Upholding the Arts: A New Face For The Dairy

Upholding the Arts: A New Face For The Dairy

For over twenty years, SSArchitects has been a key player in the development and modernization of the Boulder Dairy Center for the Arts. The Dairy Center was historically known as the Watts – Hardy Dairy, but has evolved from the milk-processing center it once was to a place where community and the arts coalesce. The purpose of the center now is to facilitate collaborative, cooperative workspaces for local artists to fine tune and express their crafts. The Dairy Center showcases multiple genres of art and features galleries, performance venues, teaching studios, offices, rehearsal spaces, dance studios and even a small cinema. Because of its dedication to the preservation of the arts, The Dairy Center has become a predominant cultural landmark in Boulder’s community.

The Old Dairy

The Original Watts-Hardy Dairy

As longstanding architect for The Dairy Center, SSA’s goal has been to create a structure that echoes on the outside all of the creativity and expression transpiring on the inside. While the center has gone through various interior renovations throughout the years, SSA has long visualized an exterior façade that epitomizes the artistic and community values The Dairy Center was predicated upon.

The Dairy Today

The Dairy today

Interior lobby at The Dairy

Interior lobby at The Dairy

SSA’s design, dubbed ‘The New Face of the Dairy’, is an airy concept enriched with light, glass, and modernity. The design will debut a high-ceiling, glass-walled atrium that leaves the space feeling unbarred, which allows the power of the art fill the room instead. An outdoor terrace will give the space a modern indoor-outdoor atmosphere and allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy Colorado’s spectacular seasons. Supplemental gathering spaces will help sustain a tight-knit, community driven feel and a new bar/concessions area will provide art aficionados a place to connect and reflect with one another before or after one of The Dairy’s many unique performances. One of the goals of the design is to help keep The Dairy a cherished amenity to the community so that the significance of preserving the arts is respected moving forward in the future.


The New Face of the Dairy

Renovations for the New Face of the Dairy would receive funding through a proposed short-term .3% capital tax that also includes improvements to the lighting on the University Hill and Boulder Creek Path, developments to downtown Boulder’s Civic Area, public art, improvements to pedestrian safety at Chautauqua Park, and various other community developments. The tax is considered ‘pay as you go’ and has distinguishable differences from some of the more widely implemented capital bond programs. These particular projects will be completed over a 3-5 year period as the revenue from the tax is collected.

New interior lobby renovations

New Interior Lobby Improvements

in-focus illustration-flat


Preserving culture is an integral part of retaining the value and intimacy of a community. The ‘New Face of the Dairy’ is a means to show support and pride for our local arts community and stress the importance of its preservation for the future. Voting to pay a modest amount to help fund significant civic improvements is an invaluable contribution you can make for your neighbors, friends and our culture here in Boulder, Colorado as a whole.


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