Colorado may not be the first state to come to mind when thinking about iconic architecture, but when you take a look around and discover our wide-ranging population of influences, you won’t be surprised to learn that we have produced some pretty amazing sculptures. Our great state has long called to visionaries and explorers – and with such a stunning backdrop of jagged peaks, clear blue skies and limitless opportunities to become one with nature, it’s no wonder.
Let’s take a look at some inspiring Colorado architecture through the ages in this post.
Woody Allen’s Sleeper House
Built in 1963 and designed by architect Charles Deaton, the Sculptured House was prominently featured in Woody Allen’s sci-fi movie, Sleeper. The futuristic design, and colorful history, make it arguably Colorado’s most famous home.
Air Force Academy Chapel
Modernist architecture reigned high in the 60’s, as you can see from this example of Colorado architecture in the Air Force Academy Chapel. Designed by Walter Netsch, the structure was originally slated to have 19 spires, but due to budget constraints the final building ended with 17. Though the design was controversial when first constructed, it went on to “win the American Institute of Architects‘ National Twenty-five Year Award in 1996 and, as part of the Cadet Area, was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2004″. [Source: Wikipedia]
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Denver’s Flatiron Building
Built in 1918, Denver’s Flatiron Building was designed by architect J.B. Benedict, a well-respected Denver area architect. “The three-story Flatiron Building had a terra cotta facade, 250 feet of glass frontage and 44 offices and storerooms. The site is now part of the Denver World Trade Center.” [Source: Denver Post]
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About 5 miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park, sits the 140-room Colonial Revival Stanley Hotel designed by F.O. Stanley (with the professional assistance of Denver architect T. Robert Wieger). The Stanley Hotel was erected in 1909 and attracted wealthy urbanites from all over the country, but was made famous by Stephen King’s movie The Shining in the 80’s (inspired by paranormal activities during his own stay). Today the hotel is often deemed one of America’s Most Frightening places and guests can take part in a 5-hour ghost hunt led by a paranormal investigator. Scary? Maybe. But the architecture is still quite lovely.
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In south central Colorado sits a visually intricate roadside attraction, Bishop Castle. A one-man project named after its constructor, Jim Bishop, Bishop Castle’s history is as complicated as it is intricate (get the full history here). What makes this structure so interesting is this castle is a 40+ year project, built by hand and from a deep passion. Jim uses the materials that are readily available. Bishop Castle boasts “three full stories of interior rooms complete with a Grand Ballroom, soaring towers and bridges with vistas of a hundred miles, and a Fire-Breathing Dragon make the Bishop Castle quite the unforgettable experience!” [Source: BishopCastle.com] The castle is open – and free – to the public.
As you’ll note, Colorado architecture runs the gamut in form, function and design, basically anything goes! Just like when you hire Stillwater Architecture, we help make your dreams a reality. Contact us today for a consult. And be sure to share with us your favorite Colorado designs.