Denver Federal Center – Denver Ordnance Building #1-B/Denver Federal Center Building #56

AddressBounded by North Ave. to the north, Center Ave. to the south, Fifth St. to the east. And Sixth St. to the west, Lakewood 80225
QuadFort Logan, 1965 (1994)
SectionS9, T4S, R69W
SourceHistoric Building Inventory Form #5JF1048.12, 1996, CHS
Initialdate1998-11-30 00:00:00-07
Latestdate2012-11-28 00:00:00-07
HistoryDesigned by the architect firm of Smith, Hinchman & Grylis of Detroit, Michigan, and built by Broderick & Gorden in 1941. This irregular shaped 224,776 sq. foot building during World War II manufactured .30 caliber ammunition and heavy artillery fuze. Current use is government offices, and labs. The structure has one- and two-story elements have a flat concrete roof treated with built up tar and gravel with two-foot overhangs. Most of the building's exterior is clad with brick. The west elevation of the building was predominately a two-story facade. On the east elevation, the exterior of the first story was dominated by a loading deck and loading bays which serviced railroad tracks. The interior of the structure was originally a large open expanse which served the manufacturing process. A mezzanine level above the main floor looked down on the manufacturing floor. The first major interior to the building 56 began in the mid-to-late 1940s to accommodate the Bureau of Reclamation's Engineering Center. Part of the central clerestory was extended to a hight of 50 feet to accommodate a large 5,000,000 pound testing machine which could exert pressures on an object, or test tensile strength of objects. This machine, which extends 50 feet above and 16 feet below the floor of the building, has been in continuous use since 1946. In 1967, a small brick addition was constructed on the south elevation and in 1981, the windows on the central clerestory were replaced with insulated panels. The north elevations windows were covered in 1984 and south and west elevations in 1995.