We know we’re succeeding when more voices, perspectives, and experiences are part of our work. This focus on inclusion is the common theme of this month’s news.
On Wednesday, History Colorado will announce a major new effort—and a new, full-time staff member—devoted to uncovering and elevating some important history in our state. Made possible by generous support from one of Colorado’s most influential foundations, its dedication to community partnership will culminate with an exhibit in the History Colorado Center’s new Ballantine Gallery and other History Colorado sites statewide. When you learn more about it in Denverite and other news outlets, remember that you heard it here first!
History Colorado is proud to announce the recent acquisition of the work of John R. Henderson, Colorado’s first licensed African American architect. The John R. Henderson Collection consists of architectural drawings, including plans for the recently landmarked mid-century modern home Henderson designed for his family at 2600 Milwaukee Street in Denver. The collection also includes personal items, like Henderson’s wallet and architecture licenses. Lynn B. Henderson, John Henderson’s son, generously donated the collection to History Colorado. In addition to acquiring this collection, Anna Mascorella, the Temple Buell Associate Curator of Architecture, carried out an oral history interview with the architect’s son.
Construction on the third floor of the History Colorado Center began on January 6 to create a new studio for professional-quality audio and video recording. Located next to the Tim Schultz Gallery—currently home to Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects—the 211 square-foot space is a creative expansion of a former office area. It will be home to production for History Colorado's investigative podcast, Lost Highways: Dispatches from the Shadows of the Rocky Mountains; oral-history projects conducted by the Curatorial Services and Collections Access department; and other mission-critical activities, all of which will be visible to visitors and guests. History Colorado’s Facilities department joined forces with a contracting partner to develop a rapid timeline of just 8 weeks for construction prior to furnishing and completing the studio this spring. Staff from the Design & Production team are also helping out on an art project in the elevator lobby that will complement the interior acoustic panels and accent lighting. The area will also feature items from History Colorado collections. The project follows a string of successful improvements completed in 2019 at the History Colorado Center including the Ballantine Gallery, Emery Archaeology Lab, Owens Hickenlooper Leadership Gallery, and a new high-end meeting room and rental space on the 4th floor.
These are the realities of a bolder History Colorado—initiatives we are implementing to reach hundreds of thousands more Coloradans in the coming years. History Colorado is poised to maximize its statewide impact with confidence and a grandness of scope. With your generous support, we make it all happen.
Steve W. Turner, AIA
Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer