Title: CHEESMAN PAVILION
Location Current Site: Denver CO UNITED STATES
Creator Personal Name: Marean & Norton, Marean,Willis A., Norton,Albert J.
Creator Assoc Person Name: Newman,Jennifer
Creator Assoc Person Role: Photographer
Subject.Image Description: West Facade
Creator.Personal Name Label: Marean and Norton
Source.Acquisition Date: 2003-07-10 00:00:00
Style/Period: American Renaissance
Style/Period Description: AMERICAN RENAISSANCE
Historians disagree about this style term; other similar labels are Neoclassical, Renaissance Revival, and Beaux-Arts Classicism. Each term has a slightly different meaning. The term American Renaissance applied to architecture and decorative arts has a parallel in American literature of the period, and has broader connotations than the other terms. With respect to buildings, it refers to a movement at the end of the 19th century to improve taste generally, and more specifically, to improve the quality of American public buildings by encouraging serious study of the great monuments of the past. American Renaissance architects, such as Charles McKim, felt they and their clients were emulating men of the Italian Renaissance by creatively reinterpreting classical models from ancient Greece and Rome.
The term Beaux-Arts refers to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, the most prestigious architectural school of the nineteenth century. American architects, beginning with Richard Morris Hunt and Henry Hobson Richardson, attended for the rigorous academic training, which involved creatively emulating historical precedents and planning buildings as coherent wholes. By the end of the nineteenth century, the profession and architectural education in the United States were dominated by the teachings of the Ecole. Its influence was challenged beginning in the 1930s with the arrival of modernist architects from Europe, who initiated the International Style in the U.S.
American Renaissance Neoclassical designs were distinguished by their symmetry, by their ground plans with clear hierarchies of major and minor axes, by their clear articulation of functional elements in plan, and by finely crafted elevations and interiors based on a variety of classical precedents. The style was most suited for monumental public buildings, and many were adorned with richly molded round arches, stone columns and entablatures, and other signs of status, such as pediments and high bases. American Renaissance buildings range from the monumentally simple Lincoln Memorial (1912) by Henry Bacon, which emulates a Greek temple, to the more exuberant 1895 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, by Richard Morris Hunt, which employed Italian and French Baroque motifs. Among the first examples of the style was the Boston Public Library (1887-98) by McKim, Mead and White, which emulates both an Italian 15th century palace and the mid 19th century University of Paris library. The American Renaissance Style was popularized when the architects of the major buildings at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition decided to enhance visual unity by employing it.
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, general view
Description.Subject Report: CHEESMAN PARK AND PAVILION, DENVER. This eighty-acre park is bounded by Thirteenth, Josephine, Eighth and Corona Streets. It was originally Prospect Hill Cemetery, established in 1858. As Denver developed eastward the area became surrounded by residential neighborhoods. In 1890, the cemetery was converted to Congress Park. The interred were moved to Riverside and Mount Olivet cemeteries. Supposedly hundreds of corpses still remain buried beneath the sod, however. In 1901, Denver historian Jerome Smiley described the park as "treeless, shrubless, waterless, utterly forsaken and neglected except by prairie dogs." In 1907, the wife and daughter of millionaire Walter S. Cheesman donated a memorial pavilion to the city in exchange for the park being renamed in Cheesman's honor. The pavilion, completed in 1910, was designed by Willis Marean and Albert Norton, architects for the Cheesman-Boettcher Mansion, now the Governor's Mansion. Marean was a Denver Parks and Parkways commissioner, and both men served on the Denver Art Commission. The $100,000 open air structure resembles the portico of the 18th century Grand Trianon palace at Versailles, France, although its paired columns are of the Tuscan rather than the Ionic order. It was built of white Colorado Yule marble. The Cheesman Pavilion is located on the east edge of the park, facing west. The fountain on the west side was restored in 1998. The original park design was by Reinhard Schuetze, the city of Denver's first landscape architect, who died in 1910. It was later enhanced by city landscape architect, Saco R. DeBoer. Subsequent design work there was by Rod Widberg. An oval roadway encircles the park. It is open in the middle and more densely planted with trees around the edges. Plantings include masses of evergreens, clusters of deciduous trees, and scattered flower beds. On the north end there are remains a rustic gazebo supported by slender tree trunks and capped by a mushroom-like roof. From 1933 to 1972 crowds of up to 20,000 enjoyed summer "opera under the stars" performances here, presented by the Denver Post. Newspaper owner Helen Bonfils' passion for the performing arts was legendary. In the mid twentieth century, the Denver Botanical Gardens was developed to the east of Cheesman Park. In the early 1970s, the park's mountain vista were endangered by construction of nearby high-rise apartment complexes. Fortunately, the Mountain View Preservation ordinance was passed. During this time, the Park People spearheaded a $120,000 restoration of the park, funded by the Boettcher Foundation. Today it continues as an urban playground, with places for volley ball games, kite flying, outdoor concerts, and jogging. Sources: Bernard Kelly, "A Monument in Peril," Denver Post Empire Magazine, Denver, July 26, 1970; Phil Goldstein, Denver's Capital Hill, Denver: Denver; Life Publications. (Cathleen Norman, 1999)
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 134705
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
Creator.Comments: Architects of Cheesman Pavilion in Cheesman Park, Denver.
Creator.Comments: U.S. Architect Partnership 1895 - 1939 with Albert J. Norton, Denver, CO.
Creator.Comments: U.S. Architect Partnership 1895 - 1939 with Willis A. Marean, Denver, CO.
Source.Requestor Full Name: Lickteig, Lynn
Collection Name: Architecture and Planning Collection
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