Valverde School’s older wing was built in 1923, and has been a landmark on Denver’s West Alameda Avenue ever since. Its red brick and cream-colored, carved stone trim define it as architecture from an age when ornate decoration was not only affordable but was also expected in public buildings. At one time, The building’s main entrance faced Alameda Avenue, and wide stone steps marched up the terraced lawn to the stone-arched entryway. A depression is still visible in the grassy bank where the steps once were. The stone arch is still there, but the double doors are gone, walled in when the entrance hall was taken to create the school’s first cramped offices (These were totally redesigned and remodeled in 1992 to make better use of this space).
This seventy-four-year-old wing running east and west also houses fourteen classrooms all of which still have the original cabinetry and woodwork, and some of which still have the original black slate chalkboards. A violent, summer hailstorm destroyed this wing’s unreplaceable red tile roof in 1993, and it now has asphalt shingles. Valverde’s characteristic arch-topped, eight-foot-high, double-hung, wood frame windows were also replaced in 1993 with double-pane, aluminum frame versions that preserve the original windows’ appearance while providing a much-improved weather seal. This original wing qualifies Valverde School as an eligible historical site.
A north-south wing was added to Valverde in the mid 1950’s to accomodate the swell in the neighborhood’s student population during the Post World War II baby boom. This wing was so designed as to blend with the architecture of the original east-west wing, and, viewed from the outside, it is difficult to tell that the two wings were built thirty years apart. The rectangular windows of the newer, north-south wing, however, are a strong clue. This wing houses seven classrooms, the library, the auditorium, and the gym which also serves as the cafeteria for breakfast and lunch.
In the summer of 2011, Valverde’s interior was completely renovated for ADA compliance and fire suppression safety. That same year, it also received a new state-of-the-art Learning Landscape and a new parking lot.