CARTA Founding Director Christine G. H. Franck to Step Down

Christine G. H. Franck
Founding Director of CARTA, Christine Franck.

Christine G. H. Franck, founding director of CAP’s Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture (CARTA), is stepping down from directing CARTA on October 31 to return to her practice in design and education. In four short years, she obtained university approval and external funding for the new center, which has been self-funded since 2015. Under Franck’s leadership CARTA has helped 30 students earn the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Certificate in Classical Architecture; sent 19 students to prestigious programs in New York and Sweden; placed alumni in jobs with top firms around the country; created CAP’s first career fair; brought leading architects to lecture in Denver; organized CARTA’s first symposium; curated two exhibits; raised and awarded $60,900 in scholarships and awards to CAP students, and raised in gifts and pledges over $500,000 for CARTA.

Franck also assisted Students for Classical Architecture – CU Denver with their competitions and design awards, supported faculty in their classes related to traditional design, and taught CARTA’s continuing education classes. Franck has changed the design conversation in Denver through her study of “slot houses” (a term she coined) and, among other things, her service on city a task force now amending the city’s zoning code. She will continue to advocate for better design in Denver.

Franck said, “I am very honored to have had the opportunity to create CARTA at CAP. It is deeply rewarding to see CARTA’s positive impact on our faculty, students, and the community we serve. A center focused on traditional design is a first in our nation, continuing the University of Colorado Denver‘s leadership in diversity of thought. That the wisdom embodied in traditional design is available to students again heralds a more civil future for our built environment.” Franck is transferring the direction of CARTA into the capable hands of Professor of Architecture and CARTA Faculty Director Keith Loftin.


What it Means to Intern in Wallace Neff’s Office

Reporting from the first day of her internship, Aly Burkhalter (candidate for an MArch and the ICAA Certificate in Classical Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver) writes:

No, I am not interning for Wallace Neff, the Southern California architect largely responsible for developing the “California” style. But I do get to work in the room that was his office many years ago, and I hope some of his great knowledge rubs off the walls onto my humble sketches.

Now, it is not only the greatness and brilliance of Wallace Neff roaming about the halls of 180 E Colorado Blvd, but also the legacy and tradition of the architecture firm Moule & Polyzoides. Today, on my first day of interning, I worked on graphics for a book composing almost 30 years of practice into diagrams and techniques that will guide the next generation of Urbanists. As I was diagramming for the book, I didn’t dismiss these rudimentary drawings but I soaked up all that they were saying. They stood for a better built environment. They stood for educating the next generation on a better public realm. They stood for combating sprawl and promoting walkability. I won’t be ripping out freeways and painting bike lanes this summer. But I hope on my first day as an intern, I added a single page to a book that will help designers build a better future of beautiful, people-oriented spaces.

I bolster my generation, the next generation of New Urbanists, because I was given a firm understanding in informative and successional diagramming at UC Denver, but also a grasp of the issues at hand through CARTA and SCA. I know that these traditional forms and the legacy of Wallace Neff are rooted in sustainable practices but also promote community and social engagement. I have so much more to learn but I’m through with my first day.

Alyson Cruz Burkhalter

Student Work on Slot Houses Exhibited at Roth Sheppard Architects

Over the past semester, Professor Loftin’s studio has examined the Slot House typology that has developed in Denver, studied typical examples, and proposed new solutions. Students were able to use CARTA’s 2016 study, “Documenting Change in Denver,” participate in the City of Denver’s “Slot Home Task Force” with CARTA’s Director, and benefit from lectures by city planners, as well as reviews with developers, city council members, builders, and architects.

We are so pleased to see their contribution to this issue being exhibited at Roth Sheppard Architects. See below for further information about viewing the student work. As announced by Roth Sheppard Architects:

We are excited to announce the collaboration of Roth Sheppard Architects with the University of Colorado Denver, Laurence Keith Loftin III’s Studio IV. We invite you to come in, explore the students work and engage in the pressing issue of the Investigation and re-visioning of Denver’s “Slot House” The students have developed a range of solutions that will help us begin the dialogue on the Slot House typology.

We hope this conversation will help our city rephrase the issue at hand and progress toward more thoughtful and integrated designs. Guests will be welcome to come by our office between 9:00am and 4:00pm for a two week period, to view and discuss around our “Temenos Table.” We welcome developers, professionals in the field, along with any and all students within the University of Colorado Denver – College of Architecture and Planning. This is your chance to network and get involved on the subject.



Monday, May 15th – Friday, May 23rd
9:00am to 4:00pm


— A “slot home” is a multi-unit residential structure consisting of attached dwelling units arranged side-by-side and primarily perpendicular to the street. Most dwelling units have an individual, direct entrance to the exterior facing a side lot line or center pedestrian court. Individual vehicular garages are generally located beneath each unit. Slot homes are also sometimes called “sideways-facing town homes” or “fraux homes.” — City and County of Denver

Slot+House_Roth Sheppard

See more here:

Join CARTA for a Watercolor Sketching Intensive

Saturday, April 22, 2017
9:00am – 12:00pm – Introduction
1:00pm – 4:00pm – Plein Air
Watercolor is a powerful medium for depicting light, shade, shadow, and color. This day-long workshop is offered in two parts: a morning introductory session and an afternoon plein air session. While the two sessions are designed to work together, you may participate in either or both.

Register Now


9:00am – 12:00pm Introduction
College of Architecture and Planning, 1250 14th Street, Denver, CO
Join CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck for a morning introduction to watercolor for sketching. You will learn about the tools, techniques, and medium of watercolor; practice techniques like running washes and working wet-on-wet; develop a color wheel and learn about color theory; and complete a watercolor sketch of a still life composition in practice for the afternoon plein air session.

1:00pm – 4:00pm  Plein Air
Cheesman Park Pavilion
In the afternoon session, you will complete a watercolor sketch of one of Denver’s most beautiful civic structures: the Cheesman Park Pavilion. CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck will lead you through composing your view, preparing a base sketch, developing shade and shadow, and techniques for sketching landscape elements in watercolor. In the event of rain, the sketch will be completed in the pavilion. Please bring a lightweight chair or blanket to sit on, and an easel if you would like to.

Materials: You will receive a list of recommended supplies, many of which will also be on hand for students’ use.

Costs by registrant type:
Professional/General Public: (One session=$30, All day=$50)
10% discount for ICAA Members ($27, $45)
50% discount for Students and faculty ($15, $25)
50% + $5 discount for SCA Members ($12, $20)

Note: The prices listed above for just one session, morning or afternoon, reflect 60% of the full day price.

To register:

Register Now

For information contact:

CARTA Director Franck Appointed to City of Denver Task Force

DENVER (JANUARY 9, 2017)  – Christine G. H. Franck, Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture (CARTA) at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) has been appointed to Denver’s Department of Community Planning and Development’s (CPD) “Slot Home Evaluation Task Force.” According to CPD, the “task force will assist CPD staff with an evaluation of issues associated with slot home development in Denver’s neighborhoods, and recommend specific zoning text amendments to address identified issues.”

W 18th Ave 3115-3133 (2)
A typical “Slot Home” development in the West Colfax Neighborhood.

Continue reading “CARTA Director Franck Appointed to City of Denver Task Force”

CARTA | 2016 | Year in Review

2016 has been a banner year for CARTA! As we close out this year, we wanted to take a moment and thank you for your support and highlight all we have accomplished toward our shared vision of a more beautiful, sustainable, and equitable built environment.

View a PDF of the CARTA | 2016 report here: CARTA | 2016, or link through the cover image below.

After learning more, we hope you will join our effort to make traditional design lessons available for architecture, landscape, and urban design students today by including us in your year end giving. A gift of any amount helps, for the future of traditional design in higher education is entirely in your hands.


Thank you all for your dedication, talent, and the inspiration that your work and wisdom provide us here as we help the phoenix of tradition rise anew,


Christine G. H. Franck
Director, CARTA


Precedent: Its Importance and Its Practice | A Lecture by David M. Schwarz


Precedent has long been integral to architecture. In days past, it was based in history, that which has come before. Not so much today. Precedent, as architecture itself, has found its origins in odd and different places. This talk strives to understand precedent in the architecture of today as its incorporation into the work of David M. Schwarz Architects.

Renowned for their new performing arts centers, sports arenas, urban revitalizations, and numerous civic, cultural, educational, health-care, mixed-use, and multi-family projects, David M. Schwarz Architects sees architecture as both a service and an art. They focus on crafting sustainable, human-centered places in stewardship of the public realm; a philosophy they have studied and developed through their planning and design projects in urban environs since their founding in 1978 in Washington, DC.

Mr. Schwarz received his B.A. at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and Master of Architecture at Yale University. He currently serves as Chairman of the Yale School of Architecture Dean’s Council; a member of the Executive Committee of the Yale University Capital Campaign; and a  jury member of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Additionally, he serves as the Jury Chairman for the Vincent J. Scully Prize Fund Endowment of the National Building Museum.

Thanks to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, this lecture is free and open to all.
RSVP required to attend.
RSVP to: or (303) 315-0063.


CARTA Logo          SCALogo          icaa_rm_logo_2012_rgb

CARTA Fall 2016 Workshops and Lectures

We have an exciting, informative, and educational range of activities this fall. From classes, to lectures, and workshops, we are focusing on the full range of knowledge necessary for today’s practitioners, students, and members of the general public who seek to learn more about traditional architecture, urban design, landscape, and building crafts.


Click below to register or rsvp for each activity:

Fundamentals of Traditional Design: Part I
Tuesday, November 8, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Fundamentals of Traditional Design: Part II
Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM


Builders’ Network Breakfast (By invitation)
Tuesday, November  8, 7:30am – 8:30am

Concepts of Time and Newness in Architecture
Tuesday, November 29, 6:00PM – 7:30 PM


Stone Quarry Tour with Loukonen Bros.  Stone
Friday, November 4, 3:00pm—6:00pm

Masonry Workshop with Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute
Friday, December 2, 3:00pm—6:00pm


Introduction to Watercolor Sketching
Saturday, November 5, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

A Perspective on Classical Architectural Education

A Perspective on Classical Architectural Education

We’ve added a link to the video of a new lecture delivered by CARTA Director Christine G. H. Franck at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture for Thomas Gordon Smith’s retirement colloquium, “Classical Architecture: Explore, Build, Teach,” for which she explored different perspectives on classical architectural education.

Click on the link above or the image below to watch.

What have your experiences of education in classical and traditional architecture been?