Did you know you can go to the top of Denver’s first skyscraper – the D&F Clock Tower?
The city is rich in history and one experience that can’t be missed is a guided tour of the D&F Tower Clock built in 1911.
It’s in the heart of the city on 16th Street Mall and stands 372 feet tall. Look familiar? It was modeled after the famous Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy.
Tours generally run just once a week at noon on Saturdays – book ahead via its website to confirm your spot.
The $10 per person fee (pay on the day in cash or card) is well worth it as a guide will show you around the top five floors (17 to 21) of the tower (the rest of the tower in office lofts) plus the outside roof platform on floor 23 for those who are brave.
During the 45 minute exploration of D&F Clock Tower you’ll get a chance to get up close and personal with the back of the four clock faces and hear about how the tower was a major achievement in development at the time and how it was saved from the wrecking ball.
The tower was part of a Daniels & Fisher department store, a big deal back in the days of the gold rush, but after it was closed in the late 1950s, developers wanted to tear it down.
The town rallied to save it and their loud voices generated enough support with a private developer coming to the rescue in 1981 who wanted to turn it into office lofts.
One of the coolest parts of the tour is checking out the two observation decks that wrap around the entire 17th and 20th floors.
For anyone not afraid of heights, be sure to climb the final 62 steps on the 21st floor up the small spiral metal stairs that leads to the cupola on the 23rd floor.
Hang on tight to the handrail as you take one step at a time as the stairs disappear high up into the roof.
The rewards are worth it as you climb out the trap door at the top and onto the outside top platform underneath the huge bell.
It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted but the views are amazing, and not many people can say they’ve conquered such a feat.
Five fun facts:
1. D&F Clock Tower was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi at a height of 393 feet when it was built in 1911.
2. While there are technically 23 floors, the elevator stops on the 17th floor, so stairs must be taken to reach the top.
3. The outside flag pole on top of the tower is 42-feet high, which is changed every six months.
4. The four clocks on each side of the building are two stories high (about 16 feet in diameter).
5. The upper five floors can be rented for parties and events for two to 150 people (wedding, anyone?)
D&F Clock Tower is located at 1601 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80202. For more information, visit www.clocktowerevents.com.