Denver Water Master Plan

Studio Tectonic worked closely with Denver Water and a range of stakeholder groups to establish a interpretive master plan for the historic Kassler Town site, adjacent to Waterton Canyon. Both the site and canyon were included in the interpretive planning effort, as well as the Bob Taylor Eco Area, Colorado Trail trailhead and Lake Lehow. In addition to the master plan, a detailed implementation strategy, budget analysis and inventory of stakeholder needs provided the complete picture of a revitalized visitor experience.

At the onset of the planning project, input was also collected from Denver Water’s partners that currently run programs at Kassler and Waterton Canyon and/or contribute to management of the sites. These partners included: Audubon Society of Greater Denver (ASGD), USDA Forest Service/Pike National Forest, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Chatfield State Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Rocky Mountain Land Library (RMLL), Colorado Trail Foundation, and Thorne and Nature Experience.

A vision for the future development and use of Kassler and Waterton Canyon emerged as the planning process unfolded. During analysis discussions about the property’s potential, the planning team recognized Kassler’s historic significance as an underutilized aspect of the property. The team felt that the Kassler site, in particular, presented a great opportunity to explain the history of Kassler, filtration technology, and the broader connections to Denver Water, both today and in the past. This interpretive content would provide a base for public education around water management, resource management, environmental stewardship, and science-based learning.


Denver Water


Denver, CO


Cultural History

Land Use

Master Planning

Science | Natural History | Technology


Root House Studio: Landscape Architecture

Kassler Town Historic Administrative Building

Water is what makes life possible. Safe water, that is. As Denver population exploded in the early 20th Century, the need fresh water drove water companies to new methods to clean and prepare the water for consumption. Its value was so high that water companies established small towns, such as Denver Water’s Kassler Town, adjacent to the filtering bed so that workers and their families would always be onsite for the laborious work of tending to the filtration beds. While innovative in its day, new methods replaced the sand beds and towns like Kassler were abandoned. This planning effort was aimed at preserving this heritage and developing this aging asset into an interpretive anchor in Denver Water’s public outreach.

  • Kassler Waterton Denver Water Master Plan Concept Chart
  • Kassler Waterton Denver Water Master Plan Concept Flow
  • Kassler Waterton Denver Water Master Plan Map 2
  • Kassler Waterton Denver Water Master Plan Map