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The William C. Muchow Architectural collection was donated by his wife, Priscilla Muchow on February 2, 1993.


The collection is open for research.


Literary and copyrights - as appropriate - have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


[Identification of item], William C. Muchow Architectural Records, WH1288, Western History Collection, The Denver Public Library.


Number of boxes: 125

Number of tubes: 833

Oversize: 2 boxes, 10 folios, 6 folders, 4 boards, 4 models

Number of photoboxes: 13

Number of ovphotofolios: 1

Number of ovphotoboxes: 1




Ellen Zazzarino

Chris Basore

Deana Frederick

Jeff Malcomson

Charles Sink

May 1998

Revised October 1999


Ann Brown




Ellen Zazzarino


William (Bill) Muchow (1922-1991) was born in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from North Denver High School, attended Columbia University, and the University of Notre Dame. In 1942 he entered the military, served four years overseas with the US Navy and became Captain of the USS Lovelace. Returning to college at the University of Illinois in 1946, Muchow earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. He then attended Cranbrook Academy of Art where he received the Plymm Fellowship. In 1948, he graduated with a Master of Architecture and Urban Planning degree. Muchow's design abilities were first recognized nationally when he was awarded the Rome prize in 1949. Muchow and his wife, Priscilla (Williams) were classmates at Cranbrook Academy of Art and married, July 30, 1948, in Evanston, Illinois. They had five children Mark, Daryl, Brian, Marcy, and Kim.

Before starting his firm, Muchow worked for Walter S. Simon, and in 1949 for Fisher and Fisher. Muchow formed Muchow Associates Architects in 1950. It was a sole proprietorship until 1978 when the firm became a professional corporation. The firm's motivating objective, built upon Muchow's philosophy, was a continual search for design excellence and the desire to make a maximum contribution to this effort. This was implemented at the firm by hiring talented young architects who were competent technically, providing an environment and opportunities that encouraged creativity and design freedom. Muchow maintained a high level of personal involvement within the community to help ensure that the concerns for the environment and society were met. Muchow believed this involvement enhanced the quality of his professional services.

Although Muchow had architectural licenses in Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming his projects were primarily in the Denver metro area. From 1950–1991, his firm designed eight hundred and thirty-three projects winning national awards for more than forty of his architectural designs. His recognitions include Architectural Firm of the Year Western Mountain Region 1982 and Society of the American Registered Architects Special Service Award Citation 1975. He is listed in Who's Who in America 1971-1991 and in Who's Who in the World 1980-1991. In 1983, Muchow won the Colorado Society's American Institute of Architects Architect of the Year Award. The firm won the American Institute of Architects Award of Honor, Architectural Firm of the Year in 1980. Throughout the years, his firm won thirty-five American Institute of Architect awards for building design.

Muchow, a member of the American Institute of Architects, was elected a Fellow in 1968. He was a lifetime Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters. His leadership positions include; President of the Colorado American Institute of Architects in 1969, Colorado State Board of Examiners 1967-1977 and President of the National Council of Architectural Registration 1975-1976. Muchow also served on boards with international responsibilities including Chancellor of National American Institute of Architects College of Fellows 1982-1983 and Director of Western Mountain Region American Institute of Architects from 1982-1985. Muchow served on more than twenty-five award juries nationally, was visiting lecturer at many colleges and participated in a number of international conferences on architectural registration. He spoke at more than twenty-two conferences and seminars in the United States and abroad. He was involved in many civic, personal and business related activities including El Jebel Shrine, Lions Club, Denver Executive Club, Masonic Lodge, Downtown Denver, Inc. and Colorado Visitors and Convention Bureau.

A quote from the Daily Journal, December 15, 1982 summarizes his influence on the region. "Muchow is probably the most widely known architect in the region, his name synonymous with consistent design excellence. - His office has spawned numerous individuals who are in turn practicing architects and leaders in the profession." Bill Muchow left his mark on the city of Denver. A few of his notable projects are Currigan Hall, Engineering Sciences Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Central Bank of Denver, Jefferson County Justice Center, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Lincoln Center and the expansion and renovation of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.


The William C. Muchow collection dates from 1943 while he attended college through the completion of projects in 1993. The collection contains architectural project drawings, project documents, business papers, awards and photographs. The firm Muchow Associates Architects opened in 1950 and closed shortly after his death in 1991. During that time over eight hundred and thirty-three projects came out of his office.

Muchow's firm worked on a broad range of architectural projects that include schools, churches, residential and multi-family houses, prisons, office buildings, financial institutions, municipal and recreational facilities. Muchow was a creative driving force that inspired many of his young proteges. Today those individuals rank among Denver's most successful of local architects. George Hoover, Michael Jacoby, Herbert Jensen, Karl Berg, Dayl Larsen, G. Cabell Childress, Paul Hutton, William Dilatush and Peter Dominick all worked at Muchow's office originally.

The collection reflects the organization developed by the office in chronological order, and by project number. Therefore the archival integrity of the collection has been maintained. The collection consists of architectural drawings and documents from project #1 through #833. The architectural projects recorded in the collection contain a substantial number of original drawings. The architectural drawings were donated in tubes labeled by project number and name. The tubes maintain numerical arrangement by project numbers. In each project tube, the drawings are arranged in chronological order starting with the preliminary drawings and concluding with the working or construction drawings. Five hundred and three architectural projects have listed drawings. There are one hundred and seventy-five projects missing architectural drawings.

The project documents are organized by the same method as the drawings, by project number in chronological order. The documents are in file folders according to the original order in which we received them.


Cabell Childress Architectural Records



The architectural drawings date from 1950-1993 and are in chronological order according to project number. Project numbers range from 1-833. Each architectural project is filed in sequential order beginning with the preliminary through to the finished working drawings. Numerous projects are missing and some have gaps in the series of drawings. The project size ranges from one to fifteen tubes. Individual project lists include date, size, material, scale, title of every drawing and address (if available).


The documents date from 1950 - 1993 and are arranged in chronological order according to project number. The project numbers 1 - 833 correlate with the drawings but many of the early documents were missing from the collection as we received it. The majority of project documentation begins in the late 1960's with project # 400. Some publicity and project descriptions exist from the early projects. Documents from the later projects include: correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, financial statements, sketches, plans, newspaper clippings, brochures, specifications, proposals, punch lists and notes.

SERIES 3 OFFICE DOCUMENTS 1950-1993 BOX 121-123 :

This series documents the papers from the general business files and Muchow's office files. The series is organized according to subject and includes financial, correspondence and Muchow's office files. Muchow served on many committees and boards throughout his career. These papers document the activity late in his professional life. Other documents include proposals, the firm's promotional brochures, and magazines.

SERIES 4 AWARDS 1940-1993 BOX 123 :

This series includes design awards, citations, honors, and awards from various organizations in recognition of excellent architectural design. The award list includes specific honor, building and date. The series consists of certificates, plaques, and trophies. In addition to the awards are Muchow's state registration certificates and honorary state-wide membership certificates from the Shriners Club.

SERIES 5 OVERSIZE 1949-1993 OVBOX 1-2, OVFOLIO 1-10, OVFF 1-5,7 OVBOARD 1-4, OVMODEL 1-4 :

This series includes Muchow's early drawings from college, ledgers, proposals, display boards, awards and models


The photographs date from 1950-1991 and are in sequential order according to project number. The photographs document the building during construction and exterior and interior shots of the finished buildings. It also includes photographs of project models, illustrations and of Muchow and staff.



  • Muchow, William C., 1922-1991 -- Archives.
  • Muchow Associates -- Archives.
  • Architects -- Colorado -- Denver.
  • Architectural firms -- Colorado -- Denver.
  • Architecture -- Colorado -- Designs and plans.
  • Buildings-- Colorado.