By Libby Smith
DENVER (CBS4) - Doors Open Denver is a two-day event celebrating the architecture and design of various downtown locations. Sixty-eight sites will be open to the public for free and offer self-guided tours.
"Great cities have great architecture and great art. And we want to make sure we preserve ours here in Denver. And that all starts with educating the public about good architecture and good design, and that's what Doors Open Denver represents," said Pauline Herrera Serianni, executive director of the Denver Architectural Foundation.
Doors Open Denver is the Denver Architectural Foundation's flagship event. It's an annual weekend celebration of Denver's architecture and design. The public is invited to explore the city and create meaningful connections with the built environment.
"All kinds of doors will be open. We'll have historic, modern, and contemporary buildings featured as part of the 68 free and open sites. People can just explore on their own, and also a lot of the sites feature their own special activities," Herrera Serianni said.
There are 51 Insider Tours that are fee-based and require pre-registration. Twenty-four of them are new this year.
"All of our Insider Tours are expert lead, usually by an architect, an historian, an urban enthusiast, someone with expert knowledge on the location," Herrera Serianni explained.
One of the Insider Tours is the art collection of the Crawford Hotel at Union Station. It's curated by NINE dot ARTS, and features an eclectic mix of artifacts, antiques, and artwork. The collection documents nearly every decade of the landmark building's existence.
"On the Insider Tour, we'll be looking at artwork that you may not get a chance to see every day in your visit to the Crawford Hotel at Union Station. So for example, we'll take a look at this Phil Bender artwork. Phil Bender is one of our local legends in Denver. And he put together this installation based on luggage to indicate the idea of travel which is so prominent here in our hub of the city at Union Station," said Martha Weidmann of NINE dot ARTS. "Union Station is really unusual in terms of a hotel because there is unique artwork in all of the rooms, so there are 561 artworks inside the entire Crawford Hotel. And that's one of the things we'll be doing on the Insider Tour for Doors Open Denver is taking a look at all of those sneak peek and the hidden gems that you don't get to see every day."
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation is providing the funding for six cultural activities, which include a synthesizer performance in the Galleria at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on Sunday, April 30. It's a union of architecture and sound. Many of the dozens of locations participating in Doors Open Denver are offering family-friendly activities. With so much to choose from, it's a good idea to approach the weekend with a plan.
"If you're interested in the open sites, pick about four or five to go to throughout the weekend, and try to fit a tour or two in there too. And if you have kids, definitely pay attention to our highlighted family-friendly activities because there's lots to choose from there," Herrera Serianni said.
Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you'd like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.
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