History Colorado, the new museum that replaced a thirty-year-old facility a block away, will be dedicated today at 12th and Broadway -- marking a very good outcome for what was once a very bad idea: burying the building underground at Civic Center Park.
Instead, Colorado has a stunning new structure that everyone can look at... without playing mole.
The museum's original site is now part of the new Colorado Judicial Heritage Center. In 2005 a state building committee decided that the circa 1970s judicial structure was inadequate and hatched a plan to build a new one that would fill the entire block at 13th and Broadway -- which meant that the outdated Colorado History Museum also had to go. But where, exactly? That's when the crazy idea of burying it in Civic Center Park was floated by the board of the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado).
After an understandable outcry, a new spot was found just a block away, where construction started two years ago. And despite the economic doldrums, the $110.8 million project was finished on time and on budget; at the end of September, architect David Tryba and project manager Trammel Crow handed the keys over to the state. And this morning, Governor John Hickenlooper and former governor Bill Ritter will stand outside the structure and unveil a dedication stone. (The museum itself won't open to the public until next spring.)
History Colorado is actually shaped like Colorado -- and in this case, the citizens of the state definitely got a square deal.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Colorado Symphony Orchestra cuts back on fall schedule to save the rest."