North Denver, Colorado 

 

North Downtown Denver Area
 Denver, Colorado

I call this area North Downtown because that is what it was when I photographed some of the area. The boundaries are roughly from 23rd Street on the South to Brighton Blvd. on the West, I-70 on the North and
Market St. on the East.

More recently the area West of Brighton Blvd. and also West of the Platte River has been included as an area now called River North or Rino for short.

This area is now reasonably small scattered warehouses, working merchants, artist studios and galleries and vacant land. Because of larger spaces available at "cheaper" prices, ample parking and once again people with vision the area is becoming the emerging area of the creative art community in Denver.

The photography here is of the south section of North Downtown. The Brighton Boulevard Viaduct was a small part of the area at Blake Street and Walnut Street. A handful of hobos and transients would gather under the viaduct for shelter in the winter and shade in the summer. The clock on the McPhee-McGinnnity Building was often motionless, a reminder of the surrounding area also stuck in a time past.

The most prominent buildings of North Downtown were on the south end of the area. The McPhee-McGinnity Building with its large clock tower, and the Benjamin Moore building with its long neon sign atop, greeted those entering from Lower Downtown.Other than a few wise property owners and small business owners who took advantage of the inexpensive land or rent in the area, activity was sparse.

I did not document the rest of the North Downtown area. It was basically some of my last work, and a lot of fun later that had come to an end.

I was walking the area at 28th and Larimer Street looking south into downtown and approached the "smiling face of T.J.'s Sunshine Inn" painted on the wall as I looked up. It said "welcome too" above the sign, as an invitation. Well you know I could not pass up such an opportunity and went inside. A little excited, I talked some about photos, and they looked at me puzzled.  I had seen that look many times...I enjoyed many beers and recalled many wonderful times of past people and buildings.

I had taken a lot of average images, but in the process had recorded many great images and documented Denver's architectural heritage from
1983- 1993 like nobody else. I worked extremely hard to capture what I think was a pivotal time in Denver's history.

I had to film some of Denver's past, not necessarily in reverence, but respect. Denver would be changing rapidly and for the better.  A city has to grow with the times, just as people grow or get left behind. I simply wanted to document on film this transition of Denver.

Well sadly and tired, I put my camera over my head and strap around my neck.  "Thank you" I said to the fellow patrons and bartender. Out the door, and down the road I went.

My photographs of Denver are dedicated to my late Mother Betty, my wife, Candice, and her late Mother, Jo.

- Kim Allen

 

 

 

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ęCopyright 1983 Kim Allen Denver Photo Archives