An old coal silo may seem an unlikely setting for a cozy residential reading room, but for journalist Donna Bryson and her husband, developer Fred Glick—both longtime proponents of adaptive-reuse designs—it was perfect. “When we first met in South Africa many years ago, we always looked at buildings and fantasized about how we might make them a home,” Glick says. Working with architect Collin Kemberlin, the couple transformed the silo—part of a Temple Buell–designed World War II medical supply depot built in 1942—into two living spaces that adjoin their main residence, a former boiler house. Below the silo’s concrete coal hopper is their daughter’s bedroom; above it is a library with a heated concrete floor, original brick walls, new clerestory windows, and curved steel shelves accessed by a rolling ladder, fabricated by Colorado Steel. In addition to treasured books, the shelves display artworks that reflect the far-flung places the family has called home, from Swaziland to India to Egypt—though their most memorable abode just might be this historic Denver gem.

Photograph by Aaron Colussi