Denver leaders break out cowboy hats for Legacy Building unveiling

Denver philanthropists Cille and Ron Williams started off the $100 million fundraising campaign for four new buildings at the National Western Center.
3 min. read
A model unveiled showing new plans for the National Western Center, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A model unveiled showing new plans for the National Western Center, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Western Stock Show Association hopes to raise $100 million for a new "home to all members of the National Western family" and three other facilities in north Denver.

Stock show goers got a first glimpse of the Legacy Building on Tuesday when a replica of the four-story, more than 100,000-square-foot building was unveiled by the association. The building is set to feature seating room for up to 700 people and space to store and display National Western art, archives and history.

Groundbreaking on the project is still a couple years down the line, said Angela Lieurance, director of the Honoring the Legacy Campaign.

A rendering of the Legacy Building planned for the National Western Center. (Courtesy of Tryba Architects)

Denver philanthropists Cille and Ron Williams kicked off the capital campaign Tuesday with a $10 million donation.

"Obviously, Cille and I are both excited about this," Ron Williams told the crowd at the unveiling ceremony. "Let's go build something."

The renovated stockyards at the National Western Center will be named in the Williams' honor. The yards are anticipated to be converted from fixed pens to 800 new pens with removable fencing that allow the space to be used for concerts, events, festivals or parking.

Oh, hello. Officials unveil new plans for the National Western Center, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Ron and Cille Williams Yards will also include two 1,000-seat arenas, elevated walkways and a nearly four-acre plaza for outdoor displays, vendor booths and exhibits, according to a news release.

In addition to The Yards and Legacy Building, an equestrian center and livestock center are planned.

"The new National Western Center is a landmark project — a testament to a thriving West and truly a once-in-a-century opportunity to reshape, energize and celebrate our Western values and our heritage," said Paul Andrews, president and CEO Western Stock Show Association.

The association and its partners, the city and county of Denver and Colorado State University, are tasked with transforming the National Western Center and Denver Coliseum from the home of a roughly two-week agriculture event complete with professional rodeos, a horse show and a western trade show to a year-round destination and global hub for agriculture and innovation.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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