Recap: From Synagogue to Arts Community – Adaptive Reuse at The Temple

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, we toured The Temple from 4:30 to 6:00 PM for our final spring adaptive reuse tour. The Temple is a “social venture established to preserve and revive an important landmark, while providing affordable art studios and workshop facilities, community non-profit space and creative business suites.” The structure was originally the Curtis Park Synagogue, designed in 1882 by architects Willoughby and Frank Edbrooke. Throughout the years it has had a number of identities and was recently adorned with rooftop solar panels.

Tour guide Adam Gordon, owner and operator of The Temple, was joined by special guest artist, Joanne Kauvar, and Kim Estes McCarty, Executive Director of PlatteForum, a current tenant. PlatteForum “supports contemporary artists and under-served youth in metro Denver through innovative, long-term arts programs that allow the youth to work side-by-side with artists in residence.” Artists including Regan Rosburg, Suchitra Mattai, Lewis Mitchell Neeff, Caleb Hahne and Karen Roehl, among many others, have found a “home” at The Temple. Two Parts, a craft producer of high-end events, is also a current tenant and they recently sold Denver Flea and purchased Underground Music Showcase.

About the site: The Temple has been a towering presence in Denver since 1882, when it was designed by prominent Denver architects, the Edbrooke brothers, known for the Tabor Grand Opera House, Brown Palace Hotel and Oxford Hotel, among many other masterpieces. Early on, it was home to Temple Emanuel, and during this time, United Way was conceived on site by Frances Wisebart Jacobs, Rabbi William S. Friedman, Rev. Myron W. Reed, Msgr. William J.O’Ryan and Dean H. Martyn. By 1897, the Temple Emanuel had outgrown its current location and Beth HaMedrosh Hagodol (BMH) subsequently replaced Emanuel, followed finally by Temple Beth Joseph. As the demographics of the city shifted, The Temple was purchased by Golden Bell Press and used as underground DIY artist and music space until it was adapted to its current use. – Courtesy of The Temple