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City and Self

Category: CITY

Rocky Mountain Seed Company

During the construction of 16M  off of 16th and Market (the old Cook Building which housed Office Depot) a quiet little building next door was also renovated that didn’t really get noticed; it has caught my eye every time I walk by and I wish our office was in their beautiful and elegant space.

A little history from Eron Johnson Antiques and the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain Seed Co. Building was built in 1894 and in its more recent past the facade of the building had been covered with green sheet metal.

Old Rocky Mountain Seed Company

The old facade on Rocky Mountain Seed Company facade from DenverInfill.com.

The exposure!

The exposure!

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The Container Store

Many moons ago I worked on a project to create a senior living project out of a standard 8′ x 9′ x 40′ shipping container.  This type of modular design has fascinated ever since and while traveling in New Zealand last fall I stumbled upon Re:START in Christchurch, a quick solution to the devastation of the downtown shopping district.

Re:Start approached from the north.  I was curious and couldn't figure out how to get in initially.

Re:Start approached from the north. I was curious and couldn’t figure out how to get in initially.

Now, compare that to a new development in Denver right in my hood at 25th and Larimer!  Great job integrating the containers into the streetscape and the use of an interior courtyard (check out the pictures on the Gravitas website) which holds Wednesday morning yoga by Fold Yoga at 6:30 am followed by free coffee in Huckleberry.

Looking down Larimer at the entrance of Huckleberry Coffee and Topo Designs.

Looking down Larimer Street at the entrance of Huckleberry Roasters and Topo Designs.

Back to Christchurch, here’s what we discovered once we figured out how to get inside:

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The Ghetto Palm

aka Weed Trees, aka The Tree of Heaven

Ghetto Palm growing up in my backyard

Ghetto Palm growing up in my backyard

I’ve had many discussions with friends about their love / hate relationship with these pesky urban-infill trees that seem to sprout out of anywhere and grow inches a day!

Ailanthus glandulosa was originally brought over from by a gardener in Philadelphia in 1780 and into California during the 1800’s from China, it’s native land.  The tree is amazingly resilient and with its leafy palm like leaves, provides greenery and shade.  It can reproduce through the abundant seed pods it releases and through roots, but a chemical that the tree produces prevents and kills other plants nearby.  These tricky roots are also notorious for creeping into sewers, pipes and foundations.

Tree of Heaven sprouting up between a grate along a bridge over Cherry Creek

Tree of Heaven sprouting up between the mesh of a grate along a bridge over Cherry Creek

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Chihuly at Denver Botanic Gardens

Sometimes we forget about the public amenities that are available to us.  I was reminded of how much I love walking around the Denver Botanic Gardens and how beautiful the architecture compliments the foliage when visiting the Chihuly exhibit last week.

Chihuly, Denver Botanic Gardens - Urban i

Japanese Garden

Denver Botanic Gardens, Chihuly - Urban-i

Rock Alpine Garden

Denver Botanic Gardens, Chihuly - Urban-i

Romantic Gardens

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Urban Textures I

Walls that I love running my fingers over as I walk by…

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Forgotten Doors

As I walk around LoDo with my dog, Mason, on our afternoon breaks from the office, I’ve stumbled upon doors, no longer serving as entrances.



Union Station Grand Opening

The grand opening of the Union Station was today, May 9th, and I couldn’t wait to see the new space which is hidden from me as I bike down 15th by the tall buildings surrounding it.  It was wonderful to see so many people come out and celebrate an Denver’s newest neighborhood and the transformation of what old rail yards into a vibrant transit hub.


Strips of dirt paths on the new 17th Street “Vertical Gardens” with skylights into new bus terminal on Wewatta Plaza

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