Thursday, July 10, 2014


TIVOLI-DENVER HOLDS UNUSUAL HISTORY BY APRIL DIERKING - First published in The Metropolitan on February 7, 1992

On the National Register of Historic Places since 1973, the Tivoli-Denver has had a most unusual history.

A listing in the Register ensures that the building and its major brewing machinery are protected and cannot be destroyed. This means that as it is converted into the student union, the building's unique character cannot be altered.

Moritz Sigi, a German-born immigrant, opened his "Colorado Brewery" at 10th and Larimer Streets in 1864. Six years later, Sigi's Hall was added to the site.

While riding through the streets of Denver, Sigi died when his coach overturned.

After Sigi's death, Max Melscheimer purchased the brewery and renamed it the "Milwaukee Brewery." Melscheimer's most significant contribution to the site was the Turnhalle Opera House. Completed in 1882, it was used for musicals, plays, lectures and other cultural events.

A gymnastics team, the Turnvereins, also performed at the opera house.

The giant copper kettles just north of the Turnhalle were added in 1890. The tops of these kettles can be seen from the fourth floor windows.

The days of the "Milwaukee Brewery" ended with Melscheimer's death in 1900, and that event began what we now call the Tivoli.

Shortly before Melscheimer died, businessman John Good foreclosed on the property. He renamed the site "Tivoli" after a famous amusement park in Copenhagen. He was fascinated by the name, which when read backwards states, "I lov it."

In 1901, Good's Tivoli Brewery merged with the Union Brewery to become "Tivoli-Union Brewery."

During prohibition, the brewery survived by making a cereal beverage called Dash which contained only a small amount of alcohol.

In 1969 the brewery closed due to a combination of competition from Coors and a labor strike three years earlier that lasted six weeks and cost the brewery $750,000.

During the early 1970s the property became part of an urban renewal project which created the Auraria Campus. In 1985, Trizec Corporation Ltd. leased the building and converted it into a shopping and entertainment facility. They added a brick walkway, spiral staircase, courtyards and an atrium to blend the brewery into a retail complex.

Students on the Auraria campus purchased that lease in 1991 so that the facility could become a student union.

While there are not many books written about the Tivoli, interested visitors can use a walking tour map, which is available from the second-floor information booth.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014



the land along the shore of the lake
reflects on the water,
like islands.
on the lake shines the glass,
 that fell out of the sky.
drops of gold are glued on the lake.
drops of oil become a band of rainbows.
the water freezes,
it breaks and turns liquid again.
black sky, gold stars,
a moonlit night on the water.
I can see Venus,
there it is in the marshes,
it's flowing out to eternity.



wise and caring
as a mother can be
she is strong as a
current, and as
calm as the sea.
a mother is a sturdy shelter
she always has a
helping hand to give
and is always the
I love my mother,
for she is what
life is for
she is the meaning of
and in my heart
she will always



the lace of the butterfly
is a handmade article
of talent and ability.
her elegancy captures my
heart in one single instance.
the velvet touch of miracles
woven within herself
travel to the meadows.
she compliments the meadows
with life and brilliance.
the butterfly,
she is a symbol of
everlasting harmony.


PASSAGES OF TIME BY APRIL ALGIEN - First published in The Prospector/Front Range Journal on December 19, 1979

As I walk through each passing day
I keep my head up high
awaiting for that whisper of silence
to give a solid reply.

As I wait for love's many passions
I anticipate the pleasures
forgetting life's many worries
to all the right measures.

As I listen for a soft-spoken voice
I make it a point to follow
dreaming that it will all come true
to believe until tomorrow.

As I carry on through life alone
I wonder what went wrong
blinding myself with false hope
to stay in the place I most belong.

As I sing in a silent tone
I see things bright and gay
searching for a life all my own
to eliminate evil in the way.

As I search for a new tomorrow
I wake with mighty power
remembering the moment together
to hold all 'til the last hour.

As I weep upon my pillow
I wipe my eyes to dry
concentrating on what went on
to have the chance to die.


SEASONS BY APRIL ALGIEN - First published in The Prospector/Front Range Journal on October 31, 1979

High above the cerulean sky,
the iris rainbow subsists,
and creamy clouds gather in patterns,
wiping away the sun.

Towering above the mauve mountain,
the big horns romp and play,
and shamrock landscapes turn amber,
bringing the autumn season.

Down below the refreshing meadow,
the lazy butterflies flutter,
and crystal lakes freeze in winter,
waiting for the sign of spring.


A PIECE OF HISTORY REVEALED BY APRIL DIERKING - First published on February 7, 2001 in Clear Creek Courant

In the Jan. 31 edition of the Courant, Einar Jensen published "The future of our past..."

My Grandmother Josephine Tavenner's house was one of the houses featured in his story.
1204 Colorado Blvd. in Idaho Springs, Colorado

E. M. Wiley built the house at 1204 Colorado Blvd. in 1897. The first occupants were Sam and Augusta Smith in 1901.

The house hasn't changed much from the outside since then. A wrought iron fence surrounds the front yard and front yard steps that the picture in the article fails to show.

My grandparents, George and Josephine Tavenner bought the house from Lawrence D. and Fern Stone in 1970. Previous owners include George and Carol B. Patterson, who owned the house before the Stones.

I was six years old when I first stepped into the large five-bedroom home. My fondest memories are of being with my grandmother in that house. My sister, Shannon and I used to sing into a tape recorder in the kitchen. My grandmother has kept all of the tapes that we made.

Streamers hang in the attic from some party long before my grandparents bought the century-old house. The wallpaper in the dining room is original. The chandeliers that compliment the main floor are original, as is the lead-glass window next to the interior staircase.

My children enjoy the same pleasures about the house that I grew up with. I believe they even spend more time in the house than I ever did.

Every summer my grandmother lines the front steps with petunias. My children and I help her buy, plant, and sometimes water the blooming flowers.

All of us in our family realize what a piece of history the grand house is. We hope that a hundred years from now, the future owners will realize
it is as well.