The Bottoms Area to me is the area roughly bordered on
the West by the Platte River, the curving rail line
intersecting with the 23rd Street Viaduct to the North, the
Delgany St. Ramp to
the East and the 20th Street Viaduct to the South. It is a
very small area, 6 blocks square, just
West beyond the back of Coors Field.
|The towering Flour Mill Building, a ghostly looking
building with its grey color and all the windows broken
out, dominated the scene.
An attempt was
always made to keep the abandoned building sealed with
sheets of plywood, but between hobos and youthful
adventure seekers, the boards were regularly stripped
From old loading dock of Flour Mill Building looking
N.E. towards Inca Street and now home to many loft
Inside, one stairwell led into the
sturdy, concrete inner structure. The way in was
the only way out, and once inside and proceeding upwards
to the top floors, it always made me nervous and
unsettled. Once, upon opening a huge fire door, I
encountered a sleeping man at my feet. Startled, he
quickly rolled over with a knife in his hand; I told
sorry, I was only taking photographs, and headed upwards.
29th Avenue and Huron Street looking S.W.
towards the 20th Street Viaduct.
|Besides the Flour Mill building, there was a mixture of mostly small-sized warehouses
and one large building with a faded "Dave Cook" sign high up
on the south side.
would later become the Watertower Lofts on Inca St.
An acquaintance of mine lived in a small one story building nearby.
We would drink beer and
laugh a lot. He made those pointed structures that
"frame" one of my images of the Flour
Mill building looking West.
Two blocks to the East was an unlikely oasis, The
Skyline Cafe and Bar. its stucco exterior made a completely
unassuming invitation, but once
inside, a small bar and maze
of barnwood-covered rooms emerged. With a jukebox
and roll and Guinness
on tap — a sun-parched photographer had found nirvana.
From 20th Street Viaduct looking N.W.
Chestnut and Inca Streets. area is now home
to many loft projects.
|Nearby was the Centennial School
Supply Building and a
small Kaminsky Barrel Company Building, one of several in area.
The Delgany Ramp ran parallel in front of it
up to the 23rd St. Viaduct. At that
junction, under the viaduct, was a tiny red
bricked building enclosed by a high chain
link fence and barb wire at the top.
in mind this area was a no-mans
land. The building was actually a home and two large dogs
would roam the inside perimeter.
I would sometimes walk by, thinking of photographs, and
the dogs would be waiting quietly until
I was right on them, then bark ferociously at me, scaring
me half to death.
Completing the loop, our walk west is directly
under the 20th Street Viaduct, and we arrive at the
Colorado Boiler Company. The fenced building was
then a welding shop and also defended by some mean and
sneaky big dogs and — you guessed it — would also lay in
wait for me as I approached...damn.
- Kim Allen