With all of the natural beauty surrounding us in the metro area, it’s often easy to overlook man’s contribution to our magnificent city. But all it takes is one glimpse of that Mile High skyline, and we’re reminded of just how talented humans can be. Here are 11 of the best man made wonders in Denver that will leave you awestruck.
1. Chamberlin Observatory
The Denver Astronomical Society has been hosting Public Nights at DU's historic Chamberlin Observatory, circa 1894, for over 60 years. Every Tuesday and Thursday, you have the opportunity to experience informative presentations on astronomy and to view the moon, stars, planets, and more through the famed 28-foot long refracting telescope.
2. The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Established in the late 1800s as the first Catholic church in Denver, the Cathedral Basilica at 1535 Logan Street is a stunning man made sight to behold. Especially of note are its twin 210-foot towers, 75 German stained glass windows, and altar, statuary, and bishop's chair made from imported Italian marble.
3. Daniels & Fisher Tower
Built in the early 1900s and rising nearly 400 feet in the air, the Daniels & Fisher Tower located on the 16th Street Mall Downtown is one of the Mile High City's most notable landmarks and was the tallest building west of the Mississippi upon its completion.
4. Millennium Bridge
The construction of this $9-million magnificent marvel of modern engineering was no small feat. It began in 1999 and was completed in 2002, becoming the world's first "cable-stayed bridge using post-tensioned structural construction."
5. The Dancers
Artist Jonathan Borofsky's whimsical Dancers at the Denver Performing Arts Complex stand tall at a jaw-dropping 60 feet in height and were constructed using 25 tons of fiberglass and steel. This unique sculpture is also accompanied by a piece of music composed by the artist which plays continuously from speakers at the base of the installation.
6. The North Building
The Denver Art Museum's North Building, which opened in 1971, was DAM's original revolutionary architectural triumph. It stands at a whopping seven stories tall, is 210,000 square feet, and boasts more than a million reflective glass tiles on its castle-like exterior. Man made magnificence at its best!
7. Tower of Memories
Since its inception in 1907, Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary and Cemetery in Wheat Ridge and its historic Tower of Memories have grown to be one of Denver's most recognized landmarks. Construction of the seven-story, 158-foot, Gothic-style mausoleum began in the 1920s and was completed in the 1940s.
8. The Mother Cabrini Shrine
The magnificent Mother Cabrini Shrine near Golden has many well-maintained historic structures on site dating back to the early 1900s. There's a replica of a French grotto that was built in 1929, over the sacred spring discovered by Mother Cabrini and her sisters in 1912, as well as other notable landmarks, including the Stone House, Heart of Stones, Convent, and the 373-step Stairway of Prayer, all of which draw spiritual pilgrims and tourists alike who long for a glimpse of Mother Cabrini's life and work.
9. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway near Idaho Springs is the highest paved road in North America and was constructed from 1917-1927. The wild, winding road runs 28 miles, gains over 7,000' of elevation, (is not for the faint of heart), and culminates at an altitude of 14,130' at the summit of Mt. Evans.
10. Peak to Peak Highway
Established in 1918, the Peak to Peak Highway is Colorado's oldest scenic byway and travels a 55-mile route from Estes Park to I-70. You'll encounter old mining sites where you can pan for gold, intersecting gravel roads that lead to the ghost towns of Hesse and Apex, and of course stunning mountain scenery as you pass through Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
11. Walker Castle Ruins
A quick hike to the historic ruins at Mount Falcon reveals the broken dreams of the successful businessman John Brisben Walker, who constructed this home overlooking Red Rocks in 1910. However, Walker's wife passed away in 1916, and the castle was struck by lighting and burned in 1918, and the crumbling stones are now all that remain.