Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU buildings included in Denver celebration of architecture

Five University of Denver properties and the Iliff School of Theology will be open for public tours April 12–13 as part of a citywide celebration of architecture and design.

The fourth annual Doors Open Denver will give lovers of architecture a free, two-day hall pass to poke through more than 75 historic sites, some of which aren’t generally open to the public.

Much of the access will be through self-guided tours of individual buildings or sites. But there are also theme-based collections of destinations called Urban Adventures and Expert Tours led by architects and historians.

“We are part of Denver and want very much to participate,” says University Architect Mark Rodgers, who will lead a tour of DU’s Frank Ricketson Building at the Sturm College of Law. “We’re proud of our stewardship of the historic facilities we have.”

Other DU buildings that will be included in this year’s event, titled 150 Years of Denver Architecture, are: Chamberlin Observatory; Evans Memorial Chapel; Phipps Conference Center; and University Hall.

The tour at the Iliff School of Theology will be a six-stop, self-guided look at vestments and artifacts of the Iliff family, an original classroom and the historic chapel. Contrasting that history will be a modern classroom in adjacent Skaggs Hall.

Tour-takers will get souvenir copies of Elizabeth Iliff Warren’s recipe for sugar cookies.

Among numerous Denver sites in the program are: The Brown Palace Hotel; Byers-Evans House Museum; Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast Inn; State Capitol building; Daniels and Fisher Tower; Union Station; the governor’s residence; Molly Brown House; Trinity United Methodist Church; the U.S. Mint; and the Zang Mansion.

Tours guided by volunteer experts include walking excursions in locations such as The Denver Performing Arts Complex; Convention Center; The Oxford Hotel; and Denver After Dark, a twilight tour of Riverfront, LoDo and downtown.

Most events are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but times vary and some require pre-registration. Headquarters for Doors Open Denver is Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St. Go to or call program manager Carol Hiller at 303-282-5073 for information or to volunteer.

Hours, days and tour guides for DU and Iliff properties are:
•    University Hall: guides Michaella Gallina and Tucker Plumlee, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. April 12; Vicky Garfias-O’Brien, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. April 13.
•    Chamberlin Observatory: guides Associate Professor Robert Stencel and Aaron Reid, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m., April 12–13;
•    Evans Memorial Chapel: Tara Nicklay, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., April 12 and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. April 13.
•    Ricketson Building: guides Ken Dabbs, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., April 12 and University Architect Mark Rodgers, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., April 13.
•    Phipps Conference Center: closed April 12; guide Lorin Fleisher, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., April 13.
•    Iliff School of Theology: self-guided tour beginning in the Iliff building on Warren Circle, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., April 12–13.

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