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DAM revitalization spurs exhibit on North Building's history

A rendering of the renovated North Building.

Gio Ponti designed the original building.

With the Denver Art Museum's upcoming North Building revitalization project, an exhibition on the renowned modernist building, its history and its future will open Feb. 19.

"Then, Now, Next: Evolution of an Architectural Icon" will feature historical photos, original architectural sketches, building models and project renderings to tell the story of the North Building's evolution.

The exhibition showcases architect Gio Ponti's original vision for the building and explores how the North Building has served an expanding and diversifying community since opening its doors in 1971. 

It also features the museum's future plans and outlines the guiding principles for the revitalization project: Responsibly managing and caring for buildings and collections, offering a superior visitor experience, unifying the campus and inviting the entire community to enjoy the museum and programs.

The historic Western American art galleries will close to the public after Jan. 29 for the North Building revitalization project. A selection of artworks from the DAM's collection will be on view at History Colorado in "Backstory: Western American Art in Context," opening March 18. Contemporary Western American art will remain on view on the second level of the Hamilton Building.

The North Building revitalization project is being funded, in part, by a $25 million pledge from Lanny and Sharon Martin, the largest financial gift in the museum's history. In recognition of the Martins' gift, the North Building will be renamed the J. Landis and Sharon Martin Building.

Designed by Boston's Machado Silvetti Architects and Fentress Architects of Denver, the revitalization project is estimated at $150 million. Key project elements include bringing the museum's renowned educational programs to the center of the campus, expanding gallery spaces for growing collections, including Design and Western American art, completing Ponti's original vision for visitor access to stunning seventh-floor views, exterior site improvements, a new welcome center and updating environmental and other key systems to current-generation technology.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Margaret Jackson.

Margaret is a veteran Denver real estate reporter and can be contacted here.
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