Denver in Denver County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Barney Ford Building
Lower Downtown Walking Tour
The significance of 1514 Blake St. lies in its connection to the remarkable life of black pioneer Barney Ford. Ford was born a slave on January 22, 1822 in Stafford, Virginia, but escaped to Chicago, where he worked with the underground railroad helping other slaves flee to freedom. It was in Chicago that he chose his name from a steam locomotive, the Launcelot Ford, becoming Barney Launcelot Ford. An active civil rights and civic leader, a prominent politician, and an ardent supporter for the admission of Colorado to the Union as a free state with suffrage for all men, Ford as also a brilliant businessman. This building is the site of Ford's first Denver restaurant, which he rented, then purchased from E. A. Rice for $673 on March 24, 1862. The original structure was destroyed in the great fire of 1863, which wiped out Denver's business district, but Ford borrowed $9,000 from the Kountze Brothers Bank (later the Colorado National Bank) and opened the People's Restaurant on August 16, 1863. Ford had a barber shop and hair salon in the basement and a saloon on the second floor. Ford also constructed and owned the Inter-Ocean Hotels
Erected by Lower Downtown Historic District.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
Location. 39° 44.985′ N, 104° 59.995′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is on Blake Street. Marker is mounted at eye-level, directly on the subject building, just right of the entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1514 Blake Street, Denver CO 80202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Constitution Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); 15th / Wazee Street (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Elephant Corral (about 500 feet away); Sugar Building (about 500 feet away); Henry Lee Building (about 600 feet away); Denver City (about 600 feet away); Larimer Street (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Elephant Corral (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
Regarding Barney Ford Building.
Ford played a significant role in the admission of Colorado to the Union as a free state. A member of the Republican party, Ford was the first African American to be nominated to the Territorial Legislature.
In 1865, Ford successfully lobbied the Federal government for black voting rights in Colorado, enlisting the support of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places (1976) and currently houses a sushi restaurant.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Barney Lancelot Ford
Also see . . .
1. Barney L. Ford Building. Denver Story Trek entry (Submitted on March 13, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Barney Lancelot Ford (1822-1902) Pioneer. Activist. Agent of Change. Denver Public Library entry:
By the 1870's, Ford was worth over $250,000. He used his wealth to help African Americans. He gave money, food, and jobs to newly freed slaves. Although Barney Ford was wealthy, he fought for the rights of African Americans all of his life. In 1964, a hill in Breckenridge, Colorado was named the "Barney Ford Hill" in his honor. In 1973, (Submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 110 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 5. submitted on March 13, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.