The next time you book a meeting or event at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, point out to your guests that they are spending time in an award-winning building that received the highest honors in the architecture community. Honors bestowed upon an architect who also designed the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, and other famous buildings throughout the world. How’s that for a distinctive and unique meeting venue?
The building we’re referring to is the I.M. Pei Tower at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, the preeminent destination for dignitaries and the city’s most elite social events.
Designed by Chinese-born US architect I.M. Pei (often called a master of modern architecture) and his firm I.M. Pei and Associates, the I.M. Pei Tower was part of a larger project completed in 1960 in downtown Denver called Court House Square.
Court House Square was world-renowned for being the first major development in any American city to combine a hotel, department store, four-story underground garage and public plaza featuring a skating rink, reflecting pool, trees and a flag display. In fact, the designers intended for it to be Denver’s version of Rockefeller Center in New York City, with inviting places to work, play, shop, dine, socialize and enjoy urban life. Court House Square was the second of three projects executed by Pei’s firm in a coordinated effort to develop the modern city core; their first project was Mile High Center, Denver’s first skyscraper, which was completed in 1956.
Court House Square received a National Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects in 1961, the profession’s highest recognition bestowed upon talented individuals and organizations for work that exemplifies excellence in architecture, interior architecture and regional and urban design. (The AIA recently announced the recipients of their 2012 Honor Awards – you check out the list here.) Today, the hotel portion of the Court House Square complex – now called the I.M. Pei Tower at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel – still stands as a salute to nineteenth-century modernist design. Book it for your next intimate or grand event and check it out for yourself!
(“Paris in the West” is a nod to Lonely Planet, who named Denver one of the top 10 U.S. travel destinations in 2011. Their article mentioned Pei’s design of the Louvre Pyramid in Paris.)