museum of contemporary art denver,mca denver,cherry creek river,delgany street,delgany street denver,

 

MCA - Museum of Contemporary Art
 Denver, Colorado

Back in the 1980's, a narrow strip of property stretching from Wewatta to Platte Street, and the Speer Viaduct to 15th Street, held a smattering of old small warehouses, including the Daniels Fisher Warehouse and the Monarch Mills Grain Building.  Long past more glorious days, almost all the other buildings were demolished making ready for a new era to begin.

The MCA would be built at 15th Street and Delgany Street and soon become the beacon for art and excitement for that corridor of a community.

Let us go back and look at the remnants of buildings, fields, a viaduct and a creek in this tiny area.  Some automobile and truck traffic remained in this largely abandoned area.  Fifteenth Street ran directly under the 15th Street Viaduct and created access to this sliver of remaining warehouses from the early 1900's.

The Daniels and Fisher Warehouse No. 2 was still standing strong, mid-block, on Delgany Street, and would ultimately be the only remaining large building.  I tried to photograph the area from vantage points on billboard signs and in, or on top of, a building.

The small Henry Wagner and Sons Building, with a now-faded yellow exterior, had once lodged a plaster and cement mix distribution store. Louie's Little Forge, then still in business, was at the other end of the street alongside Cherry Creek.

Once inside the Monarch building, in near pitch blackness, I fumbled around until I reached the roof.  The 15th Street Viaduct appeared 50 feet in front of me. 

The 15th Street Viaduct was always a strong presence of this area - strong and noisy - it gave life to the deserted scene. Large trucks from the Post Office Terminal (now demolished) were continually rumbling on the 15th Street below. 

- Kim Allen

 

 

 

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ęCopyright 1983 Kim Allen Denver Photo Archives