"As Denver is destined to
be among the great cities of the continent, so will a museum here
founded … grow up to be one of the great entertaining and
educational institutions of the country."
- Edwin Carter, one of the Museum's founders
Founded in 1900, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science traces
its origins back more than a hundred years to one man's efforts and
a little log cabin tucked away in the mountains.
In 1868, pioneer and naturalist Edwin
Carter arrived in Breckenridge, Colo., and devoted himself to his
true love-the birds and mammals of the Rocky Mountains. Carter soon
assembled one of the most complete collections of Colorado fauna
and displayed his specimens in his log cabin home, dubbed the
As word spread of the Carter
collection, the need became apparent for a larger fireproof
building to preserve and display his growing natural history
collection. Funds were soon raised and The Colorado Museum of
Natural History (now Denver Museum of Nature & Science) was
incorporated on December 6, 1900. The collections were soon
enhanced with crystalline gold specimens from John F. Campion and
butterflies and moths from John T. Mason.
A new building in Denver's City Park
was completed and opened to the public in July 1908. Over the years
the Museum has expanded with the addition of Phipps Auditorium
(1940), Gates Planetarium (1968), an IMAX theater (1983), a major
187,000-square-foot addition in 1987, and the Leprino Family Atrium
and Anschutz Family Sky Terrace (2002).
Today the Museum continues to evolve,
expanding in both size and breadth of activities, as our exhibits,
programs, research, and collections continue to offer opportunities