LoDo stands for Lower Downtown Denver, which is 23 square block of the original Denver. In 1858 it was just a small settlement called Denver City named after the governor of the Kansas Territory. It was settled by General William Marimer, who built his cabin and then named his settlement Denver City. Within 20 years, the population had grown from 4,749 in 1860 to 35,629 in 1880. From 1860 to 1870 the population had only grown by ten people.
The reason for the boom cycle is that in 1870, the local citizens had raised enough cash to build the spur of the Transcontinental Railroad, which ran from Denver to Cheyenne. This cycle continued until the Silver Crash in 1893.
This historic district was formed in 1988 by the act of City Council because they wanted to encourage the preservation of an area that has significant historical, architectural, and economic value. By getting this historical status, it gave protection to the community historic resources and to the 127 historic structures that remained in the area. In the 1960s and 1970s approximately 20% of the historic buildings were destroyed.
Being Denver’s oldest business district, LoDo has seen the industrial era, Colorado’s Gold Rush, skid row, and now urban revitalization. Visitors to the LoDo area have their choice of two walking tours. During these tours you will learn about some of Denver’s most beautiful hotels, saloons, business houses, and brothels. You will also learn about some of the notorious individuals that occupied these buildings. You will learn how preservation efforts saved many of the buildings that exist in LoDo today.
In LoDo you will find many attractions such as the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, and Elitch Gardens. If you would like to find a place to spend your vacation or have a weekend getaway, there are two hotels in the district. There is the Oxford Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Denver.
Of course you cannot forget about the many restaurants and shopping areas you can find in the LoDo district. You will find taverns, supper clubs, steak houses, pizza, a Mongolian Grill, an Irish pub, a fish house, seafood room, a muffin shop, and a variety of other general restaurants.
For your shopping pleasure, there are wine shops, book stores, clothing stores, Rocky Mountain Shopping Center Association, and many specialty shops. When visiting LoDo, parking is convenient with your choice of meters, garages, and surface lots. There are also taxi stands at each hotel, and many of the restaurants offer valet service. Another convenient way to reach the district is by taking the light rail.
When you visit Denver, on vacation or a business trip, make sure you have time to visit LoDo for an experience you will never forget.