About the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library

About the Building

The Library, designed by Studiotrope Design Collective, reflects several months of community input resulting in a guiding concept: the library as an incubator for growth. Joseph Montalbano, Studiotrope’s principal architect for the project, said, “I can’t wait to see it filled with community members exploring and quenching their thirst for knowledge and community interaction. I look forward to seeing the fruits of all this activity, whether in the music and media lab, computing area, meeting rooms, Storytime tower, Community Learning Plaza, study rooms, collaborative areas, or book stacks.”

“One of the primary goals of the project is to celebrate the diverse and culturally rich community of West Denver,” said Montalbano. “To emphasize the spirit of this diversity, the building façade is highlighted by a series of brightly colored horizontal ‘threads.’ Each thread is a symbol for the unique members of the community. In this way, the building exterior showcases the transformational power of the neighborhood.”

About Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales

The branch library is named after Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, a Denver native and nationally recognized leader in the civil rights movement who advocated for the education, economic and political equality of the Latino Community in Denver. He is best known for his epic poem, “I am Joaquin” and for establishing the urban civil rights and cultural movement called The Crusade for Justice in 1966. He also helped organize the first three Chicano Youth Liberation Conferences in Denver in 1969–1971, and founded the Escuela Tlatelolco, a charter school which provides an alternative education for young Latinos focused on academic proficiency, instilling cultural pride, and developing leadership among Latino youth. Champion of civil rights and education, Gonzales’ personal papers, photographs and tapes of his speeches are currently archived at the Denver Public Library. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales passed away in April 2005.

An Eye On the Environment

As part of the City’s commitment to environmental sustainability, DPL and the project team were required to achieve, at a minimum, LEED Silver certification by incorporating energy efficient and environmentally sustainable features in the design of the facility, its operations and the overall construction process. The branch uses local building materials, materials with recycled content, and sustainable features including day-lighting, reflective roofing, sub-floor air distribution, energy efficient cooling, indoor and outdoor water-conscious devices and automated lighting and temperature controls.

Better Denver Bond Program

The Gonzales Branch Library construction is a project of Denver's $550 million Better Denver Bond Program designed to preserve, renovate and create amenities that touch residents’ lives—including roads, libraries, parks, recreation centers, public safety, human services, city buildings and cultural facilities. Approved by voters in 2007, the bond program is generating millions of dollars for the economy, preserving and creating jobs and making Denver a more attractive place to live, work, and invest in the future.

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