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Phil Goodstein’s Walking Tours

2017 Summer Schedule


Thursday, July 6:  Quality Hill, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet the Zang Mansion, 709 Clarkson Street.  (Clarkson Street is eight blocks east of Broadway and four blocks west of Downing Street.)  The cost is $20.00.  Information about Goodstein’s books is at capitolhillbooks. com


Thursday, July 13:  Jefferson Park, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet near the bus stop at the southeast corner of West 23rd Avenue and Eliot Street.  (Eliot Street is one block east of Federal Boulevard).  The cost is $20.00.


Saturday, July 15:  The Seamy Side of Denver, 5:00 pm–7:15 pm

The event gathers in City Stacks, a combination bookstore and coffeehouse, 1743 Wazee Street.  The cost is $25.00.


Thursday, July 20:  West of Washington Park, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Gather in front of the Washington Street Community Center at the southwest corner of Ohio Avenue and Washington Street.  (Washington Street is seven blocks east of Broadway.  Ohio Avenue is the 800 south block, five blocks south of Alameda Avenue.)  The cost is $20.00.


Saturday, July 22:  Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Meet at the statue of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between 14th and Colfax avenues.  The cost is $25.00.


Thursday, July 27:  The Golden Triangle, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet near the sculptures of the cows at West 12th Avenue and Acoma Street at the southern edge of the Denver Art Museum.  (Acoma Street is one block west of Broadway.)  The cost is $20.00.


Tuesday, August 1:  Seventh Avenue Parkway, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet near the bench at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Williams Street.  (Williams Street is six blocks east of Downing Street and five blocks west of York Street.  This is the Cheesman Park Esplanade extending south from the park at Eighth Avenue.)  The  cost is $20.00.


Tuesday, August 8:  Around West High School, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet in front of West High School, along the west side of Elati Street between West Ninth and West 11th avenues.  Elati Street is five blocks west of Broadway.  It is one way south bound from 11th Avenue to Ninth Avenue.)  The cost is $20.00.


Tuesday, August 15:  Harvard Gulch, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet near the benches at the southeast corner of South Logan Street and Iliff Avenue in Harvard Gulch Park.  (Logan is four blocks east of Broadway.  Iliff is two blocks south of Evans Avenue.)  The cost is $20.00.


Saturday, August 19:  Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Meet at the statue of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between 14th and Colfax avenues.  The cost is $25.00.


Tuesday, August 22:  Country Club Neighborhood, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet in front of Bromwell School, Fourth Avenue and Columbine Street.  (Columbine is one block east of Josephine.  Fourth Avenue does not cut through between Josephine and Columbine.  Nor does columbine go through between Third and Fourth avenues.  It is easiest to take either Sixth or Eight Avenue south on Columbine to the school.)  The cost is $20.00.


Saturday, September 9: The Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

Meet at the wooden gazebo near the equivalent of 12th Avenue and Gilpin Street.  It is directly south of the RTD bus stop on the 12th Avenue loop in the park.  Gilpin Street is the 1700 east block.  Park in the park, east bound, on the 12th Avenue loop to the east of the RTD stop.  The cost is $20.00.


Sunday, September 10: Park Hill Promise/Magnificent Mayfair, 11:00 am–4:00 pm

Phil Goodstein will have a booth at the Park Hill Fair at the southeast corner of Forest Street Parkway and Montview Boulevard.  There he will have copies of his new book Magnificent Mayfair.  Listing for $24.95, it will be available for $20.00, tax paid that day.  He will also have copies of his many other volumes.


Saturday, September 16: Mount Olivet Cemetery, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

Meet by the fence across the road from the Madonna Mausoleum.  The main entrance to Mount Olivet is west of Youngfield Street on West 44th Avenue.  Go up the hill past the administration building to near where there is a big crucifix.  On your left is the Madonna Mausoleum.  (Coming from the east take exit 266 on Ward Road from I-70 and go west about a half mile to the cemetery.  Coming from the west take exit 265 at Youngfield. and go north about a mile to West 44th Avenue and turn left.  The cemetery is the first exit on the right.)  The cost is $10.


Saturday, September 23: Crown Hill Cemetery, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

Gather at the parking lot along the main road of the graveyard, just west of the administration building along West 29th Avenue about two blocks west of Wadsworth Boulevard.  The cost is $10.00.


Saturday, September 30:  Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Meet at the statue of the Indian on the east lawn of the Capitol along Grant Street between 14th and Colfax avenues.  The cost is $25.00.


Phil Goodstein, The Denver Civic Center: The Heart of the Mile High City.  Denver: New Social Publications, 2016.  ISBN 0–9860748–2–9.  vi + 478 pp.  Illustrations.  Index.  $24.95.


One hundred years ago, Robert Speer triumphantly returned as mayor of Denver.  A prime project was completing the Civic Center.  This was an initiative Speer had launched on first taking office in 1904.  In the middle of the city, he announced, Denver must have a majestic park.  Adjacent to the Capitol, the Civic Center was to be the heart of the Mile High administration and civic life.  He encountered numerous roadblocks in making it a reality.

By the time Speer became mayor, Denver had burgeoned as a metropolis with more than 100,000 residents.  As it had boomed since the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1858–59, newly wealthy individuals advertised their affluence by erecting opulent mansions.  Many were in and around what became the Civic Center.

Already in the 1860s, 14th Street had started to emerge as Denver’s address of distinction.  Connecting the future Larimer Square with what became the Civic Center, it was where leading bankers, politicians, and members of high society lived.  The original home of the University of Denver was at 14th and Arapahoe streets while many medical faceless were nearby.  Included was an early home of the University of Colorado School of Medicine at 13th and Welton streets.

The Civic Center proper is in Evans Addition, land pre-empted by Colorado Governor John Evans in 1864 to the south of Colfax Avenue and west of Broadway.  In passing, The Denver Civic Center explains why the diagonal street pattern of downtown ends at Colfax and who the street’s namesake, Schuyler Colfax, was.

Land usages rapidly changed during Denver’s first 50 years.  As Capitol Hill overwhelmed Evans Addition and 14th Street in the early 20th century as the city’s elite neighborhood, the land near the Civic Center was increasingly an industrial and commercial district.  Broadway north of Cherry Creek emerged as the city’s premier site to buy a prestigious new car.  Numerous apartments and residential hotels filled the area.

All the while, the Capitol dominates the hill east of Broadway.  Its construction and the various monuments in and about it, including in the Civic Center proper, are among the themes of the book.  In passing, The Denver Civic Center tells about the tunnel system under the Capitol, complete with the folklore that a couple of floating heads are stashed beneath the seat of the state government.

In the 1970s, the area in and around the Civic Center started emerged as the Golden Triangle.  This increasingly became the popular name for the spread encompassed by West Colfax Avenue, Speer Boulevard, and Broadway.  Besides being the heart of Denver’s cultural district with the Denver Art Museum and the main branch of the Denver Public Library, it came to be the home of elite residential towers.  In passing, the volume notes the Golden Triangle has also been the home of Denver television with the studios of channels 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, and 31 being in and around the section.

The Silver Triangle emerged in the early 1980s as a mirror of the Golden Triangle.  Generally, this is the section bordered by West Colfax Avenue to Speer Boulevard to about Champa Street to 15th Street.  The Denver Civic Centerlooks at the landmark buildings there, relating how the Colorado Convention Center emerged and contemporary efforts to transform 14th Street into Ambassador Street.

Author Phil Goodstein is a Denver native who has churned out more than 20 volumes about the Mile High City.  Not only has he seen to it that the volume is very well illustrated but, as is his wont, he emphasizes history from the bottom up.  He explores controversies over the use of the Civic Center while emphasizing the way the different hopes and perspectives of various classes and economic interests have shaped the community.  In a word, The Denver Civic Center is not just a history of the land in and around the Civic Center, but it is a profile of Denver as a whole.  It is must reading for anybody seeking to grasp the nature of the Mile High City.