Even a casual drive around the Denver metro area will unveil a bevy of architectural gems, with even more design secrets hiding behind doors you might not expect. But since getting an invite to house parties at all these places was dubious even before a global pandemic, the Denver Architecture Foundation hosts Doors Open Denver to share these built environment stories.
This year’s event began on Sept. 27 and will run through Oct. 17. It features a blend of virtual and in-person tours. The free, virtual tours are available on-demand and include four 2021 stops and 12 archived stops from last year’s event.
In-person tours take place Saturdays and Sundays with four tours per day, according to provided information. Sites include the Clyfford Still Museum, the Historic Elitch Theater, the Historic 11th Avenue Hostel and the US. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. Tickets for in-person tours are available but are expected to be in high demand.
As part of the event, the Y/OUR Denver photography competition will also be back, accepting entries through Oct. 23. The corresponding exhibit of top entries will open to the public virtually in December.
Colorado Community Media spoke with Pauline Herrera, Denver Architecture Foundation’s executive director, about this year’s event and what you need to know:
How did you go about planning this year’s event, with the pandemic still going?
We began planning in late 2020. Since, at the time, we did not know where things were headed with the pandemic, we decided to pursue a virtual event for 2021, like we had in 2020. We remained open, however, to including in-person opportunities, if that became possible. We’re glad it did and that we’re able to present a hybrid event this year.
How will this year’s event be familiar to participants? What will be new?
The event will include nine sites never before offered during Doors Open Denver. It will be familiar in that it includes in-person insider tours led by expert tour guides, as Doors Open Denver historically has. It will also be familiar for folks who participated last year in that we will once again offer virtual tours.
What are you most excited about with in-person visits back this year?
I’m excited for our members and patrons who have missed them. It’s wonderful to be able to offer them in-person tours again.