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  • Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Opens in Historic Colorado National Bank Building

    Daniel Fountain
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    Renaissance Hotels has announced that one of Denver’s most iconic structures, the historic Colorado National Bank building, has reopened its doors as the new 230-room Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Colorado National Bank building was designed in 1915 by famed Denver architects William and Arthur Fisher. Originally erected as a four-story building on the corner of 17th and Champa Streets in downtown Denver, the area was then deemed the “Wall Street of the Rockies.” The building’s neo-classical, Greek revival architecture is highlighted through its towering white exterior columns and walls, created with marble from the Colorado Yule Marble Company, the same marble used to build the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Large monogrammed bronze doors open to the three-story interior atrium, constructed with marble flooring, ornate bronze accents and the most secure vaults in existence at the time – details that remain as part of the hotel’s design experience.

    Embracing the spirit of the building’s construction in the early 20th century, the hotel showcases various historic elements juxtaposed with sophisticated accommodations and stylish design. Sixteen murals, originally painted for the Colorado National Bank in 1925 by iconic western muralist Allen Tupper True, were restored in the hotel’s grand lobby. Denver-based NINE dot ARTS curated a collection of original modern artwork for the hotel, including several signature pieces designed to highlight and complement the historic murals, each from an emerging Colorado-based artist or local gallery. The hotel is also home to a history wall, showcasing a detailed explanation of the True murals, as well as artifacts, mementos, architectural imagery and photos from the bank’s storied past.

    A complimentary interactive walking tour adds to the one-of-a-kind experience offered within the hotel, available via smartphone to guests and locals alike. The brief cultural tour of the hotel will provide users with information on everything from the artwork – both historic and modern – to the history of banking in Colorado and the related notable elements still viewable in the building. It will also offer information on the hotel’s unique culinary offerings including the cocktails and dishes available onsite that use local ingredients or spirits.

    The hotel’s original restaurant concept, range, features “new American West” cuisine incorporating ingredients and techniques unique to the Rocky Mountain West. Techniques focus on grilling, smoking, wood oven roasting, cast iron sautéing, pickling and preserving. Ingredients will be largely local with a focus on all-natural grass-fed meats, wild game, sustainable seafood, local creamery cheeses, seasonal produce and more. The Teller Bar, located in the hotel’s lobby, and aptly named for the Bank tellers who once stood where the bar is now situated, will feature small bites, craft cocktails and local beers, includingCountinghouse, a Pre-Prohibition Style Cream Ale created specially for the property by Denver-based Former Future, a craft brewery that recreates historic beer recipes by combining them with cutting-edge techniques, to create delicious and unique brews. The brew, named for the bank that originally occupied the building, is only available at The Teller Bar, range and the brewer’s local Denver tap room.

    For those interested in booking private events at the property, the Renaissance Denver Downtown offers 6,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, which most notably includes three of the building’s original bank vaults, complete with original 33-inch thick, 60,000-lb. steel safe doors.

    Daniel Fountain / 25.05.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs

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