Denver Federal Center Museum

History is an educational tool that can impact who we are and how we understand the world we live in. The Denver Federal Center (DFC) played a key role in developing Colorado and the Lakewood community. In an effort to tell this story, GSA established the DFC Museum in Building 41. It captures the tremendous impact the center had on Lakewood’s history and the evolution that has taken place in the surrounding communities since.

With the many changes taking place at the federal center today, GSA saw the museum as a great way to give back and re-connect with the local community. From livestock ranch to ammunition plant to federal office campus, GSA opens its doors to visitors on the land that is integral to the history of Lakewood and all of Colorado.

The museum holds more than 360 historic artifacts from the history of DFC land beginning with the history of the Hayden Ranch, which by 1940 was the largest livestock operation in the Denver area. The ranch land was sold to the federal government to provide space for the Denver Ordnance Plant (DOP) during World War II. The plant would manufacture ammunition, pumping out several million rifle and machine gun cartridges each month. After the war ended, the DOP became the DFC, housing over 25 agencies and 6,250 employees.

Featured Artifact

Fairmont Railway rail carThe "Fairmont Railway" rail car displayed here was used to haul equipment and to inspect track and switches during the operation of the DOP. The wood and metal rail car consisted of two cars linked together. It is displayed on old rail ties and rails.

A 1.6 mile spur line connected the Denver to Golden track, to the Ordnance Plant. GSA also used the rail equipment once the Denver Federal Center opened to haul coal for the heating plant and to bring supplies to Building 810.

Do you have a story about the DOP? Share it! Please contact Andrea Collins at

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Please note: DFC Museum tours are currently unavailable.

Last Reviewed: 2022-10-26