Colorado State History Museum to Close March 28, Reopen as History Colorado Center

An ending initiates a new beginning as a massive effort to pack and move millions of Colorado's historic treasures reflecting 10,000 years of human inhabitation is underway. These collections are housed in the Colorado History Museum building in Denver— the flagship museum for History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society. The Colorado History Museum's doors permanently close to the public March 28, 2010 as the buildings on the block are prepared for demolition in order to construct a new state judicial complex. The new museum will be part of the History Colorado Center, which is currently under construction one block away. Planning and construction of the History Colorado Center and the state judicial complex is generating much-needed jobs and economic stimulus to the area without drawing from state general funds.

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museum, history, Denver, Colorado, Colorado History Museum, History Colorado Center, Colorado Historical Society, tourism, Civic Center, heritage, State Historic Preservation Office, Archaeology and Historic Preservation, State Historical Fund

The History Colorado Center under construction will be a new history museum, tourist destination and educational resource in Denver's Civic Center cultural complex and museum district. Rendering by Tryba Architects.

We are undergoing a major transformation—one that better fulfills current audience, tourism and state educational needs. And, during this current recession, the very construction of the History Colorado Center also fills a need.

Denver, CO (PRWEB) March 22, 2010

History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, announces that its flagship museum building, the Colorado History Museum located at 1300 Broadway in Denver since 1976, will permanently close its doors to the public on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 5 p.m.

The building, along with the state judicial department building which shares the block, are slated for demolition in May to begin construction of the new Ralph L. Carr Justice Complex. The new History Colorado Center, designed by Tryba Architects, is currently under construction at 1200 Broadway in Denver, one block south of the current museum. The public opening date for the History Colorado Center is not yet set.

The Colorado History Museum building is the headquarters for the many functions of History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society. In early April, History Colorado staff, including curators, historians, researchers, archaeologists and administrators, will move into temporary offices at 1560 Broadway in Denver, until the new History Colorado Center is ready for move-in, scheduled for 2011.

During this interim period, the majority of History Colorado functions remain open for business at 1560 Broadway. This includes the State Historical Fund, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, and most History Colorado administrative functions. History Colorado’s network of historical museums and sites around the state are also open, and will offer educational programming in Denver and throughout the state. History Colorado’s popular Tours and Trek series continues to be offered, as well as its lecture series—lectures will be held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1370 Grant Street.

A massive effort to pack and move millions of historic collections currently housed in the Colorado History Museum building is underway. Colorado’s priceless treasures reflecting 10,000 years of human inhabitation are being carefully packed piece-by-piece by a rotating corps of staff and volunteers working 12 hours a day, six days a week. Artifacts, objects large and small, documents and photographs—both 2-D and 3-D—will move to an off-site storage space until the collections spaces and the new Stephen H. Hart Library in the History Colorado Center are completed. Audience research, exhibition and program planning, design and construction, as well as collections management systems are the focus of History Colorado Center museum staff during this interim period.

“This is an exciting time of opportunity and change for this 130-year-old institution,” said Edward C. Nichols, History Colorado President and CEO. “We are undergoing a major transformation—one that better fulfills current audience, tourism and state educational needs. And, during this current recession, the very construction of the History Colorado Center also fills a need with the employment of vendors and contractors in the construction and creative industries.”

“As instruction time for social studies continually diminishes in our classrooms, History Colorado exhibitions and programs will ensure Colorado students have opportunities to learn about Colorado’s rich history in ways that help them understand the present in the context of the past and prepare them to become engaged citizens of this state,” said Kathryn Hill, History Colorado Chief Operating Officer. “With all new exhibitions and programs in the planning phase, we are positioning the History Colorado Center to serve as a community gathering space for civic dialogue and current events, as well as a prime destination for visitors of all ages, families, students and tourists.”

In 2006, an Urban Land Institute study concluded that both buildings on the 1300 block of Broadway were fundamentally flawed, outdated and did not effectively serve their respective audiences. In 2008, funding for the construction of the History Colorado Center and the Ralph L. Carr Justice Complex through Certificates of Participation Build America Bonds (COP BABS), which do not draw from general state funds, was passed through legislation. The COP BABS are paid for through a marginal increase in court fees as well as small percentage of gaming tax revenues derived from Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek.

To keep updated about upcoming History Colorado programs and events, as well as the History Colorado Center, the public can sign up for History Colorado Now e-newsletter and see a calendar of events at http://www.historycolorado.org and become a History Colorado fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/history.colorado.

About History Colorado
History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Society, engages people in our State’s heritage through collecting, preserving, discovering the past and providing perspectives for the future. Established in 1879, this educational institution contains statewide historical museums and sites, educational programs, volunteer and membership opportunities, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, the Stephen H. Hart Research Library, and administers the State Historical Fund—a preservation-based grants program funded by limited stakes gaming tax revenues. Become a History Colorado fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/history.colorado. Visit http://www.historycolorado.org or call (303) 866-3682.

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