List of tallest buildings in Aurora, Colorado

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A Brief History

On July 20, 2012, Aurora, Colorado was the site of the third largest mass shooting in terms of number of casualties in United States history at the time, now the eighteenth largest, and the second-deadliest shooting in Colorado after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.  The shooting occurred just after midnight, when James Eagan Holmes opened fire during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in a Century movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.  Although widely known for this tragedy, Aurora, Colorado also counts among the 60 largest cities in the United States, with a population greater than such cities as PittsburghBuffalo or Salt Lake City, but lacks a skyline typical of cities its size, which is due to Aurora’s largely suburban character and relatively small central business district. Indeed, “Original Aurora”, the city’s traditional downtown, has only one building of notable height. During Aurora’s most intense period of growth in the 1970s and 1980s, the area in the geographic center of the city near the I-225 freeway and Aurora Mall (now Aurora Town Center) was envisioned as “Aurora City Center”, a new downtown complete with a collection of tall office buildings; however, these plans have yet to materialize and a large tract of undeveloped land still lies east of Aurora Town Center. As is typical of suburban development patterns of the postwar era, Aurora’s tallest buildings are located along the I-225 corridor, largely either in the vicinity of the Parker Road interchange in the southwestern portion of the city, or near the Colfax Avenue interchange in the northwestern portion of the city, where a large medical services and research campus has emerged. In recent years, a number of hotel properties have also been built in Aurora along I-70 in the environs of Denver International Airport (DIA).

Digging Deeper

Parker Road / I-225

Skyline of the Denver Tech Center.  Photograph by Stormerne at English Wikipedia.

The area around Parker Road / I-225 saw the city’s first tall buildings rise during the early 1980s, when it was the nation’s fastest-growing city. These buildings could be considered as the eastern fringe of the Denver Tech Center, a concentration of office buildings and hotels along the I-25 freeway in neighboring Denver and Greenwood Village.

Anschutz Medical Campus

A view of the Anschutz Medical Campus from the 7th floor of the Anschutz Outpatient Pavillon, looking northeast.  Photograph by Jeffrey Beall.

The city’s newest tall buildings rose in the early 2000s near Colfax Avenue / I-225 on the Anschutz Medical Campus, the former site of Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, whose main hospital building (Building 500) was Aurora’s tallest building for decades.

DIA Environs

The platform of the Denver Airport Station (RTD) with track 2 on the left and the hotel in the background.  The airport terminal is beyond the hotel.  Photograph by Tim Farley.

Denver International Airport is located on land north of Aurora that was annexed to Denver, making much of Aurora more convenient to DIA than the developed portions of Denver. Indeed, all freeway traffic from DIA to central Denver passes through Aurora on I-70, and several hotels have been constructed in this corridor. A further access route to DIA from Aurora is provided by the E-470 beltway, and a proposed resort and conference center in this corridor may one day feature Aurora’s tallest building.

List of tallest buildings in Aurora, Colorado

Rank Name Height
feet
Floors Year Use Location
1 Pavilion II 13 1981 Office Parker Road / I-225
2 Pavilion I 13 1981 Office Parker Road / I-225
3 Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 12 2004 Medical Anschutz Medical Campus
4 Research Complex I 12 2004 Office Anschutz Medical Campus
5 Marketplace Tower II 12 1980 Office Parker Road / I-225
6 Marketplace Tower I 12 1979 Office Parker Road / I-225
7 Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast 12 Hotel Parker Road / I-225
8 The Children’s Hospital at Fitzsimons 10 2007 Medical Anschutz Medical Campus
9 Research Complex II 11 2008 Office Anschutz Medical Campus
10 Leprino Office Building 10 2007 Office Anschutz Medical Campus
11 Academic Office West 9 2007 Office Anschutz Medical Campus
12 Research Complex I North Tower 9 2004 Office Anschutz Medical Campus
13 Building 500 9 1941 Medical Anschutz Medical Campus
14 1470 South Havana Street (former Municipal Building) 8 Office
15 1450 South Havana Street 8 Office
16 Fletcher Gardens 8 Residential Original Aurora
17 Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport 6 Hotel DIA Environs
18 Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park 6 1998 Hotel DIA Environs
19 Doubletree Hotel Denver-Southeast 6 1983 Hotel Parker / I-225
20 Hilton Garden Inn Denver Airport 6 Hotel DIA Environs
21 Hyatt Place Denver Airport 6 Hotel DIA Environs
22 Aurora Municipal Center 116 5 2003 Government Aurora City Center
23 Medical Center of Aurora South 5 Medical
24 Aloft Denver International Airport 5 Hotel DIA Environs

Proposed

Proposed new building in Aurora:

Rank Name Height
feet
Floors Year Location
1 Highpointe Conference Resort 13 DIA Environs

 

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Historical Evidence

Some content in this article is adapted from this article on Wikipedia.  It is reproduced here per the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License.

For more information, please see the following books…

Collins, Sherah J.  Aurora (Images of America: Colorado).  Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

Reid, Dr. William H.  A Dark Night in Aurora: Inside James Holmes and the Colorado Mass Shootings.  Skyhorse, 2018.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Algr of  The Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado where the 2012 Aurora shooting took place, photographed the day after the shooting, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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