The history of the city of Denver can be traced back through many years and through many stories. It used to be quite the Wild West back in the day (and I am not talking about that long ago!) and the city still boasts a certain Western culture flair to it. As the city grew and developed through the years, it became sectioned off into different areas that we still refer to today such as Capitol Hill or Washington Park or the Highlands. One of my favorite areas of Denver, and where I happen to do a lot of business, is LoDo or Lower Downtown Denver. Everyone knows where LoDo is when referenced to and it was and continues to be a growing area with amazing living spaces as well as incredible restaurants and entertainment facilities.
LoDo was actually known was the Union Station neighborhood until 1983 when a Denver Post reporter referred to the area as “LoDo” (which he took from Manhattan’s SoHo). During that time, LoDo was not a well-developed area. Downtown Denver is not what it used to be, back then, it was a pretty rough area and very underdeveloped, not a spot you would be out on a weekend evening. LoDo has become a national model of how a decaying city neighborhood can be converted to a flourishing retail, residential and recreational area that continues to grow and develop today. The Union Station building, which recently got its own face-lift and renovation, remains the main building in the area that arose from predominantly rail-related enterprises such as Market Street bordellos, Wynkoop Street warehouses and Larimer Street saloons.
South Platte River, Cherry Creek, Larimer Street and 20th Street bound the official neighborhood. Early on, LoDo was the core commercial and rail hub of Denver but unfortunately it descended into skid row in the 1930’s. In 1988, Denver designated parts of LoDo as historical districts that helped provide incentives for preservation. In the 1990’s, LoDo became the hot area of the city attracting young late-night crowds. The success of the area also inspired Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies to build their home, Coors Field, on the northeast edge of Blake and 20th Street in 1995. To this day, LoDo continues to be a developing neighborhood attracting a diverse crowd of people looking to live and play in the heart of the city.
There are many amazing spots in LoDo from Larimer Square, Flour Mill lofts, the Oxford Hotel and Denver Untion Station that would not have happened without the visionary dreams of Dana Crawford (whom the Crawford Hotel is named after). Dana Crawford was a young mother during the summer of 1963 looking for a plot of buildings with the potential to become a place for people to gather, shop and dine. Crawford had fallen in love with such areas growing up in Kansas and attending graduate school in Boston and wanted to bring the same to Denver. She found herself in he 1400 block of Larimer amongst bands of drunks and homeless people, but it was here that she saw what potential the area had and it is said that was her greatest gift for years to come.
LoDo has and will continue to be a staple neighborhood in Denver offering up amazing living places and so much life. As I said, it is an area I have come to know and love and if you think it is an area you could see yourself living, give me a call today and let’s go grab a coffee at one of the many amazing coffee shops down there.