Press Release

1930s-era Denver diorama gets an upgrade at History Colorado Center

DENVER, Colo. (Feb. 26, 2019) – History Colorado’s beloved Denver Diorama is getting some attention this spring. The diorama will be undergoing regular conservation work and then relocated into the exhibit galleries at the History Colorado Center.

In the 1930s, this diorama broke new ground as it was funded by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and its successor, the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It provided employment to out-of-work historians, artists, architects, and craftspeople, and it helped kick off a period of creative activity that marked the first Golden Age of the Colorado Historical Society—today’s History Colorado.

Beginning March 3, History Colorado staff along with conservator Judy Greenfield will carefully review the artifact, prepare for the relocation to Colorado Stories exhibit gallery on the second floor, and then continue important restoration work over a two-week period. Conservation continues to be the first priority for this History Colorado gem. By relocating it to the second floor, collections staff will be able to install a clear glass case, UV-protected, increasing viewability of the tiny diorama details.

Museums have long used dioramas to portray events and landscapes, but History Colorado was the first organization in the nation to deploy federal relief funds for historical projects. The Denver Diorama depicts the emerging town of Denver as it looked in 1860. It features 350 miniature structures: cabins, frame and brick buildings, tents, bridges, outhouses, saloons, hotels, theaters, and an encampment of Arapaho people.

During this work, museum visitors are invited to view the diorama without the glass cover and observe the conservation work on March 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The diorama will re-open to the public on Saturday, March 16.

Boomtown: Denver, 1860 is included in the cost of a general admission ticket: $14 adults, $12 seniors 65+, $10 for students with ID, $8 children 5-15; children 4 and under free. For complete information, visit

About History Colorado
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through the History Colorado Center and statewide Community Museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections and outreach to Colorado communities. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.

Brooke Gladstone
Communications Manager
303-866-3670 |