Sunday, December 27, 2020

Sullivan Gateway

Though located a block south of Denver's City Park, the Sullivan Gateway serves as the entryway to one of the city's most beloved recreational areas. It sits on Colfax Ave and leads to the City Park Esplanade, which runs past East High School to the park. After years of deterioration due to the elements and vandalism, the gateway is once again an impressive sight in the middle of the city. 

The gateway was built in 1917. It features two curved terra cotta walls, each with 40-foot tall Doric columns featuring a sculpture atop.  The sculptures represent Colorado's history of mining and agriculture. A fountain is also a part of the gateway. The gateway is named for Dennis Sullivan, a Denver pioneer who made his fortune in the mining industry.

Due to it being located adjacent to East High School, the gateway is a popular hangout for students. In other words, it's seen a lot of hard use over the years. Thankfully, efforts in recent years have helped restore this majestic entryway to its previous glory.

Unfortunately, many visitors to City Park may miss the Sullivan Gateway, as it is slightly separated from the rest of the park. Be sure to see it for yourself at 2551 E Colfax in Denver, right next to East High School.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Downtown Littleton - Mid-Century Modern Architecture

Littleton Boulevard is the main drag through downtown Littleton, and the hot spot for finding examples of mid-century modern architecture in the area. However, there are also a few great examples if you wander a few blocks to the north or south.

At the corner of Powers Avenue and Prince Street you will find the building that originally housed the Circle Savings and Loan. This brick structure is unique for its curved features and for the fact that it sits diagonally on the lot, facing the corner. The southwest side of the building also features a sunken garden. The structure was built in 1970 and designed by Laramey and Butts. The building currently houses an accounting office. You'll find it at 5583 S Prince St in Littleton.

Head south on Prince Street a few blocks and you'll find the Littleton National Bank building, which is now a Chase Bank location. Designed by Barker Rinker Seacat, it is one of downtown Littleton's most imposing structures. The hooded windows are one of the most notable features of the building. The impressive structure stands tall at 5734 S Prince St, on the corner or Prince and Alamo.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Belleview Park "Airplane"

Englewood's Belleview Park is a spacious park containing ballfields, playgrounds, a train ride, and the Pirate's Cove Water Park. But for many the most memorable feature of the park is the park's "airplane" that is easy for folks to spot as they drive down Belleview.

It's actually not an airplane, rather a Mace Tactical Missile. It was donated to the city of Englewood in the 60's by the Martin Company to be used as playground equipment. Lockheed Martin has been a fixture of the south Denver suburbs for a long time, with their large facility south of Chatfield State Park.

I have heard stories from folks who remember the days when the "airplane" was at ground level and kids were welcome to climb all over it. Thing is, those stories usually involved reports of burned skin, as the metal surface tended to get quite hot in the Colorado sun. The Mace Missile now perches atop two large poles. 

You can visit the "airplane" yourself at Belleview Park, 5001 S Inca Dr in Englewood.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Museum of Outdoor Arts - Englewood Station

We've taken a look at the Museum of Outdoor Arts in some previous posts, but there's a lot more of this museum to experience. It exists in several different locations around the Denver area, and, despite its name, it does include some indoor galleries. Though, with the world being what it is right now, the indoor portions of the museum are currently closed. However, a visit to the museum's downtown Englewood location still gives you the opportunity to see many interesting pieces that are out in the open. Here's a look at a few of the pieces you can experience.

Resistance by Leslie Temple

I'm afraid I don't have the title or artist of this piece, but we'll just call it what I'm sure most kids call it...Giant Watermelons.

Bagatelle by Barbara Baer

Duo by Lin Emery. This sculpture changes its look every few seconds as it moves with the wind.

Bathroon People by Andy Miller

Mujer Del Lago by Tom Ware

Brooklyn Bridge by Red Grooms

Two Open Treapezoids: Excentric V by George Rickey

Horizon by Amy Laugesen

These pieces can all be viewed in the courtyard of the Museum of Outdoor Arts at 1000 Englewood Parkway in Englewood.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The State of Colorado Fountain

There are many things to do and see in Denver's City Park. Most notably, it is home of the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. You'll also find plenty of room to stretch out and relax, as well as a few sights worth paying a visit to. One of those sights is the State of Colorado Fountain, located on the southwest side of the park.

The fountain is often referred to as the Thatcher Memorial Fountain, as it was donated to the city by the founder of the Denver National Bank, Joseph Addison Thatcher. His impressive crypt can be found in Denver's Fairmont Cemetery.

The fountain has resided in City Park since 1918. It features four bronze sculptures created by artist Lorado Taft. The center figure, a woman dressed in robes, represents the State of Colorado. Surrounding her are three more sculptures representing the virtues of the state of Colorado: Love, Loyalty, and Learning.

I've never actually been able to visit the fountain during the warmer months when the water is flowing. However, this means that on my recent visit I was able to get some nice close-up photos without getting my feet wet.

City Park is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd in Denver, However, the fountain is in the southwest corner of the park, near the intersection of 17th Ave and York St.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Alleys of the Santa Fe Art District

There's more to Denver's Santa Fe Art District than what you can see on the main street. While the galleries are well worth a visit, if you venture into the alleys behind them, you will find an amazing array of sanctioned street art. I admit, it can feel a bit weird wandering through the alleys, but if you're the adventurous type, you should definitely check out some of these pieces for yourself.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Coming Home

Sometimes there are pieces of art that folks drive by all the time and never have the opportunity to really take in. Such is the case with this piece called Coming Home. It stands overlooking the Platte River at the intersection of Santa Fe and Prince St in Littleton. I've driven by this location many times, but to get more than a fleeting glimpse at the sculpture I had to park at a nearby shopping center and walk a block. 

The life-sized sculpture was created in 1987 by Susan Grant Raymond. It depicts a farmer walking with two horses. His son sits atop one of the horses and foal grazes in the grass behind them. Scenes like this probably played out many times along the Platte River a century or so ago. Nowadays, the same journey is made by joggers and bikers utilizing the Platte River Trail on a daily basis. It's worth taking a diversion off the trail to get a close-up look at this impressive sculpture.