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Downtown Denver - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Blogs: #4 of 75

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Downtown Denver - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

(To see all of the pics on the original blog, click on more information.)

As I stated two blogs ago, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company’s filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 3 of 3 from Colorado. The first week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide and last week the focus was Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon. Last week found us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado). This week features downtown Denver as we spent the last few days of the week in a hotel that was incorporated into the old Union Station during a major remodel in 2014.

My wife and I worked in downtown Denver for a number of years prior to our move to San Diego. We were there during the “oil boom” of the 80’s. The downtown quadrant was a mass of cranes building many of the high-rise buildings you see today and it also saw the opening of the 16th Street Mall in 1982. We found it to be a very vibrant downtown and loved working there. The changes we saw in our time there was incredible, but I must say in the 30 years since then, what has been created and added makes it a very appealing urban center mixing large corporate headquarters with urban residential neighborhoods. Add to that, the inclusion of the major sports arenas (Broncos at Mile High Stadium, Coors Field and Pepsi Center), the Colorado Convention Center, the Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park pulling the downtown experience out to the bike paths/park along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

The first group of captures feature some of the many high-rise buildings….

…part of the 17th street financial district

I love this capture as it depicts old (Brown Palace Hotel) and new architecture. As you will see in following shots they have done a nice job of incorporating old buildings with the new. As I moved over to the 16th Mall that becomes more apparent and as I moved from the financial district down to the Union Station area.

When this high-rise was built in the 80’s we called it the cash register building due to the shape at the top. This building sits a couple of blocks from the State Capital on Broadway marking the eastern edge of downtown.

Here’s the 16 Street Mall looking westward towards Union Station. The pedestrian/transit mall runs from Broadway (Civic Center Plaza) to Union Station on the western end (1.25 miles/2k). Free shuttle buses run up and down the mall stopping on every block. On either end they go into an underground transit center for commuters to catch other buses to the Park and Rides located throughout the metropolitan area or in the case of the underground transit station under Union Station, you can connect to one of the many light-rail connections serving the metro area.

Notice the mix of architecture with new buildings and rehabbed old buildings.

This is the Daniels & Fisher Tower located along the mall. It was built as part of the Daniels & Fisher Department store and was the tallest building between the Mississippi River and California in 1911 when it was completed. The department store was bought by the May Company and in Denver their department stores were known as May D&F when we lived there.

On either end of the mall the transit lanes are side by side with plaza’s on the side for pedestrian traffic, but the middle of the mall has trees, benches, etc. for pedestrian traffic running down the middle.

When the mall opened in 1982, it only went to Larimer Street (Historic Larimer Square area) which is 4 blocks shy of Union Station. At that time past Larimer was just old warehouses and a plethora of train tracks clear over to the South Platte River.

This is the newly remodeled Union Station which houses The Crawford Hotel as well as being a large transit station. The train tracks I referred to above were removed and replaced with a mixed use development in 2012.

This is a large plaza that connects Union Station with the 16 Street Mall. Notice the mid-rise apts/condos rising behind the station.

Love the architecture that was preserved in the station.

This is the backside of the station where you catch one of the number of light rail connects as well as Amtrak. There is an escalator that connects the bus transit station from underground to the rail station. This place is really hopping during rush hour. Having said that the station is hopping at all hours as it is filled with the hotel, restaurants and bars.

Love the style of the platforms for the different train lines and again, notice the residential buildings in the neighbor west of the station.

I wrap up with a close up shot of one of the platforms and if you look real close you’ll see one of the light rail trains about three platforms over.

We ended our week with this and had a great time in Denver with our granddaughter and daughter. We took her to the Children’s Museum (awesome) and The Denver Botanic Gardens (huge). She loved the mall and the train station as well.

Side Notes:

My daughter asked me to play an extra in the episode they were filming here this week as a hunter in the woods coming across evidence of a missing person and then a scene where I am again in the woods but this time I’m a hand off for a case of uranium from a local mine (all based on a true story that I truly don’t know anything about). Oh baby….Kirt hits the big time!! Whenever this episode airs…I’m sure I’ll mention it!
I am scheduled for total knee replacement surgery 8/8 (40 years of running) and will not be on WordPress for the rest of August. I will ultimately need the other one done, but can’t wait to get going on the worst one. My wife went through this last year, so I’m aware of the fun times ahead….looking forward to being able to hike again!

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