History Colorado’s “Building Denver” is a landmark exhibition with high ambition: It aims to tell the definitive story of the growth and development of the state’s most important city.
The sprawling display of artifacts, photos, documents, videos and more is boldly conclusive and, in its way, unique.
History exhibitions tend to tackle cultural topics, such as social systems, politics, art and the unfolding of major events, like wars and human migrations. This one is about architecture, urban planning, the design of streets and neighborhoods.
While that may sound static to some, “Building Denver” makes a compelling argument that the built environment is more crucial to a city’s overall identity than its lived stories. People come and go, but high-rises and highways stay around for generations. They offer concrete evidence of how a place regards itself and how it…