Cleworth Architectural Legacy Project

Architecture + Design in K-8 Classrooms.

The Cleworth Architectural Legacy (CAL) Project enlivens K-8 classrooms with architecture education, inspiring learners to think critically about our built environment. With the help of architects, engineers and design professionals, teachers lead their students through CAL’s multi-week curriculum packed with hands-on activities that build 21st Century Skills: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. By blending these skills with STEAM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics), CAL engages students in high-quality and fun classroom experiences.

The Cleworth Architectural Legacy Project is named after Charles W. Cleworth, affectionately known as Cal, one of Denver’s most notable preservationists in the late 20th century and an early champion of this vital DAF program. Cal’s love for Denver architecture inspired him to purchase and restore multiple homes first built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He published two books on Denver’s built environment with Historic Denver. He served on that organization’s board, as well as the boards of Denver Architecture Foundation, Denver Botanic Gardens, and University Club of Denver. “He just loved architecture,” said his son, Monty. “And he loved this program that went into schools and taught kids about architecture.” Learn more about Cal and his legacy here.

DAF connects teachers to resources, training and support to implement CAL in their classrooms. Volunteers are one such resource, representing many of Denver’s leading architecture and engineering firms. Together, teachers and volunteers utilize architecture as a tool for students to actively engage with their classroom subjects. CAL turns toothpicks and marshmallows into reimagined park structures using geometry lessons, or poster board and pencils into illustrated plans for a community recreation center applying civics lessons.

CAL awakens young minds to the importance of our built environment. 

For over 20 years, DAF has leveraged CAL’s unique learning approach to improve student experience and outcomes in Denver classrooms. CAL’s popularity with teachers, students and teachers consistently grows.

Interested in seeing CAL in action? Watch our 2017 CAL video:

During the 2021-22 school year, DAF partnered with teachers and volunteers from the following schools and firms:

  • Bradley International School with Davis Partnership Architects and Hord Coplan Macht
  • Asbury Elementary with Perkins+Will and Rowland & Broughton
  • Polaris at Ebert Elementary with MOA Architecture
  • Stedman Elementary with SAR+ and HDR
  • University Park Elementary with SmithGroup
  • Lowry Elementary with RATIO Architects
  • Kunsmiller Creative Arts with Fentress Architects
  • McKinley-Thatcher Elementary with OZ Architecture
  • Polton Community Elementary with JNS Architecture + Interior Design and KL&A Engineers and Builders
  • Foster Dual Language with Anderson Mason Dale Architects

Get Involved

Design professionals (architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, graphic artists, etc.) and teachers who wish to take part in the CAL Project should contact DAF at gro.e1713228860rutce1713228860tihcr1713228860arevn1713228860ed@ol1713228860leh1713228860.

Download a free copy of “Architectural ‘Awareness’ Activities Workbook” for use in your classroom.

Stay Connected

Receive DAF updates straight to your inbox. Click to subscribe to DAF eNews.