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Colorado Landmark Wells Fargo Center Touched by Tragedy and Triumph

Nov 6, 2023 | Colorado landmark, Wells Fargo Center

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Located in the heart of Denver, at 1700 Lincoln Street in the central business district, the Wells Fargo Center is an architectural marvel and an impressive Colorado landmark. Architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed the building, which was completed in 1983. This Colorado landmark stands tall at 698 feet and is one of the tallest buildings in Denver and Colorado. 

This Colorado landmark is also known as the Cash Register Building due to its distinctive roof, which resembles an old-fashioned cash register — a great example of postmodern architecture. Included in its distinctive style was the innovative use of reflective glass that mirrors the Colorado sky. The reflective quality in the mirrors is a symbolic blending of the state’s ethos of blending nature with progress.

As much as the Wells Fargo Center symbolizes economic progress, it is also a site of remembrance for a tragic event in Denver’s history. On June 16th, 1991, which happened to be Father’s Day, the building was the site of what came to be known as the “Father’s Day Massacre.” A former employee, in an attempted robbery, took the lives of four security guards. This brutal act of violence shocked the community and left a scar on the city that still lingers. Every year, the city takes a moment to remember those who lost their lives in this tragic event.

Yet, despite this dark chapter, the Wells Fargo Center in Denver continues to be a beacon of resilience and a testament to the city’s ability to overcome adversity. This Colorado landmark has witnessed the city’s capacity to heal and grow, and it’s quite remarkable. During the holidays, its crown glows with lights, a festive hat atop the city, reminding residents and visitors of the joy and togetherness that the season brings.

The Wells Fargo Center in Denver is a Colorado landmark with a profound narrative within its walls. The narrative is a soft whisper but represents the community’s strength and unyielding human spirit. 


From the Jobsite: Custom mirror with color correct back light

by Gerald Olesker

Founder/CEO, ADG Lighting