Although Denver, Colorado is a relatively young city, with a history of no more than 150 years, it is a place where the heritage of the original pioneers who founded the city in the days of the great gold rushes is still visible. A bustling metropolis, Denver seems to be in a perpetual race towards the future, and the skyscrapers from downtown are architectural arguments for the modern attitudes and conception of the residents of the Mile High City.
But there is more than high rising buildings in Denver. Scattered through the city, historical monuments remind us of the untamed spirit of the original founders of Denver, Colorado. Let’s see what are the most significant historic monuments and landmarks found in Denver:
The Colorado State Capitol was built in 1886 of solid granite brought from a Rockies quarry. The splendid dome of the Capitol rises at 272 feet above the ground and is plated with 24 carat gold, which is symbolic for the legacy left by the gold miners. You can climb at an observatory placed at the pinnacle of the dome, and enjoy the stunning panorama offered by the majestic Rockies crests.
The Larimer Square – is literally the birthplace of the city of Denver. What is now the Larimer Square was the actual town in 1858, the year Denver was founded. The location included saloons, stores and hotels, build for the comfort of the gold seekers who came in great numbers in the town. The place latter evolved into the center of the fledging city, hosting the post office, bank offices and even a theater. Unfortunately, in more recent times the zone was affected by urban decay, until investors purchased the old historical buildings and engaged in an effort of renovation and conservation. The square is now included in the National Register of Historic Places and has experienced a revitalization which made it a hotspot for commercial and entertainment venues.
The Byers-Evans House was the original home of William Byers, the founder and the editor of the Rocky Mountain News journal. Built in 1883, in an elaborate Victorian style, the house latter became the residence of the Evans family, descendants of the second governor of Colorado, who lived there until 1981. The two families which gave the building its name still hold a significant influence in the Denver society. For those interested, guided tours are available, where insight is provided in the history of the Denver society.
The Molly Brown House Museum, was built in 1889, and was the residence of local hero Margaret (Molly) Brown until her death in 1934. Nicknamed “the unsinkable Molly” she became a national celebrity after surviving the sinking of the Titanic and leading a group of immigrant women to safety. She latter fought for their cause, by collecting benefits and doing other charitable work. The home of Molly Brown was restored to its 1910 appearance and features exhibits of furniture, clothing and decoration, some of which actually belonged to the Brown family.
These are just a few of the impressive array of historical landmarks found in Denver. If you are passionate about American history, the city’s 17 recognized historic districts are great places to explore the legacy of the High Mile City.