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Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo) History

Lower Downtown, or "LoDo"
Bounded by I-25 to the West, Larimer Street to the East, Colfax to the South, and 23rd Street to the North.

The area is really made of of many smaller neighborhoods that make up a whole. I will not list all of the prominent buildings in LoDo, but here are some that played a vital role include Acme, Bradford, Edbrooke, Henry Lee, Hungarian, Ice House, Oxford, Morey, Rockmount, Rocky Mountain, S and H Supply, Sugar, Streetcar Stables, Union Station, Volker, Wazee Club and Wynkoop Brewing.

Individuals of early prominence would have streets named after them, such as Blake, Delgany, Larimer, Little Raven, Wazee and Wewatta, and Wynkoop.

The viaducts served a wonderful purpose to transport, but their days were numbered. Lower Downtown was changing from a town of the 20th Century to a city of the 21st Century.

The Oxford Hotel remodel was almost completed and a small spirit was emerging. The areas of LoDo under the viaducts were getting drier by the day and year. Mortar was falling on the ground and the wind was kicking up dust.

Certain visionary people realized the potential of the revitalization of Lower Downtown. The vacant warehouses would become alive again with retail and residents. The much needed density and energy to rebuild our city began at that very moment. Some of the people that created that moment in time were Dana Crawford, David Clamage, John Hickenlooper, Gerry Glick, Jennifer Moulton, Larry Nelson, Rick Pederson, Bill Saslow, Charlie Woolley and Mickey Zeppelin.

Architects and construction companies playing an integral part of this energy were Blue Sky Studio, Josh Comfort, Emerson, Spectrum, Sprung.

So there I was, climbing to the top of a building, inside a huge warehouse with the sweet smell of a timber building, or on top of an incredible old building looking onto the city, or on top of a bridge trestle top over Cherry Creek River.

Some days I contemplated the flatlands behind Union Station, the Platte Valley area, and saw huge "fields" waiting to rise. It was a journey of a life time to do some of these things I loved.

- Kim Allen

 

 

 

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Copyright 1983 Kim Allen Denver Photo Archives