City buys historic Loretto Heights theater in southwest Denver

Denver has completed the $30 million purchase of a historic theater and library that were once part of the Loretto Heights college campus in southwest Denver.

Once they are renovated, the buildings, near the 3000 block of South Federal Boulevard, will become part of a planned arts-and-culture hub, according to Denver Arts & Venues, the city department that operates Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Colorado Convention Center.

The public will be able to see the project’s first design concepts at a meeting in mid-September. Work should start next year, and the renovation of the May Bonfils (Stanton) Performing Arts Center and construction of a new parking garage could be complete by 2026, the city said.

Some of the buildings on the 72-acre Loretto Heights campus, which sits on a hill dominating the Harvey Park neighborhood, date back as far as 1891 and are now on the National Register of Historic Places. A company called Westside is now redeveloping much of the former Catholic school into a mixed-use development. In 2001, Denver voters approved a bond package in 2021 to help pay for the purchase and renovation of the theater.

The first public meeting takes place Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Church of All Saints, 2559 S. Federal Blvd.

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