Despite the broadly held assumption that having an iconic building designed by a celebrity architect can effectively rebrand a place, draw tourists, and stimulate economic activity, star architecture does more than just contribute to the economic fortunes of regional cities. Iconic projects also emerge from and reflect the discourses, desires, and identities of city dwellers in the places they are built. In this paper, we use newspaper coverage of five iconic or star architecture buildings in Denver, Colorado, USA, to expose how architecture contributes to local discourses. What emerges is a complex picture of how local press engage with star architecture projects. Star architecture buildings do more than just contribute to the economic fortunes of a city or region: they also contribute to the mental map of a place, become contributors to city identity, and create opportunities for conversations about culture and architecture, including the basis for comparisons with other cities.