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Modernly historical: Renaissance Hotel in old Colorado National Bank building

C. J. Durkin

As many cities are, Denver is an ever changing, ever growing place. Downtown has a charming mix of old brick-faced buildings that intermingle with modern architecture, and many buildings and bars have a longer, more interesting history, than one might expect.

One of the newest in that tradition of old-turned-new is on the corner of 17th and Champa, in the recently renovated historical Colorado National Bank. There sits the aptly named Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center hotel, by Marriott.

The Renaissance is anything but ordinary, but its largest call for attention is that it is breathing new life into the old bank building, which has sat empty for a long time. The bank was originally built in 1915, passed hands to US Bank at one point, before being left empty and unused for years. Despite being a historical landmark, the location in front of the building became a hot spot for nefarious dealings.

But now, with a lobby that feels more like a welcoming and posh lounge (complete with a fully stocked bar!), the Renaissance makes a statement from the moment you walk in. Take in the massive bank vault doors that stand sentry at a few key entryways, the massive columns, the atrium, and the dazzling crystal chandelier at the center of it all, and this modern and fashionable hotel is instantly something to talk about.

Although located in the old building, the hotel appears anything but dated. Many of the original features of the bank remain, i.e. the vault doors, the columns, and so on, but the overall ambiance is that of chic and exclusive but pleasant and welcoming to visitors and guests.

As for seedy surroundings? Locals have stated that the opening of the hotel, as well as the appearance of other upscale types of shops near this area, has been a positive influence on the area, cleaning it up.

There are 230 rooms, available thinks to additional floors built above the original structure of the bank. A fitness center, business center, and the onsite bar and restaurant round out the amenities of a regular hotel, but the historical charm and interest are what make it a truly pleasant experience.

Unique locations and experiences are what make a city special. The Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center hotel definitely fits the criteria for "unique" and offers visitors a chance to get connected to a piece of Denver's history. The building is a historical landmark and now can thrive again.

For a different kind of stop on your night out, check out the Renaissance. Pick up a pint at the onsite bar, the Range, and take it with you to the lobby while you have a look around (really they encourage it). "Sixteen important works of famous Colorado Muralist Allen Tupper True grace the lobby area. Originally installed in 1925," as Marriott describes it, so have a look around, admire the splendor, and relax with a beer. Talk to the bar tenders. They will tell you all about the history and transformation of the bank.

Read more: New Hotel Opens in..., Renovation of Old Colorado National Bank Building...,Range will bring cuising from American West to downtown Denver, Renaissance Facebook Page.

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