Beloved Staircase Banisters Part of 160 Years of Denver Health

January 15, 2020

pavilion K Denver Health 160 years bannister

In 2020, Denver Health is celebrating 160 years of providing care for all in the Denver community. As we reminisce, we are also reflecting on our rich history, from all the people we care for, to our employees and even some of our historic buildings on the main hospital campus. All year long, we will be sharing some of the stories that make up 160 years of care in the heart of Denver.

One of the oldest buildings at Denver Health is Pavilion K, which opened in 1901 and is currently home to many of our outpatient behavioral services. Dr. Trina Seefeldt leads the Adult Outpatient Behavioral Services team and has worked in Pavilion K for the past eight years. She noted that a building of that vintage has a lot of character including one aspect that she really likes – the original wooden banisters that wrap around the two staircases inside.

"They are constructed in that solid, long-lasting way that you don't normally find today," Dr. Seefeldt reflected. "They are lacquered, but over the many decades of use, the lacquer has worn off in places by the countless hands of patients, visitors and healers navigating up and down the steps. All those hands have acted as a smoothing agent, and the wood is incredibly soft to the touch. I use the staircases every day, and every time I do, I find myself reflecting on Denver Health's unique history. How many patients were assisted in this building before my time at Denver Health, and how many will be after me?"

Denver Health's Center for Addiction Medicine (CAM) is housed in Pavilion K, giving patients a full continuum of access to substance treatment services through no wrong door. When the new Outpatient Medical Center opens later this year, the CAM will remain in Pavilion K and expand its treatment of substance use disorders for our patients. 

Dr. Seefeldt believes Denver Health's founders could not have imagined the growth and expansion of services that has occurred throughout the hospital system over the past 160 years. She said she can rest in the knowledge that each generation will continue to build upon the strong and caring foundation of those that came before them.

Read more stories celebrating Denver Health's 160th anniversary.