Denver's Pioneer Monuments
Frontier-themed public sculptures in the Denver area.
The 1911 Pioneer Monument marks the end of the Smoky Hill Trail, which crossed the great plains from Kansas to Denver and served as the principal route for prospectors seeking their fortunes during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Artist Frederick MacMonnies' original design sparked public controversy because it did not sufficiently celebrate white "civilization" replacing supposed Native savagery. MacMonnies compromised by replacing the Plains Indian warrior at the top of the pillar with a statue of Kit Carson. In 2020, the monument again sparked controversy, this time because it celebrated white cultural dominance.
Colorado became the first state in the Union to give women the right to vote in a popular election in 1893. "A New Beginning" represents western women's empowerment women in the 1890s. It was sculpted by Veryl Goodnight and placed outside History Colorado Center in time for the center's opening in 2012.
Minimalist sculpture selected to honor Colorado pioneers in the mid-1960s. Artist Susan Pogzeba insisted that she was just playing with shapes, and that the sculpture was not intended to represent anything in particular. Nonetheless, it was chosen to honor Colorado pioneers in a park named after real estate developer William Zeckendorf.
Denver Botanic Gardens' (DBG) York Street location is a 24-acre facility boasting approximately 50 distinctive gardens, including the 3-acre Mordecai Children's Garden. The grounds feature art as well as plants, including glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly, which are incorporated within the landscape design. Themed tours such as Stories in Sculpture, Seasonal Discovery, Garden Guru, and Midsummer Nights are offered, as well as daily programming at the Children's Garden. Guests can learn about the DBG's horticultural and biodiversity research at the interactive Science Pyramid, learn about the Gardens' living collections and herbaria (natural history collections), or visit the Helen Fowler library, which holds 25,000 titles as well as an extensive collection of botanical prints.
One of Denver's oldest parks, City Park was designed in 1882 by Henry Merryweather in the style of New York's Central Park. The park features gardens and a large greenhouse, mountain vistas, picnic areas, a playground, walking and jogging paths, tennis and handball courts, horseshoe pits, a lake and pavilion, ponds, and interactive fountains, and fields for baseball, softball, soccer, and football. The park is also home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is included on the National Register of Historic Places
The first piece of public art installed by the City of Westminster, it has stood near City Hall since 1993. It depicts a frontier family representing family values and hope for the future. It was sculpted by Loveland, Colorado, artist George W. Lundeen. It was donated by real estate developer Jim Sullivan.