Denver

Population

2010: 600,158, #26 in U.S., #1 in Colorado

1950: 415,786, #24 in U.S.

2010 Metropolitan Area: 2,543,482, #21 in U.S.

1950 Metropolitan area: 563,832, #26 in U.S.

Setting

Downtown Denver is about 15 miles east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The “Mile-High City” was founded in 1858 as a mining town during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek . Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Colorado Denver are located downtown.

Buildings

Tallest building: Republic Plaza (1984), 714 feet

List of tallest buildings

The domed Colorado State Capitol (1908), which is 272 feet tall, has a public observation deck.

Stores

Denver has no downtown department stores. The 16th Street Mall, a 16-block-long pedestrian and transit mall, opened in 1982. Denver Pavilions is an open-air retail and entertainment area along the mall. Larimer Square is an area of historic buildings with shops and restaurants.

Trains

Amtrak’s California Zephyr goes west from Denver’s old Union Station (1914) to Salt Lake City, Reno, and Emeryville (near Oakland) and east to Omaha and Chicago.

RTD Light Rail (1994) has five lines. Two lines serve Union Station.




Downtown Denver
(Photo by Matt Wright)

Museums

The Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the History Colorado Center, and the Downtown Aquarium are located downtown.

Theaters

The UA Denver Pavilions 15 is a first-run movie theater. The Mayan Theatre, a restored 1930 movie theater located just south of downtown, shows independent films.

The Paramount Theatre, a restored 1930 movie palace, presents a variety of concerts and other events.

The Colorado Symphony  Orchestra plays at the Boettcher Concert Hall (1978) in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Also at the Performing Arts Complex, Opera Colorado plays at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House (2005), and Broadway Denver presents touring Broadway shows at the Buell Theatre (1990).

The Bellco Theater (2005) is at the Colorado Convention Center.

Sports

The Colorado Rockies of the National League play at Coors Field (1995). The Denver Broncos of the NFL play at Invesco Field (2001). The NBA Denver Nuggets and NHL Colorado Avalanche play at Pepsi Center (1999).

Map of Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver Partnership

Historic Architecture