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Denver Mint

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1906, James Knox Taylor, OSA, with Tracy, Swarthwout and Litchfield; several additions. 320 W. Colfax Ave. between Cherokee and Delaware sts. and W. 14th Ave. (NR)

This two-story rectangular fortress inspired by the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence is clad on the first level in black-flecked pink Pikes Peak granite that contrasts with the Colorado gray granite ashlar above. Marble lunettes, some bearing carved eagles, top high, rectangular windows on the first level, with smaller, paired second-floor windows divided by marble columns and topped by arched marble panels, each inlaid with a single disk. The granite cornice is bracketed above a decorated frieze. Wrought iron is used for the entry lanterns, window grilles, and fencing above a low granite retaining wall. Murals by Vincent Aderente in the main vestibule represent mining, manufacturing, and commerce. Although James Knox Taylor was the supervising architect in Washington, the New York City firm of Tracy, Swarthwout and Litchfield designed the mint. Additions have detracted from this monument to Colorado's gold rush origins, but it remains the city's most popular free attraction and a stately reminder not only of Denver's history but also of the Renaissance origins of banking.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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