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DENVER-The Mizel Museum, founded in 1982, is getting a new home. In the fall of 2006, coinciding with the opening of the Museum Residences condos, it will take 6,000 sf on the ground floor of the units being built around a parking garage behind the new Frederick C. Hamilton wing of the Denver Art Museum. Architect Daniel Libeskind, the architect who drew the master plan for the World Trade Center site in New York City, is designing both the new wing and the Museum Residences.

“I think it is good for the whole project,” George Thorn, principal of Mile High Development, which is co-developing the Museum Residences with Corporex Colorado, tells GlobeSt.com. “It brings a another facility to add to what the art museum itself is. It is really good for that entire part of the city.”

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper agrees. “Having different cultural entities in the same district creates genuine synergy and tremendous public benefit,” Hickenlooper tells GlobeSt.com.

Libeskind has met with Larry Mizel several times to discuss his plans for the new museum. Libeskind tells GlobeSt.com that it will be a wonderful addition. “It provides another reason for people to come to the museum and enjoy all of its wonderful amenities,” Libeskind says. “It’s something else to bring pleasure to the people of Denver.”

Mizel was out of the state and couldn’t be reached. But the Mizel Museum web site notes that the museum was created when Denver Rabbi Stanley Wagner was visiting London in the late 1970s, and visited a museum of Judaica and dreamed of bringing a similar project to Denver. The Mizels then funded it and have supported it ever since.

In 2001 the museum was merged into the Mizel Family Cultural Arts Center, forming the Mizel Center for Arts and Culture. Although the two institutions bore the name of Mizel, they were previously separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Two years later, the merger was dissolved and they became separate again and the “Judaica” was dropped from the museum’s name. The museum today is much more secular and has exhibits that don’t necessarily pertain to Jewish history, notes prominent Denver lawyer Steve Farber, who served on the board of the original institution. The museum currently draws about 30,000 visitors annually, but that could greatly increase with its new home.

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