I tried to divide Denver by
particular areas or neighborhoods. These
images are from all around the city and
documents various buildings and my
observations of them. There are many
different buildings; I will not list all of
them and will keep the descriptions as brief
Most importantly, back in the 1980's, an
energy began to emerge in Denver to rebuild
itself. I honestly do not know how it got
started, I do know Denver had slowly ground
to a crawl. With some history lost,
and its infrastructure obsolete and
stagnant, it had no where to go, but up.
Denver picked itself up and moved forward
with optimism !
Not all my photographs show a happy ending
of a structure. They do represent a
dream by those who, none the less,
contributed to Denver. Some photographs show
buildings in positive transition, moving
forward from one era into another.
further ado, let's get the in car, see some
places, climb some fence's, and enter some
The Mayan Theatre was, and is, a movie
theatre with a long history pf entertainment
for the entire city. My Mother,
pregnant with me and accompanied by my
Father, went to the Mayan the evening of
February 20,1955. Experiencing labor
pains, they left for Presbyterian hospital
(now demolished) and the following morning I
was born. Many years later, I captured
the theatre on film before it was sub
divided into smaller theatres in the
The Golda Meir home, where she lived for
some of her formative years, was moved
several times in "storage" and is now at
its current and final home on 9th Street on
the Auraria campus.
I cannot remember the name of the building
located on the 16th Street Mall and now the
Pavilion's. It caught fire and was
going to be demolished. Inside, from a top
floor window looking west, I photographed
the future Sage Building on the mall.
Scene Theatre kind of says it all. I
photographed if from a location that is now
on the other side of a 15 foot fence.
Then there was the implosion of Montgomery
Wards department store south Broadway.
We used to call it "Monkey Wards" - I do not
know why -but I wanted the large
sculpture in the photo and the people's view
of the implosion.
I had my first ever Greek salad at Muddy's
Coffeehouse and was hooked. Muddy's was
comprised of the coffeehouse, a small
theatre named "Slightly Off Center," a high
quality, previously-owned clothing store,
named "Rethreads," and a used book store
named "Left Bank Books." The mix of business
and people was Bohemian.
There was a wonderful vibe
inside the Elitch Theatre - to walk into the
theatre, be on that stage, see huge
photographs of past performers on the walls,
to look out at the seats, then turn and look
around - I could feel the whole scene
unfold. It was truly an experience.
Stevie Wonder was always one of my favorite
musicians back in the day; an amazing
musical icon of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Although I was bummed that I
did not have a ticket, I went to photograph
the marquee. The lights were bright and
excitement outside was "electric". I
focused on taking some images that I liked a
lot and then I heard "do you want to buy a
ticket?" Well brother I was in, and
taken to "Higher Ground."
A group of artists were doing a photo shoot
for a card invitation for their exhibition.
Although another photographer had the deal,
I was asked to come along too. The
scene was photographing the artists below a
partially demolished viaduct. After the
photographer got his shot and left, we all
went up onto the top of the viaduct and I
got my shot!
- Kim Allen