Celebrating the Contributions and Achievements of our Founder, Jim Johnson, AIA

Celebrating the Contributions and Achievements of our Founder, Jim Johnson, AIA

JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE is honored to celebrate our Founding Partner, Jim Johnson, as he retires from an extraordinary 43-year architecture career in December. Lending his architectural design expertise on many hospitality, urban housing and mixed-use projects, Jim’s work has helped shape the built environment in beneficial ways in Denver and beyond.  

Since founding our firm as JG Johnson Architects in 1993, Jim has built a reputation for creating places of lasting beauty and value that enhance the character of their surrounding neighborhoods. His dedication to contextual design and his desire to deliver solutions that elegantly address practical needs, remain signatures of JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE’s work, which defines our philosophy of Pragmatic Beauty.

Please join us in looking back at a couple of Jim’s favorite memories and projects from his career.

Designing a Gathering Place in the Heart of Denver’s Largest Park  

One of Jim’s fondest projects is the City Park Golf Clubhouse, part of the $45 million, 136-acre renovation project in Denver’s largest park. Set to open in 2020, the new 11,280-square-foot clubhouse features a highly refined design with deep respect for its historical context. 

As the architect of the new clubhouse, our firm studied various historic structures in the park for design inspiration. The architecture of the clubhouse complements the park’s existing public buildings, combining raw steel and cross laminated timber reminiscent of early 20th century golf club construction, while also incorporating modern touches to accommodate the needs of a new generation. The new City Park Golf Clubhouse is a significant architectural addition to Denver, catalyzing the way locals and visitors come together to enjoy and savor Denver’s iconic City Park.  

A sketch of the City Park Golf Clubhouse

Summoning New Life Through Adaptive Re-use and Historic Preservation

During his career, Jim has boldly advocated for historic preservation as an essential expression of our values. Reimagining modern uses for older structures, Jim envisioned creative programming and innovative design in a way that maintained and enhanced the building’s historic character for the enjoyment of a new generation. 

There are currently eight JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE projects on the National Register of Historical Places. The most notable, perhaps, is the The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station. The revitalization of this iconic Denver landmark profoundly changed the landscape of the city and enhanced the history of the building. A mixed-use and multi-modal transit hub, the project continues to serve as an economic and social catalyst for Denver. 

Building Communities

A self-proclaimed “Denver boy,” Jim’s contribution to the Mile High City goes beyond his architectural work. Through his decades-long involvement with the Downtown Denver Partnership, Jim worked with business and civic leaders to help tackle critical issues in the urban arena – from housing concerns to the future of the 16th Street Mall – with an emphasis on preserving the architectural heritage of Downtown Denver, and creating walkable, community-enhancing spaces. 

Jim says some of the most fulfilling moments in his career included working with organizations like Brent’s Place and the National Sports Center for the Disabled. In 2017, our team completed the second phase of Brent’s Place, which allows the organization to provide more space for the many Rocky Mountain region families who must travel far from home to receive cancer-related treatment for their children. 

A Lasting Legacy 

Today, as a result of Jim’s guidance and thoughtful leadership, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE is recognized as one of their disciplines’ top architecture and interior design firms. We are committed to honoring his legacy by continuing thoughtful design that seamlessly blends practicality and beauty to foster meaningful experiences. His values, which have shaped our culture and our projects, will remain fundamental to our approach. 

Please join us in congratulating and honoring Jim on his career and lasting contributions to our vibrant Denver community!