Colorado shines new light on its history with opening of the History Colorado Center
New museum offers entirely new experience of Colorado’s past
Denver — After more than two years of construction and development, a new cultural destination in Denver—the History Colorado Center—is now open to the public.
Designed to ignite imaginations of all ages, this 200,000-square-foot, $110.8 million museum treats visitors to a rich experience of exhibits and programs blending technology, media, environments and artifacts.
Exhibits immerse visitors in the story—from the humorous, like the Colorado–Texas “tomato wars” of the 1980s, to the heart-wrenching 1864 Sand Creek Massacre—and allows them to dive into Colorado’s past while enjoying interactives like a virtual ride in a real Model T; testing their skills on a ski-jump simulator; and setting off dynamite in an 1880s hard-rock mine.
Smithsonian Affiliations Director Harold Closter describes the History Colorado Center, a recent Smithsonian Affiliate, as “the first great history museum of the twenty-first century.”
“This is a museum that will be known worldwide for setting a new standard of excellence in education and enjoyment,” said Closter during the History Colorado Center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 28, 2012. “Once you have been inside, you will never be the same.”
The History Colorado Center is also a place for Colorado’s educators and for civic engagement—it recently served as the site of NBC News’ “Education Nation Denver” programs.
“The History Colorado Center is a remarkable building, but what’s more important are the remarkable stories that are—and will be—told here,” said Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, who directs the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “We know we will have more engaged citizens, more productive citizens, and a stronger state if we teach young people about the richness of our past.”
"I am excited that Colorado’s history museum was developed with school-age children in mind,” said Michelle Pearson, social studies teacher and 2011 Colorado Teacher of the Year. “I applaud History Colorado’s foresight to find unique and creative ways to engage the next generation.”
“The History Colorado Center has given us the past so that we can enjoy our future,” said Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Vice Chairman, Bradley Hight.