Denver Public Library

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Denver Public Library
Sign on the old Central Library.
Location 1357 Broadway
Coordinates 39°44′15″N 104°59′17″W / 39.73750°N 104.98806°W / 39.73750; -104.98806Coordinates: 39°44′15″N 104°59′17″W / 39.73750°N 104.98806°W / 39.73750; -104.98806
Area Less than one acre
Built 1955
Architect Hoyt,Burnham; et al.
Architectural style International Style
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 90001345[1]
Added to NRHP 6 December 1990

The Denver Public Library is the public library of the city of Denver, Colorado in the United States. Its administrative headquarters is on the seventh floor of the Central Library in Downtown Denver.[2] In 2010, the library had 2,288,842 items in its collection and a library card base of 339,883 local residents. In addition to its Central facility, it has 23 branches and a bookmobile program.[3]


The 1995 portion of building design by Michael Graves is an example of postmodern architecture

The library was established in June 1889 by City Librarian John Cotton Dana in a wing of Denver High School. In 1910, the library acquired a building of its own, called the Central Library, a Greek revival design funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie that was located in Civic Center Park in downtown. Between 1913 and 1920, Carnegie also underwrote construction of the first eight branches of the city library. Previously the city relied on traveling trunks of books. The city commissioned a new structure that is located on Broadway and West 14th Avenue and built by the firm of Fisher & Fisher/Burnham Hoyt. Burnham Hoyt is the identified architect of the north wing of the central Denver public library, built in 1955.[4] The Broadway property was formerly a Ford dealership that sold the Ford Model T, and the dealership was relocated to 104th Boulevard in Northglenn, Colorado where the dealership is still located as O'Meara Ford[5][6][7]

In 1990, 75% of Denver voters approved a $91.6 million bond issue to add onto the Fisher and Fisher/Burnham Hoyt building. The 540,000-square-foot (50,000 m2) structure was designed by architect Michael Graves and the Denver firm of Klipp Colussy Jenks DuBois, and is beside the Denver Art Museum. The building at 1357 Broadway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places 1990, as Denver Public Library.


The library interior includes an abstract panorama representing Denver and the nearby mountains.

The Denver Public Library has a large Western History collection, which began under the direction of City Librarian Malcom G. Wyer and includes 600,000 photographs, 3,700 manuscript archives, 200,000 cataloged books, pamphlets, atlases, maps, and microfilm titles as well as a collection of Western fine art and prints. The Western History Department holds the Otto Perry collection of railroad photographs, numbering 20,000 negatives from all parts of North America made available for viewing on the Internet.[8]

The Western History and Genealogy departments merged in 1995 and are located on the fifth floor. The Genealogy department includes 60,000 books, 75,000 pieces of microform, and hundreds of magazine and newsletter titles, charts, clippings, atlases and manuscripts.

The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library serves as an educational and cultural resource focusing on the history, literature, art, music, religion, and politics of African Americans in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain West. The Library opened in 2003 and houses a full service branch library, research archives and the Western Legacies Museum, an exhibition space that spans more than 7,000 square feet (650 m2) and includes an African American Leadership Gallery, a replica of the Office of Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, and rotating exhibits which highlight historical periods, notable individuals and local Denver history.

Library Branches[edit]

The original 1910 Denver Carnegie library.
  • Central Library
    • Main Branch
    • Burnham Hoyt Branch Library
    • Children's Library
    • Western History & Genealogy Library
  • Athmar Park Branch Library
  • Ross-Barnum Branch Library
  • Bear Valley Branch Library
  • Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
  • Ross-Broadway Branch Library
  • Byers Branch Library
  • Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library
  • Decker Branch Library
  • Eugene Field Branch Library
  • Ford-Warren Branch Library
  • Green Valley Ranch Branch Library
  • Hadley Branch Library
  • Hampden Branch Library
  • Montbello Branch Library
  • Park Hill Branch Library
  • Pauline Robinson Branch Library
  • Schlessman Family Branch Library
  • Sam Gary Branch Library
  • Smiley Branch Library
  • Ross-University Hills Branch Library
  • Valdez-Perry Branch Library
  • Virginia Village Branch Library
  • Westwood Branch Library
  • Woodbury Branch Library

Source: Locations & Hours. Denver Public Library website. Retrieved: 2013-10-21.


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Central Library Maps and Call Number Guide. (PDF) Denver Public Library. Retrieved: 2011-03-30.
  3. ^ Facts & Figures Denver Public Library. Retrieved: 2012-02-29.
  4. ^ Denver Library page
  5. ^ [ History of O'Meara Ford
  6. ^ Photos of old location
  7. ^ second dealership location photo at 14th and Broadway
  8. ^ "Otto C. Perry Images". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 

External links[edit]