If you love Red Rocks, come join us at our next monthly clean up! As a group, we are committed to keeping the park beautiful and pristine, and we would love your help!
Planter Box Update
Here is a proposal to pave the inside half of almost every single planter box in the Amphitheatre and to install railings. This proposal was submitted to the Landmark Preservation Commission over the summer but pulled from the agenda before it was voted on. Friends of Red Rocks continues to remain engaged with the issue and will update members and the community of any changes.
Friends of Red Rocks has long been and remains opposed to installation of pavement and railings in the planter boxes. We must do everything we can to ensure that the LPC denies this proposal.
Here are just some of the many reasons we oppose this proposal:
1. We must protect Red Rocks' historic design. Friends of Red Rocks was deeply involved in the successful effort to designate the Park & Amphitheatre a National Historic Landmark. Paving over and installing railings in the Amphitheatre's planter boxes is diametric to its modernist design, which the NHL nomination summarized as "simplicity of form, elimination of unnecessary details, truth in materials, and visual expression of structure." Further, "one of the most important principles [of the Amphitheatre's design] was that 'all ornament be forbidden.'"
2. Railings are unnecessary and will not improve safety. No serious accidents have been reported in the Amphitheatre's 75+ year history. Adding railings will create an attractive nuisance, inviting concertgoers to sit on or hang from them, greatly increasing body-to-ground distance. Railings are also a potential barrier to egress, and concertgoers could become crushed against them. If the City wishes to protect itself from potential liability for a planter box-related injury, other avenues should be explored, such as warning signs and waivers.
3. Conversion of the planter boxes into formal viewing areas would significantly alter character-defining attributes of the Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre was designed to elegantly blend with the surrounding landscape. Railings and hard pavement serve as jarring violations of this design. The planter boxes were designed to screen spectators from the adjacent stairs, as well as to act as a natural buffer between the Amphitheatre seats and the iconic monoliths. Promoting additional spectator use of the planter boxes is counter to these original purposes.
We need every last one of you to assist in this effort. We are honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with people who care so deeply about Red Rocks, and who have put in so much time and energy to preserve the magic of this place.
Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre was designated a National Historic Landmark in August, 2015 thanks in part to the efforts of FoRR volunteers.
Red Rocks has a long history of amazing music and magical moments for concert goers and park visitors. Red Rocks is more than simply a place to see a concert. It is 868 acres that deserves to be cared for and preserved for future generations. The Ampitheatre is a geologic wonder, and is a rare naturally occurring ampitheatre with perfect acoustics. The City of Denver purchased the park in 1927 from a private landowner for $54,133. The ampitheatre was completed in 1941 by the workers living at the Morrison CCC Camp. The CCC was a program created as part of Franklin D. Roosevelts New Deal in an effort to bring the United States out of the Depression.
As the ampitheatre popularity and City of Denver grew, so did the impacts on Red Rocks. Friends of Red Rocks began in 1999 as a reaction of concerned citizens to the corporatization of Red Rocks Park. Specific concerns at the time included converting the planter boxes with trees of historic value into cooperate box seats, selling advertising and naming rights of the venue and pushing through 'improvements' at too fast a pace. Friends of Red Rocks continues to stay involved and up to date on current issues affecting the park.
Each month, volunteers come together on the last Saturday of the month to clean up the park. We meet at 9:30 in the lower south lot. All are welcome to join us. We also manage the small native garden by the trading post, work to educate patrons in a friendly way, stay current on events impacting the park, and stay involved with advocating for the park and amiptheatre.
We encourage concert patrons to come on out and have a great time, and we ask that they do so in an environmentally responsible way. Simple things, like packing out your trash or finding the nearest recycling bin, staying on the trails, and being considerate of wildlife will help keep the park beautiful and open for future generations.
Monthly Clean-ups will be the last Saturday of the month at 9:30am. FoRR meets in the lower south parking lot. See our facebook page for dates and more information.
We depend on your generous donations to operate. Please consider making a donation today by clicking on the donate button on the right.
Did you know?
There have been more shows scheduled at Red Rocks in the last decade than there were in the preceding 60 years?
That it took the natural amphitheater of Red Rocks more than 200 million years to form?
That the theater was designed by architect Burnham Hoyt, who modeled it after the Theatre of Dionysus at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece?
That The Trading Post was built in 1931; it opened selling hot dogs for a dime and ice cream for a nickel? It is now home to the Colorado Hall of Fame and a Red Rocks merchandise store.
That The Beatles’ 1964 show at Red Rocks was the only show that didn’t sell out of their first American tour? Red Rocks is one of four venues that the Beatles visited on that tour that still stands.
That both of Red Rocks' massive monoliths — Creation Rock and Ship Rock — are 300 feet tall, almost as tall as London’s Big Ben?
That each piece of sandstone used in building Red Rocks was harvested from a quarry in Lyons?
That an estimated 750,000 non-concertgoers visit Red Rocks every year?
That AEG and LiveNation book the vast majority of shows there, but Red Rocks is an open venue, meaning anyone can book it?
That The Civilian Conservation Corps built barn-door entrances in the backstage area to accommodate the height of a rider on a horse?
These fun facts are credited to The Denver Post. You can read these and more at http://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/02/seventy-five-facts-about-red-rocks/
Friends of Red Rocks
PO Box 102891
Denver, Colorado 80250
There are many ways to become involved with Friends of Red Rocks!
- Monthly Clean ups- we meet on the last Saturday of every month in the lower south lot at 9:30am
- Donate! It takes money to run a non-profit organization. While all members are volunteers, we still need supplies, equipment, web hosting, volunteer databases and more. Please consider making a donation to Friends of Red Rocks by clicking the link above.
- Find us on Amazon Smile- a portion of your order will be donated to us. Log in to http://smile.amazon.com/ and choose Friends of Red Rocks as your organization to support.
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@friendsofredrocks) to stay current on events impacting the park.
- Donate supplies- we need trash pickers, trash bags, gloves, water/snacks for clean ups, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, etc.
- We also have a variety of committees that we could use your expertise on! Committees include fundraising, education, technology, merchandising, native garden, and communications. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Paving of Upper North Parking Lot- Due to drainage issues, the upper north parking lot was paved. There will be a period of time where it is black, but Red Rocks has assured us that a top coat will go on that will match the color or the natural environment. Our official position: while we don't love the pavement, we are trusting that Red Rocks will make it blend with the natural surroundings and understand the need for improved drainage.
Planter Box Alterations - FoRR is working to stay up to date on any plans to change the planter boxes. Our official position: we oppose paving the planter boxes and installing railings around the boxes. If any changes must be made to the planter boxes to address the City's liability concerns, we advocate for preservation of the historic boxes and trees, rather than transforming the planter boxes into formal viewing areas.
Colorado Music Hall of Fame- FoRR is continuing to follow any development plans for the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
If you are interested in volunteering with our group, please submit the volunteer application above and come join us on the last Saturday of the month at 9:30 in the lower south lot for our monthly trail cleanups!