Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Curt Fentress: Hear the man who changed the face of Denver -- from DIA to Invesco Field

From the bluffs of Highland, looking down over the Platte Valley and downtown, there's a new feature on the horizon: the temporary tents housing Cavalia, now in the Pepsi Center parking lot. But rather than bringing up thoughts of circuses, the silhouette is a reminder of Denver International Airport, and the iconic terminal design that architect Curt Fentress created.

The design for the terminal was a budget-conscious fix for an airport project whose price had soared since it was originally sold to voters, and which had already gone through one architect. The tent that Fentress created as that fix almost two decades ago has since become an iconic symbol of Denver, echoing both the mountains and, yes, the circus that travel can be these days.

Fentress's contributions to Denver don't end there: He designed Invesco Field at Mile High, the Colorado Convention Center, and is now at work on the Colorado Judicial Center, which celebrated a ground-breaking last week. But at the same time he's continued to change the landscape here, he's done work around the globe -- including several more international airports.

Fentress will discuss "Public Architecture: The Art Inside" today as part of the University of Colorado Denver lecture series sponsored by the architecture school. The event is free, and starts with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. It's on the third floor of the UCD building at 1250 14th Street.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun