Repurposing and Architecture

Denver coloradoWhew, it’s been a very busy week.  First, I helped my daughter move from the northwest end of the Denver area to the southern end which is much closer to her work.  This will make her life so much easier especially once winter arrives and the snow starts to fall.Chatfield State Park

Second, hubby and I moved from the Westminster Elks Lodge, which was home base for us for the better part of the summer to the Chatfield State Park.  Ah, camping near water once again….. we love it.

As I sit in my comfy chair admiring the view, Al and I Elkdiscuss our stay in the area.

Although we initially planned to be moving around the state of Colorado all summer, we realized sitting in one location for awhile gave us plenty of opportunity to explore the Denver area leisurely.

One of the things I’ve loved discovering this summer in Denver, Colorado, are the unique businesses located in repurposed structures.  The first of such places we visited was the Recreational Equipment Inc. Store.REIThe REI Store is housed in a building built in the early 1900’s and was used for electric streetcar lines.  Since I already did a post about this building, you can click here to read more about it.REIWith each subsequent visit to this REI Store, I noticed more and more of the little details like the old rail tracks being repurposed.  If you look closely in the photo below, the rails are used for the track lighting.REIMuch of the building and its history has been beautifully preserved.REIAnother unique find was a former 1880’s brick structure that was formerly a foundry and has been turned into a home for a couple of restaurants and an unusual collection of shops.  ‘The Source’ is located in Denver’s River North District.artisan foodsThe Source is considered an artisan food market with such specialty shops as; Artisan Bread Bakery, a Butcher Shop, Floral Shop, Liquor Shop, Coffee Roaster, Cheese & Spice Shop and the Crooked Stave Brewery to round out the selection of businesses.


Turning a garage into a wine tasting room – That’s exactly what the Spero Family did.  Spero Winery is a family owned and operated winery.

wine tasting
Clyde Spero proudly serves up samples

We found ourselves visiting this establishment a few times during our stay at the Westminster Elks Lodge.  The fact that there is FREE wine tasting every Saturday and is located less than 5 miles away from home sure made it tastingAnd yes, it is totally free and the pours are generous.  They even offer a cheese, salami, and cracker platter free.  During our visits, we noticed a vast array of clientele from young to old and everything in between and the wine was good.

Cathedral BasilicaThe biggest surprise to me was the abundance of beautiful buildings in Denver.  It was a joy just walking around the city of Denver taking in the unique structures.

I was so enamored with the Cathedral Basilica that I even attended mass one Sunday morning.

The stained glass, Italian marble, and overall structure is simply stunning.

Holy GhostI had heard from locals that I needed to see the Holy Ghost Catholic Church.  At first, I wasn’t sure why until Al had me walk across the street from the church.

It looks as though the architects of this modern skyscraper designed that structure to appear as a large protector of sorts.

The combination of new and old buildings seemed to work in harmony throughout the entire city of Denver.

How about repurposing old pianos?  That’s exactly what you’ll see walking the outdoor Sixteenth Street Mall.  These pianos are available for anyone to enjoy.Sixteenth Street Mall

malls in DenverA city, is a city, is a city and as thus Denver is like any other city and has it’s fair share of homeless people living on the streets.  That said, it’s not uncommon to see a homeless person (or at least one that appears homeless) playing one of these pianos.

Sometimes the tune is basic and other times the raw talent stops you in your tracks.

Sixteenth Street MallOne time, my daughter and I just stood there, mouths opened, listening as a guy was banging out Beethoven’s fifth.

Needless to say, an appreciative crowd gathered.  It almost brought my daughter to tears as she asked, “Mom, how can someone with so much talent end up living on the streets?”  I’m sure we weren’t the only on lookers asking this question.

Probably the most impressive repurposing I discovered is located 30 minutes north of Denver.  What was once an ugly gravel pit is now a beautiful state park complete with ponds that are perfect for bird and fish habitat.Colorado State Parks

We found the St. Vrain State Park to be a lovely facility which we thoroughly enjoyed calling home for 5 days.

I was also impressed with Denver’s artistic sculptures displayed throughout the city.  I’ll save that for another post as this one is getting a little winded.

In closing, I’ll share one final photo  …..  a photo of MY favorite kind of ‘church’Fall colorsFYI…. we’re hitting the road Sunday.  Lake Mead here we come!
And remember…. if the text is in blue it’s linked to a website.  If it’s in red, that’s just me playing around and letting you know I’m changing subjects 🙂

Keurig K130/B130 Brewing System

Patagonia Atom