An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

August 6, 2009

Downtown Denver

We took several trips into downtown Denver while we were there. On the way we sometimes passed this sculpture, Articulated Wall by Herbert Bayer. He meant for it to be seen from I-25 and it is hard to miss, especially when it is illuminated at night. Each one of the "steps" is about 3' tall, and I had to fight a real urge to climb them.

One of our downtown destinations was REI, which is the mecca for all your outdoor needs including camping, biking, skiing, kayaking and canoe. Inside is a climbing wall that my son enjoyed. The building onced housed an electrical plant that powered Denver's first trams. The landscape around REI hints at what you might see once you get out of the city and even includes a mountain bike test track. It sits right next to the South Platte River where it meets Cherry Creek. The confluence of these two waterways is where the city began.

Coors Field is also downtown and we got to watch the Rockies play the Giants. Our seats were way up in the Rockpile to the right of the scoreboard and helped us get acclimated to the altitude that we would soon experience in the mountains.

The rest of the shots were taken around the Denver Art Museum and the Central Library.

The sculpture is Lao Tzu by Mark di Suvero, the museum is by Daniel Libeskind.

Denver Monoliths by Beverly Peppers

The library is by Michael Graves.

Big Sweep by Coosje van Bruggen

The Shoot Out by Red Grooms

The Yearling by Donald Lipski

Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller, and the building in the back is another by Libeskind.

Apparently Texas isn't the only place with large cattle.

Next Post: The Denver Botanic Garden


  1. Jamie and I don't get to travel alot, hopefully that will change one day soon. Thanks for the tour!--Randy

  2. Denver must be a very artisitc and crafty city. Love all the sculpture. Looks like your son had fun on the wall!

  3. Amazing sculptures. I like the horse on the chair. lol

  4. Don't forget that Claes Oldenburg also worked on Big Sweep.

  5. What fun sculptures in Denver! The Articulated Wall looks like a giant Jenga game.
    Rock wall climbing it lots of you all go to the one in VA Beach? It has been a few years now, but boy I had fun there.
    I think my favorite of the other sculptures is The Shootout, though all of it is great.

  6. Of all the "art" I liked the giant Jenga game the best. Not so sure about the small horse on the big red chair - perhaps an homage to all those plastic horses I played with when I was so small that's what those chairs felt like. Those plastic horses came to bad ends once my brothers drafted them into the plastic soldier army. Good times.

  7. Downtown Denver has under gone an amazing change since I lived there in 1980. In Colorado for 6 years all together. The library building is totally cool. Some of those sculptures I don't recall and wonder if they added more since my visit while driving through in 2007.

  8. Nice tour!
    I love seeing how cities display their outdoor art. It looks like there's a strong architectural bent there, too.

    I'll be back for the Denver Botanical Gardens tour!

  9. The sculptures are amazing. Nice tour.

  10. J and R,
    I do not get to travel much either, and that's a shame because it is one of my favorite things to do. So I really relish when that time comes.

    Denver is indeed a very hip city. When you consider what there is between it and Kansas City, it is not suprising it is a magnet for all sorts of things, good and bad.

    Sweet Bay,
    My favorite was the Big Sweep, but only because I lived down the street from one of his other sculptures in Richmond that was a giant wheeled typewriter eraser. When was the last time anyone saw one of those?

    Please pardon my omission, I had no idea.

    I like the wall also, and no, we have not gone to the rock gym. Perhaps that may be a good place for a 12th birthday party.

    Weeping S.,
    The horse was fun and reminded me of someone I grew up with. She was into all things horsey, all the time. She had a whole collection on shelves in her room of model horses.

    All of the pieces seemed relatively recent. Where haven't you lived?

    Thanks for coming along for the tour. I love architecture almost as much as I love plants. Unfortunately, I do not know as much about it.

    Stay tuned, there is more to come. I have enough material to keep me blogging for a while.


  11. I'm a big fan of the Denver Art Museum. My favorite outdoor sculptures are the yearling on the giant red chair and the Angus cow + calf (

  12. Really enjoying your series on Colorado. Brings back such good memories of living there. I too loved the lack of humidity.

    It's easier on the body to go to Colorado than come home to NC. I used to get the bends every time we made the trip back to NC to visit family. I'd have the worst nausea and stomach ache for days. And family used to get a headache visiting me.

    Fantastic photographs

  13. It's super clean isn't it? Forgot to say that. Not many smokers right?

  14. Georgia,
    Those were two of my favoites also. The Yearling has a real sense of humor. You expect any sculpture with giant cattle would be fun, but they were more dignified than anything else.

    No I did not see many smokers or trash. On this trip we acclimated to the climate more gradually since we drove in and stayed in Denver before going into the Mts. I still had a persistant headache and had to be careful to not get too winded and my memory recall was slow. On the last trip we flew in and the next day went to Mt. Evans (with little acclimation) where I thought I was having a heart attack until I found out it was alt. sickness.