Week 4 – Red Rocks

This was a productive week that ended with a cool field trip to a National Historic Landmark less than 15 minutes away from the office. In an effort to bring together people from different work groups, there was a Communications and External Relations Brown Bag Lunch at Red Rocks Amphitheatre today. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a naturally formed open-air amphitheater perfectly situated as an outdoor concert venue. The area is actually a park as well, and as we drove in there were tons of cars in the parking lot. I quickly understood why – not only is the view amazing, but there is plenty of space for kids to play, groups to sit and picnic, and built-in work out equipment (stairs, so many stairs). The park also has plenty of hiking and biking trails, and there is a visitor center, performer’s hall of fame, and restaurant. National Historic Landmarks are “nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.” Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the nearby Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp were designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2015. The CCC Camp is where New Deal-era workers stayed while building the Red Rocks Amphitheater. Other features that make this place significant are its cultural importance as a performing arts center, the architecture, and the excellent masonry completed by the CCC. Much of the masonry work you see today is original. Some of the people at the lunch actually work with National Historic Landmarks, and had interesting details about Red Rocks. They talked about changes Red Rocks was hoping to make to improve the visitor experience, and how they are consulting with the National Park Service on these changes. Even if it is something small, like railings on those side platforms you see in the photos, they want to respect the original structure of the amphitheater – the architecture is one of the reasons it became a landmark after all! Since Red Rocks is less than 20 minutes away from where I am staying this summer, I plan on coming back to do some hiking. If I’m lucky, I’ll also make it to one of the world-famous concerts there!   Interesting reads about Red Rocks Amphitheatre: http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2015/08/04/red-rocks-named-national-historic-landmark.html http://redrocksonline.com/about/history-geology

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