On one weekend a year, Denver opens its architectural wonders to the public for no cost or for a low cost. I went on the Brown Palace tour, and, in short, it was spectacular. Also, during the tour, they taught us a lot about Denver Architecture and the history of the surrounding buildings.
The Brown Palace was created by Henry Cordes Brown, not Molly Brown as commonly thought, to try and get more people to stay in Denver on their way to California, the Rocky Mountains, Nevada, or Utah for the gold rush. Brown also donated a portion of land to the state, the land where the Capitol building now stands, and donated $1000 dollars for the first public library in the city. The architect on the project was Frank E. Edbrooke who had been the architect for other spectacular buildings. Together Brown and Edbrooke designed a grand hotel with 400 rooms for the mere cost of 2 million dollars, and believe it or not in 1892 a hotel room would have only cost $3-$5 a night.
Nowadays the Brown Palace is just as grand as it used to be with its atrium still intact and stunning, high-end rooms, and some great restaurants. During the tour, told about some of the famous people that had stayed there such as the Beatles and rodeo legends, we were shown the kitchen and told some of the Brown Palace’s infamous ghost stories.
Doors Open Denver is an annual 2-day event hosted/put on by the Denver Architecture Foundation. This year, the 14th of this program, there were 68 open sites(free sites) and 133 expert guided tours(for $10). The event was inspired when one of the DAF staff members heard about similar events in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Rhode Island. Since then it’s been a big hit, and after going to one of these tours I can see why. There was a small group, great tour guide, and cool behind the scenes look at new places I hadn’t been to before.
Overall, the tour and the Doors Open Denver program was a cool experience that gave some cool insight into Denver history. Next year everyone who can try to go and see one of these sites. The tour is appropriate for all ages and even for families, and from what I’ve heard the open sites are also really neat to go to.