Victoria on June 24th, 2014

The Former Colorado National Bank is transformed into the 

Renaissance Marriott Downtown Denver and

Allen Tupper True’s Murals are Preserved

Report and Photos by Joan True McKibben,

Granddaughter of Allen Tupper True

Having seen the Colorado National Bank (CNB) building in her saddest state, it was with utter joy that I walked into her lobby filled with people, gleaming marble and my grandfather Allen Tupper True’s murals alive again in vivid color and eliciting excitement and respect from the crowd.  It was the opening party of the Renaissance Marriott Downtown Denver (formerly CNB) on the evening of June 5, 2014.  I was able to watch the transition during several visits; however, this time was very special.  The lobby was filled with those who had invested time; talent and treasure to bring the building back to life—and what a job they did.

Band Playing on Balcony  near ATT Murals at Marriott Opening

Band playing on balcony near ATT murals at  Renaissance Marriott Hotel opening in Denver

Music filled the space, heavenly food was available in various corners, and tour guides were plentiful and knowledgeable.

The Hotel's History Wall includes an Announcement by ATT for One of His Exhibits

The Renaissance Hotel’s History Wall includes an announcement by ATT for one of his exhibits

Close-Up of ATT's "Happy Hunting Ground" mural at the Marriott

Close-up of ATT’s “Happy Hunting Ground” mural at the Renaissance Marriott

I headed for the History Wall to meet a group of former CNB bank employees on a tour.  I introduced myself and we shared stories and memories.

I wandered down to the floor underground that has wonderful intimate conference rooms created by the former vault spaces. The original vaults doors have been restored to their former gleaming state. The main conference room has been named the Tupper True.

I headed back to the second floor where I could visit all of the rooms and most importantly get closer to my grandfather’s murals. I could also look down on the lobby and watch guests stretching their necks to see his Indian Memories murals.  I noticed one Marriott employee quietly standing  staring at the funeral pyre in Happy Hunting Ground above the front door intently absorbing the mural’s colors and story.

The required speeches were given, including a nice mention by Mayor Michael Hancock of my grandfather’s work. Prior to his speech, I had thanked him for his efforts to preserve this building when he was serving on the city council.

Later, I thanked Navin Dimond, President of Stonebridge Companies (a Denver-based hospitality development firm),  for all he did to bring CNB back to life.  He told me that there were many who wanted to tear her down and build a money making high-rise building. But Navin said that while more money could have been made, nothing would replace the value of this historic site.

I also was able to chat with architect Alan Colussy of Klipp Architecture who expressed such joy that he was able to work alongside Allen True’s murals.

So, yes, the old girl has been restored and Denver again has a jewel that all can see.

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