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Phil Goodstein’s Walking Tours

Phil Goodstein
303-333-1095

To get on the e-mail list please send your name to  philgoodstein@gmail.com

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. Information about Goodstein’s books can be found at capitolhillbooks.com

Summer/Fall 2021

Tours and Talks by Phil Goodstein

Tuesday, July 20: Hilltop, 6:00 pm–8:00pm

Meet at the Sundial in Cranmer Park at the equivalent of Second Avenue and Cherry Street. Enter the park at either First Avenue or Third Avenue and Clermont Street. The sundial is in the center of the park. The cost is $20.00. A copy of this list and information about tours is available at LeonardLeonard.com and liveandlovedenver.com.

 

Friday, July 23: The North Denver That Is No More, 7:00 pm–8:30pm

This is a free talk about Denver history. It will focus on Goodstein’s new book The Denver That Is No More. Additionally, it will feature his North Side Story. Book books will be available for purchase for $25.00, tax included. The host is Denver Bookbinding at 1401 West 47th Avenue. (47th Avenue is the road directly to the south of I-70. The event is a block to the east of Pecos Street–it is impossible to make a left turn onto 47th heading south of Pecos Street), 303–455–5521.

 

Tuesday, July 27: University Park, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet on the south side of Chamberlin Observatory. This is the big structure in the middle of the park bordered by Warren and Iliff avenues and South Milwaukee and South Fillmore streets. (Milwaukee is ten blocks west of Colorado Boulevard. Iliff Avenue is two blocks south of Evans Avenue. The cost is $20.00.

 

Monday, August 2: The Seamy Side of Denver, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet at the flagpole in front of Union Station at 17th and Wynkoop streets. The cost is $20.00.

 

Wednesday, August 4: Montclair, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Meet in front of the Montclair Community Building, 6820 E. 12th Avenue (the southwest corner of 12th Ave. and Oneida Street—Oneida Street is four blocks east of Monaco Street Parkway). The cost is $20.00.

 

Wednesday, August 11: Highlands, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet on the west side of the Woodbury Library at the southwest corner of 33rd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. The cost is $20.00.

 

Saturday, August 14: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $20.00.

 

Monday, August 16: Governors Park, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Meet at the monument commemorating Colorado governors where Pennsylvania Street dead ends to the south of Eighth Avenue. (Pennsylvania is the 500 east block, two blocks east of Grant Street.) This is a free tour. Participants may tip the guide as they wish.

 

Wednesday, August 18: Central-South Denver, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet in front of the old Byers Junior High/DSST Byers at 150 South Pearl Street. The school is a block and a half north of Alameda Avenue. Pearl Street is six blocks east of Broadway. The cost is $20.00.

 

Wednesday, August 25: Seventh Avenue Parkway, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Meet at the bench at the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Williams Street in the Cheesman Park Esplanade. This is a block south of Cheesman Park. (Williams Street is five blocks west of York Street.) The cost is $20.00.

 

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

Meet at the entrance to the park at Ninth Avenue, half a block west of Race Street. Race is three blocks west of York Street. This part of the park has been closed to traffic during the outbreak of the coronavirus. The cost is $20.00.

 

Sunday, September 12: Park Hill Promise, 11:00 am–4:00 pm

Goodstein will have a booth, selling his wide variety of titles, at the Park Hill Street Fair. His booth should be on the east side of Forest Street Parkway just to the south of Montview Boulevard.

 

Saturday, September 18: Five Points, noon–1:00 pm

Meet at the steps of Whittier School at the southeast corner of 25th Avenue and Downing Street. This is a free tour. Participants may tip the tour guide as they see fit.

 

Sunday, October 3: The Ghosts of Cheesman Park, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

Meet at the entrance to the park at Ninth Avenue, half a block west of Race Street. Race is three blocks west of York Street. This part of the park has been closed to traffic during the outbreak of the coronavirus. The cost is $20.00.

 

Saturday, October 16: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

Saturday, October 16: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

Saturday, October 23: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

Friday, October 29: Ghost Walk, 7:00 pm–9:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

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

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

Sunday, October 31: Ghost Walk, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Gather at the statue of the Indian along the east lawn of the Capitol (between Colfax and 14th avenues). The cost is $25.00.

 

Please take a moment to check out Phil’s Newest Book Release:

Phil Goodstein, The Denver That Is No More: The Story of the City’s Demolished Landmarks. Denver: New Social Publications, 2021. ISBN 0–9860748–8–8/978–0–9860748–8–2. vi + 326 pp. Illustrations. Index. $24.95.

Denver is always changing. This is a key point of a new, extremely well-illustrated history of the city, The Denver That Is No More by the city’s leading critic, Phil Goodstein. The highly entertaining, easy-to-read volume highlights the impressive buildings that were once the city’s point of pride, structures which have given way to the community’s questionable sense of “progress.”

From its beginnings during the Pikes Peak gold rush of 1858–59, Denver has had a split personality. Side-by-side with those who have called it their home, the community has attracted fly-by-night investors who have grabbed what they can from the Mile High City before moving on. In the process, in the hope of short-term profits, Denver has wantonly seen the destruction of distinguished buildings.

The Denver That Is No More takes the reader around the city. It highlights the continual transformation of the central business district. Readers are now on Colfax, learning about how the road was once a fine residential boulevard. Next the action is along South Colorado Boulevard, the place where baby-boomers went to play in the 1960s and 1970s. The book visits the old Elitch’s and enters some of the distinguished, but long-disappeared movie palaces. In the process, the study lives up to its claim that by grasping the Denver that is no more, readers can better understand the contemporary city and help plot its future.

Flyer-No-More.pdf

 

Here are some books Phil recommends for Troubled Times:

Flyer tours busing-1 (1)

Recovery Tw flyer

The Denver School Book (Denver: New Social Publications, 2019. ISBN 0–9860748–4–5/978–0–9860748–4–4. vi + 490 pp. Illustrations. Index. $24.95) is Phil Goodstein’s latest venture.

It dissects what local schools have been all about. It starts with the city’s first school in 1859, telling about the character of teachers, administrators, and school board members. The study encompasses different schoolhouses, linking them with distinctive neighborhoods. The Denver School Book spells out how the schools have interrelated with the community, and their successes and failures. In passing, it deals with the essential nature of public education and refers to what critics have blasted as “compulsory miseducation.” The extremely well-illustrated Denver School Book is only the beginning of the story. It is the first of a trilogy. The tome ends in 1967, right when DPS was on the verge of school busing upheavals. They will be the subject of volume two, The Denver School Busing Wars. The third part of the study promises to bring the subject into the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

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 Center looks at the landmark buildings there, relating how the Colorado Convention Center emerged and contemporary efforts to transform 14th Street into Ambassador Street

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