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KEPHART is thrilled to be involved in the redevelopment of Tom’s Diner, a Denver staple designed by the renowned architecture office of Armet and Davis. Originally built in 1967, the space was designed as more than a diner, but as an experience for its patrons. The structure utilized an abundance of glass and landscaping to create a seamless transition between indoors and out. And, true to Googie architecture, it was designed to be fun, expressive and inviting to all. The unique style earned the building a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

The team, led by designer and president of Docomomo Colorado, Josh Robinson, is taking a unique approach to adaptive reuse for the project, not just preserving the original structure, but expanding upon it with the addition of an outdoor garden space that emulates Armet and Davis’ modernist approach. The garden will be broken up with cabanas, creating seating areas for small groups and events, and will include a water feature, several fire pits and a tree canopy, transforming the space into an oasis within the surrounding urban context. The space will create an inclusive and approachable environment, from the design to the menu, which will feature affordable American fare and craft cocktails.

The redevelopment of Tom’s Diner will undoubtedly set the stage for adaptive reuse of similar buildings going forward, showing that these old structures can be given new life without sacrificing the original design intent. KEPHART, in partnership with Denver Land Company, and owners Tom Messina and GBX Group LLC, look forward to redefining this historic Denver icon and other similar projects to come.

Want to learn more about this project? Give us a call at 303-832-4474.


This is the philosophy that drives KEPHART to create thoughtful homes and communities that positively change people’s lives.

KEPHART is a nationally recognized, award-winning architectural design and planning firm with 50 years of housing expertise. Our passion for designing well-designed places to live, work, and play has driven us to create more than 500,000 homes across the country, ranging from single and multifamily homes to workforce housing, senior living, LIHTC communities, and everything in between. We have a deep bench of talented staff to design and deliver innovative and practical solutions to meet the unique requirements of every project.