There has been a lot of hype about the new Colorado History Museum, which opened last April. Jim and I put it on our list of “must see” when we spent two days of our summer vacation in Denver.
It’s very different from the old museum that was torn down and replaced with a new Judicial Center. The old museum felt like a museum. This new place is more like an arcade for kids. Jim didn’t like it–I think because he was used to the old place and was comparing the two. Also he wanted to see what they had done with the Anasazi pottery. Well, it was still packed in a warehouse, we were told.
I enjoyed it. We were told this is just the first phase. In years to come, more will be added and brought back from the warehouses. Here’s a picture of the ceiling! I liked the architecture of the new place.
Here is a photo I took from 3 stories up looking down at the main floor.
That’s a map of Colorado created by some amazing designers. The odd machines sitting on the map are robots. You can push them around the floor to just about any location in Colorado and get a brief history of that spot. For instance I pushed the robot to Twin Lakes, near where I live, and learned about the “Tomato Wars” that happened in the 1800s. Here’s a close up of the robot.
Move into the interior and there are rooms filled with interactive displays–such as this one:
It’s a Model T that you can sit in and “drive” across the eastern plains. Of course the terrain is on a movie screen in front of you, but it does give a sense of moving as the old car bumps along. Kids (and seniors) love it.
I enjoyed the display of Old Bent’s Fort that Jim and I visited east of LaJunta.
Jim was intrigued with the wreath made of human hair. This was a craft that women used to do. It’s rather creepy, but you can’t help but appreciate the time and creativity that went into this art form.
We spent a couple of hours in this new museum. It’s a good teaching tool for kids of all ages, but Jim and I agreed that there are still lots of holes in Colorado history that may only be filled by reading.