Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library

October 13, 2020

Doors Open Denver: Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
2401 Welton St

Tour guides: Jim Bershof, FAIA, Principal, OZ Architecture and Charleszine “Terry” Nelson, MLS, Senior Special Collections and Community Resources Manager, Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library

About the tour: This tour will cover the building exterior along Welton Street, the building’s location in the City and how the location influenced the building design. Inside, each floor level will be visited: the first floor which contains the branch library; the second floor which houses the research library – one of only a handful of its kind in the country; and the top floor, which includes a small museum that celebrates the history of African Americans in the West.

About the building: The 40,000 square foot Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, the 20th branch of the Denver Public Library system, was the design of Denver’s OZ Architecture and Harold Massop Associates Architects. Its design is modeled after Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel in Florence, Italy. The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library has three spacious levels, each with its own unique purpose. Level One, a full service Branch Library; Level Two, Collection Archives and Research – personal and professional papers, artifacts, photos and scrapbooks, all original, of great African-Americans who shaped the West; Level Three, Exhibits – The Earliest Arrivals, Early Black West, Five Points and Welton Street, African-American Leadership Gallery and the Mayor’s Campaign Trail – all located in the Charles and Dorothy Cousins Changing Gallery. This building features brick veneer construction and two large bas relief and bronze sculptures on the front façade along Welton Street.

About the tour guides: Jim Bershof is a Denver native, has Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from the University of Michigan, is a long-time Principal of OZ Architecture and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Jim resides in the Montclair neighborhood of east Denver. He is married and is a father to two sons and a grandfather to one grandson.

With over 30 years’ library experience, Terry Nelson has been a bookmobile librarian, manager of the library film center, a reference and humanities librarian and was the manager of Volunteer Services for the Denver Public Library. Nelson is the co-author (with Bonnie F. McCune) of Recruiting and Managing Volunteers in Libraries, which has become a valuable manual for managers of volunteer programs throughout the nation. Nelson is a Denver native and attended Manual High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree in Information Technology and Library Science from Emporia State University.

VERY IMPORTANT, READ IN FULL: This is a virtual tour. Upon registering for this tour, you will receive an email confirmation of your registration from Eventbrite. Within 24 hours you will receive a confirmation from Denver Architecture Foundation (via Demio) with your unique individual link to the tour. Please check your junk/spam if you don’t see this email in your inbox. You will receive reminder emails 24 hours in advance and 1 hour in advance from Denver Architecture Foundation (via Demio), again with your unique individual link to the tour. If you purchase more than one ticket, you must provide names and email addresses for each participant. Demio provides a unique link for each participant to access the tour; the same link cannot be used across multiple participants. Please use a desktop or laptop to view this tour; iPads and phones do not work well with this virtual format.