Wednesday

Corner View: Local Architecture
Tucked away in a corner of old North Denver, overlooking downtown from the hill above, is a small and special row of houses known as Stonecutter's Row. At least, that's the colloquial designation. It was introduced to me by my husband (a Denver native) when we first moved down from the mountains, and I was enchanted.
The color of this stone is very typical of Denver, and so beautiful. Seen more often in the local brickwork, which glows in the sun the way more tradition, oxblood-colored brick does not, this color is one of my favorite things about old Denver architecture. You can see it in the redrock cliffs just west of the Vail Valley, our old home, and of course in the redrock deserts of Utah where we love to camp. So this color is very western to me.
These houses are distinguished by the hand-hewn and often elaborate stonework, and some of the details are amazing. Unfortunately they have been for some time in a state of disrepair. The renovation process seems to be slow, and ongoing. I love to see the tools of the actual stonecutters laid out and ready for work - though I imagine stonecutters with this level of craft are few and far between.
It was a sunny day in the mid 60s (Farenheit) when Q and I set out to take the photos for this post, so we were dressed for spring (although since then another blizzard has moved through, leaving a foot or more of heavy spring snow on the ground, and shutting down most businesses and schools).

She's that Marimekko smock that I wore as a toddler, and which has survied good as new, still soft and supple, to grace the next generation. Now that's quality in clothing! Last summer it fit her as a dress, and I was thrilled to find that it fits perfectly as a top this year! Style and craftsmanship. That's what distinguishes a classic like Marimekko.
It seems that these incredible row houses are currently being used largely for student housing, as many of the students were out on the sidewalks this day, enjoying the sun and fiddling in their yards.
Here you can see the marks of the stonecutter's tools in the soft redrock.
The previous blizzard (these are intermittent in a typical Colorado spring) had left puddles of snow in the shady parts, in spite of the balmy weather, and one of the student residents had had the idea to fill a mail tub with snowballs and head down to the confluence park in search of a spring snowball fight. Coming across the tub, Q was amazed and delighted, and decided to make a few of her own (since I forbid her to confiscate his stash).
I told her to aim for the street, not the houses, to which her response was to turn and peg me in the stomach with one of her trademark fastballs. The kid has an arm like a cannon on her! I really have to remember not to underestimate her aim ;) She's a regular Bad News Bear.
After this, we went for icecream. Of course. What else to do of a lovely spring afternoon?

For more Corner Views from around the world, stop by Jane's place! You won't be disappointed.

15 comments:

Yoli said...

Beautiful architecture, really lovely and the color, stunning. I love her little striped frock.

rosanguyen said...

I love the colours of the walls and how they work with the doors. Q looks adorable :)
She is so happy.

Yanyan said...

Am a fan of Marimekko and Q

thais. said...

this is beautiful! and jane's site is more than adorable ;)

Theresa said...

I like this. I learned something. :)

kenza said...

Very nice! and I like the mix of colors of the post the brownish-red with the grey. lovely Maia lovely!

liza said...

I haven't seen these, but will try to one of the next times we are down that way! The Marimekko is amazing on your lovely fastball-thrower!! Only 3 inches of snow here... all gone now. I hope you're surviving!

Angie Muresan said...

That Marimekko smock on Q is precious. I'm amazed that it kept so well and impressed that your mom did not get rid of it.
That row of houses in old N. Denver is a pleasure to look at. I can just imagine the lives those stone walls have witnessed.

Juniper said...

Very nice architecture and what an interesting history attached to it. I certainly would like to see this row of houses in person if I am ever in Denver. I also really like the colour, actually this may sound strange but there are some old houses in St. Paul Minnesota of the same colour and similar sort of design. I associate it with where my grandmother grew up.

Catalina said...

Q. is so cute... Snow?

Julia Christie said...

My grandfather was a brickmason, although I believe he worked with all sorts of stone. The work these craftsmen do is amazing, isn't it?

jane said...

i love your views. really interesting post! love how you mixed some fashion into it;) have a great weekend!

likeschocolate said...

I will have to check these out the next time we come to Denver. Thanks!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Juniper, not strange at all...Minnesota also counts as "Western" in an architectural sense. I have actually never been to Minnesota but I have several friends there, and some family members on my husband's side. I get the feeling that Minnesota cities are not unlike Denver in many ways.

chinathambi said...

Nice Picture Collections...

htpp://chinathambi.blogspot.com