected lawmakers? Take a seat in one of the big, comfy chairs in a basement committee meeting room, where the temperature stays at a moderate seventy degrees, put your head back, and do what the legislators do: Dream about getting something accomplished. As an added benefit, the droning of whatever distinguished gentleman or gentlewoman has the floor will knock you out like a lullaby. Sleep tight!

Best place to take an afternoon nap without being disturbed

The State Capitol committee meeting rooms

Most people prefer to nod off in their own homes or offices, but then again, not every home or office has central air conditioning. So why not head over to the three-month homes/offices of our elected lawmakers? Take a seat in one of the big, comfy chairs in a basement committee meeting room, where the temperature stays at a moderate seventy degrees, put your head back, and do what the legislators do: Dream about getting something accomplished. As an added benefit, the droning of whatever distinguished gentleman or gentlewoman has the floor will knock you out like a lullaby. Sleep tight!

At CU's main library, you can absorb the works of Aristotle, Socrates, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Kant, Crumb, Trudeau and the Marquis de Sade by way of osmosis as you nap luxuriously in one of the many study cubicles or on the couches that have been conveniently interspersed throughout. There's nothing more impressive to a smart gal or guy than someone lying there, drooling on himself with an open copy of Plato's Republic draped across his chest. You can even nod off reading the New York Times or the Economist in the library's periodicals room. If you're lucky, your dreams will be filled with images of Alan Greenspan sitting George W. Bush Jr. on his knee and explaining the importance of the Federal Reserve.

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