Most people in the metro area are at least a little familiar with historic sites like the Molly Brown House and the Brown Palace. But there’s undoubtedly some who will not recognize the Gonzalez Brothers’ Moorish Revival House or the Denver Zoo’s Bear Mountain and Monkey House.
For those who don’t know, the Moorish Revival House was built in 1938 at 1585 Glencoe and features a courtyard with skylights, murals and a fountain, plus sunken and raised floors throughout. Jose and Ramon Gonzalez were both designers with creative flares, and did design work on the Mayan Theater. As for the zoo’s Bear Mountain, it was completed in 1919 and was the first natural habitat animal enclosure in the country. As such, similar setups were implemented in zoos all over the country.
Historic Denver wants people to know more stories like these, and that’s the aim of the new 50 Actions for 50 Places campaign. The project was launched to mark the 50th anniversary of the organization.
“We wanted to try to recapture the original grassroots spirit that led us to preserve places that are important,” explained Annie Levinsky, Historic Denver’s executive director. “At the time we had one of the largest memberships in the country and we want to get back to that. People often think preservation is something older people do, but it really is multi-generational.”
The list of 50 places was gathered because of a months-long campaign that solicited the Denver community for places and spaces that deserve to have their story told and memorialized in the coming years. Historic Denver received more than 100 nominations and selected options that recognize the full diversity of the city. The resulting list includes arts and entertainment sites, civic assets, cultural landmarks and homes.
The actions that will be embarked upon are as varied as the sites themselves, Levinsky said. Some will require research about their history, others technical assistance and some recognition through state or national programs.
“We’ll be working with the property owners and community members who nominated the sites to develop a plan,” she said. “We’ve raised $50,000 for the campaign, and residents can get involved by donating to our organization or a specific project.”
Some of the places readily welcome visitors, while others are great for walking by and appreciating the design. And even if you’re not comfortable going out and about, Historic Denver has you covered — on its website you can virtually visit all the locations and learn something about them. And bringing them more attention is what the campaign is really about.
“Preservation has a reputation for being reactive, but we want to get ahead of things and support these places and the people who take care of them,” Levinsky said. “Seeing these places is a great way to get to know the city.”
For more information, visit historicdenver.org/50actions-50places/.
Taste the best at Cherry Creek North
Cherry Creek North Food and Wine is back for its 12th year, once again providing diners the opportunity to support area restaurants. This year’s event runs from Wednesday, Aug. 11 through the 14, and features a blend of intimate dining experiences, appetizers, demonstrations and the Grand Tasting sessions on Fillmore Plaza.
Some of the highlights from this year include a four-course menu prepared by Chef Bernard Guillas, executive chef of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and AAA 4-diamond Marine Room Restaurant in California, ceviche making at Toro and more.
A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Food For Thought Denver. Get all the details at www.CCNfoodandwine.com.
Celebrate the closing of three summer exhibits
As summer starts to wind down, it’s also time for the three exhibits at the Arvada Center to come down as well. “Viral Influence: Art in the Time of the Coronavirus,” “Brady Smith: (Don’t be embarrassed by) your trouble with living” and “Melody Epperson: 100 + 1: Women and the Vote” are all on display until Sunday, Aug. 22.
But the center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., isn’t letting them end without a little soiree to send them off. From to 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19, it’s hosting a free closing celebration.
Information and registration can be found at https://arvadacenter.org/galleries/current-exhibitions.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Wu-Tang Clan and Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks
Wu-Tang is for the children. And the classical music fans. It’s just legends on legends at this show, which is one of the most unique I’ve seen in a while — Staten Island’s mythical rap crew will be joined by the Colorado Symphony and (can you believe there’s an “and” here?) Big Boi, one half of Atlanta’s ground-breaking duo, Outkast. Like I said, nothing but heaters.
The show takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13 at Red Rocks, 18300 W Alameda Parkway in Morrison. Get your tickets at www.redrocksonline.com/events/wu-tang-clan-w-colorado-symphony/.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.