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.


Mom-of-Bean said...

Can't find your e-mail fast enough so here I'm communicating through posts...George would love it, I'm sure if you mention him. He is one of those very humble artist that just blow my mind...I do love the skateboards too...that's what I'm bartering for next. Great texture in how they curve off the wall...please plug him. He is awesome...talk to you soon...

Vivian M said...

I love the bricks! I used to have a brick wall in my condo living room, lol. And I chose our wedding hotel because it was an old textile factory turned hotel, with all the original brick walls in place. I even have a brick on top of my fridge (I use it to squish the soda cans I recycle). You think I might have a brick fetish? LOL!