Bookshelves & Bricks Q&A

Hold up! What’s the new building all about? 

For 25 years, Lighthouse has served the writing community in Denver and beyond. Each year we’ve grown substantially. We now serve over 13,000 people annually through workshops, readings, and special events. We’ve made a home in some truly beautiful places, but now we need something that will fit our entire writerly community. 

We broke ground on a new, permanent home for Lighthouse earlier this year. The new building will be over 11,000 square feet and include 12 flexible classroom spaces (double what we had at Race Street!), a dedicated youth room, a performance space that seats 220 people, comfortable gathering spaces for when you want to meet with your writing group, and quiet writing nooks for when you need an inspiring place to pen your novel. The building will also be fully ADA accessible, with plenty of parking and access to public transportation. And it’s walking distance from several local schools and community organizations, allowing us opportunities to support the already rich art culture in the surrounding Clayton and Cole neighborhoods (and beyond). 

Where is the new building? 

Our future address will be 3844 York Street–just a couple blocks west of our current temporary location at York Street Yards.

It sounds like you’ve already begun construction. So why does Lighthouse need my donation? 

The new building will cost $7.9M, which beyond the building itself includes things like upgrading our tech systems and furnishing the space. This is a huge endeavor! We have worked to raise $4.5M and have construction financing through Community Banks of Colorado that has allowed us to get this far. Ultimately, we aim to raise at least $5.5M–the less construction financing we use, the more funds we have to invest in our many programs, which are the true heart of Lighthouse. Your gift helps us lay the bricks, build the bookshelves, and prepare to welcome you and other writers of all ages and backgrounds. 

Okay, I’m in! Can I dedicate my gift? What will that look like? 

We have several dedication opportunities, including classrooms, offices, and library collections that can be named in your honor (or in memory of a loved one, or for a group of people you care deeply about). These dedications start at $10,000; a full list is available here. For more information about creating a group dedication or joining an existing one, please read on.

Our most foundational dedications are the building blocks (literally) of Lighthouse. For example: 

  • Grand Staircase Treads ($5,000): A key feature of our new building is a stunning spiral staircase leading up all three floors of Lighthouse. A plaque with wording of your choice will be placed on the front of a tread, visible to all as they climb the stairs.

  • Tower Library Shelf ($2,500): Following the staircase up are beautiful custom bookshelves, which will house a portion of Lighthouse’s many books and be part of a lending library. A plaque with wording of your choice will be placed on the front of a shelf. 

  • Garden Wall Brick ($1,000): Community is key to Lighthouse, so we’ve prioritized gathering spaces in our new home. One of these is an outdoor plaza (dedicated by Book Project alumni and friends), which will be lined with a long garden wall. Wording of your choice will be on a small metal plaque affixed to a brick in this wall (to avoid the natural wear and tear weather causes to brick and keep your dedication visible for years to come).

How do payment plans work? 

We understand that these dedications are a true investment and that not everyone has the capacity to make a $1,000+ gift in a single day. We can set up monthly, quarterly, or annual payments that work with your schedule. To do so, make a 10% down payment here. Within a few days, you’ll receive an email from Jordyn Jefferson, asking you to complete a pledge form customized to your needs. 

How do I create or join a group dedication? What will that look like? 

Let’s say your family would like to dedicate a bookshelf in memory of beloved Grandpa Joe. With your parents, cousins, and siblings, you can each contribute an amount that works for you (be that $5 or $500) and pool your funds together to meet the dedication goal of $2,500. The same idea applies to a book club dedicating a classroom, your best friends putting their name on an office, or anything else that comes to mind. To get started, make a 10% down payment here and watch your email for a message from Jordyn Jefferson with instructions on collecting donations and ideas to help you reach your goal. 

Alternatively, there might be an existing Lighthouse group that you love. Here are some of the group dedications that already exist, along with links to their giving pages on Colorado Gives, where relevant. You can also contact Jordyn Jefferson([email protected]) to give in a different way.

  • Book Project Community Plaza: An outdoor gathering space dedicated by alumni, current students, and friends of the Book Project
  • Young Writers Garret: A space just for youth, dedicated by parents, alumni, and cheerleaders of the next generation of writers 
  • Poetry Salon & Library: A prominent display of poetry and a comfortable gathering space on the first floor of the new building
  • Chris Ransick Memorial Classroom & Library
  • Sheila Wright Memorial Cafe
  • Cortwright W. McMeel Memorial Classroom & Library
  • Grand Hall Stage & Sound: memorial for playwright Terry Dodd
  • Alvarez Fagelson Library Collection: A collection of Spanish-language and translated works dedicated by the friends and family of Caterina and Jim Fagelson
  • Christy Bailey Memorial Library Collection: A collection of memoir writing (Christy’s favorite!)
  • Creative Nonfiction Library Collection

I can’t wait! When do we move in? 

We broke ground on the building on March 30, 2022, and construction is moving quickly (in fact, it’s exceeding our wildest dreams!). We anticipate a completion date of March 2023, with move-in scheduled shortly after that. We hope to be fully operational in our permanent home by Lit Fest 2023 in June.