By Joe Vaccarelli
YourHub Reporter

Denver has selected an architect to design an outdoor music venue in Ruby Hill Park, but it will open one year later than originally planned.

Denver-based Studiotrope Design Collective was picked by a design review committee to design Levitt Pavilion Denver on the north side of the 88-acre Ruby Hill Park in southwest Denver. The state-of-the-art amphitheater will host 50-plus free concerts each year consisting of national and local acts.

"We were kind of blown away by the work (Studiotrope) had done," said Chris Zacher, CEO of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion Denver. Zacher will book the bands to play at the venue. "It's an opportunity to work with a great team.

Zacher — who served on the design committee — said now that the architect has been selected, cost estimates should be ready early next year and construction can begin in May or June of 2016.

The amphitheater was originally slated to open July 1, 2016, but the project was delayed by the eight-month selection process. Zacher noted his organization still will host five free concerts in downtown Denver in 2016. The dates and sites have not yet been announced.

Levitt Pavilion Denver will be the seventh of its kind across the United States and is a nonprofit organization that focuses on building community through the arts. Denver was selected by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation to join its network of outdoor music venues.

The amphitheater will hold approximately 7,500 visitors on grassy areas surrounding the stage. The goal is to have the stage and green rooms built by April 1, 201,7 to give Friends of Levitt Pavilions Denver time to run tests in time for the concert series to begin July 1 that year.

"We're honored to have been selected for this project," Joseph Montalbano, principal architect of Studiotrope, said in a statement. "We've been inspired by Levitt's mission ever since learning about it several years ago and hope to translate this inspiration into a place of enrichment unlike anything Denver currently has to offer."

Joe Vaccarelli: 303-954-2396, jvaccarelli@denverpost.com or twitter.com/joe_vacc

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