1801 California Street

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Coordinates: 39°44′52″N 104°59′23″W / 39.74778°N 104.98972°W / 39.74778; -104.98972

1801 California Street
CenturyLink, 1801 California Street, Denver.jpg
1801 California Street topped with the CenturyLink logo.
General information
Status Complete
Type Office[1]
Location 1801 California Street, Denver, Colorado
Opening 1982[1]
Owner Meridian Trust Co
Roof 709 ft (216 m)[2]
Technical details
Floor count 53[1]
Floor area 118,872 m2 (1,279,530 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Metz, Train & Youngren[2]
Developer The Weitz Company[2]

1801 California Street, also known as CenturyLink Tower, is a skyscraper in Denver, Colorado. The building was completed in 1983, and rises 53 floors and 709 feet (216 m) in height.[2] The building stands as the second-tallest building in Denver and Colorado, and as the 111th-tallest building in the United States.

1801 California Street was previously occupied by offices for US West, and then served as the world headquarters of Qwest Communications.[3] In summer 2011 following CenturyLink's acquisition of Qwest, the Qwest sign was removed from the top and replaced with the CenturyLink sign. Upon its completion in 1983, the building stood as the tallest building in the city.[2] However, it held that distinction for less than a year, being surpassed by Republic Plaza in 1984.[2]

The building has a brown concrete façade, and has a stepped design featuring four setbacks.[2] It is an example of late-modernist high-rise architecture.[1] The shape of the building resembles two interlocked octagonal sections, which separate near the building's roof.[2] The roof houses an antenna mast; with this structure included, the building reaches to a total height of 738 feet (225 m),[1] surpassing the 717-foot (219 m) roof of Republic Plaza. Therefore, when measuring by pinnacle height, 1801 California Street remains the tallest building in Denver.

1801 California Street prior to 2011 re branding.

1801 California Street once held the distinction of hosting the brightest high-rise signs in the world, surpassing even the brightly lit high-rise logos found on the skyscrapers of Shanghai and Hong Kong.[1] Four Qwest logos were installed in 2000, after the corporation moved their offices from 555 17th Street, situated two blocks away.[3] The signs, light blue in color, were at the time the brightest high-rise lights in the world, visible from over 70 miles (113 km) away.[3] However, Qwest removed the signs in 2004 due to increasing complaints from residents of Downtown Denver and rising energy costs, and the lights were replaced with ones of a darker blue color.[1] The new lighting system of the four logos uses LEDs in place of neon tubing, which saves on maintenance costs as well as energy costs.[4] Qwest executives estimate that the replacement lights will save the company 70% in electricity costs.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "1801 California Street". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "1801 California Street". Emporis.com. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "The tallest buildings in Colorado". DenverSkyscrapers.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  4. ^ a b Calhoun, Patricia (2004-12-23). "The Bright Stuff". Denver Westword. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
Preceded by
707 17th Street
Tallest building in Denver
216 m
Succeeded by
Republic Plaza