The state of Colorado purchased 565 acres below the Flatirons to turn it over to the federal government for construction of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (a rare exception to Boulder’s “Blue Line”). Designed by architect I. M. Pei, the structure was modeled after Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in southwest Colorado and the sandstone building material was meant to blend into the surrounding landscape. Today NCAR and CU atmospheric scientists collaborate on cutting edge research.

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