Architect I.M. Pei inspects test slabs at the NCAR site, 1965.

(Courtesy University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)

The legendary architect I.M. Pei turns 100 today. He designed some of the world’s most famous buildings, including the east wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. One of Pei’s first big projects, though, was the Mile High Center in downtown Denver, completed in 1956. And many consider Pei’s National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in Boulder, a masterpiece. Sadly, one of his Denver buildings is gone forever.

Michael Paglia, art and architecture critic for Westword, speaks with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Zeckendorf Plaza, downtown Denver, 1993.

(Courtesy Western History Collection, Denver Public Library)

Postcard, Mile High Center, 1954.

(Courtesy Western History Collection, Denver Public Library)

NCAR today.

(David Hill/CPR News)