Thy granite base of staunch and rocky birth
Supports a white and blazoned monument to greet the skies!
Sunlight plays and dances in a thousand eyes,
And graceful towers wear clouds for laurel wreaths.
Within--secreted, safe, protected by thy broadened girth,
A city's voice and heart lives and breathes
The song of nations' progress. Countless years shall not erase
From memory's eye the wonder of thy noble face!
Be that great gift of planning which is man's,
Stateliness and beauty combine in massive form
To smile at all below or laugh up at the storm;
And art of foreign sanction lives anew in Western lands!
O monstrous block of dazzling white! I gaze at you
And think of those who toiled to make this dream come true!
-Sonnet on the New Telephone Building
Welcome to our online tour
by Ada Garding
of the historic Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company Headquarters building in Denver, Colorado. We call it "Colorado's Bell System Palace," and it was finished shortly before the 1929 Crash of Wall Street and the beginning of the Great Depression. Never again would a company build such an homage to the power of industry and technology. Take this online tour and discover for yourself why we make this claim.
Located at the corner of 14th and Curtis streets in downtown Denver, Colorado, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built from Colorado materials and features Art Deco murals depicting the history of communications by Colorado artist Allen True
. Because it is still a working telephone central office, however, public access is limited.
With the aid of a grant from the Colorado State Historical Fund, we have constructed this tour to allow the public to view the building. Discover what happened on the site before the building was built; learn about the influence of business and technology on its structure; find out about the employees who provided telephone service to Denver; and see how the technology has changed through the years.
We have also included educational resources for both students and teachers. For students, we have activities and games. For teachers we have sample lesson plans and links to other resources. And for everybody, we've included a set of Discussion Boards
in which you can ask questions and discuss this exhibit (and the Virtual Museum) as much as you like.
If you wish to follow a Guided Tour of this exhibit, click here to begin with the building site's history and move in order through to the building tour. If you wish to sample the exhibit in your own way and in any order, feel free to use the links below to sample the building site's history, local communications history, the architecture and
Go Directly to the Tour!
If you'd like to go directly to the Building Tour and skip the site history, etc., you can! (And you can still sneak back and look at the other sections--we don't mind.) Click here to see the tour now.
construction of the building, an in-depth look at the Allen True murals on the building, and a floor-by-floor tour of the building as it was in 1929 and as it is today. Enjoy!