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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Denver in Denver County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The City Beautiful

Lower Downtown Historic District

 

— Established 1988 —

 
The City Beautiful Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
1. The City Beautiful Marker
Inscription.  
Denver's municipal facts book of 1909 states "Denver is known in every civilized country as the 'City of Lights.'" Electric light bulbs were considered a miraculous new invention and Denver took full advantage of the ease and elegance these lights gave to city streets.

The city streets were first lit in 1907. Three years later, Henry Read, President of the Art Commission, designed lights for 15th, 16th, and 17th Streets. The lights were lit from dusk until 10 o'clock P.M., enhancing Denver's growing nighttime entertainment.

The artistic cast iron lights with hand-forged filigree were the inspiration for the current street lighting. Originally designed to carry overhead electric wires, the stout poles served as supports for electric trolley car cables.

The Welcome Arch at Union Station was another mark of the City Beautiful Movement. Built in 1906 at a cost of $25,000, the 70 ton bronzed steel arch was 65' high by 85' wide. Spanning 17th Street with 2,194 light bulbs, the arch originally carried the word "Welcome" on both sides. In 1908, the east side was changed to read "Mizpah." Although many joked that
The City Beautiful Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
2. The City Beautiful Marker (wide view)
this was the American Indian word for "Howdy," "Mizpah" was actually a common parting salutation from the Hebrew language.

The arch was torn down for scrap metal in 1931 due to the high cost of its lighting and the problems it caused for automobile traffic. Today Lower Downtown commemorates the arch by inscribing the word "Mizpah" in its gateways.
 
Erected by Lower Downtown Historic District.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Man-Made Features.
 
Location. 39° 45.029′ N, 104° 59.81′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is on 17th Street south of Market Street, on the right when traveling south. Marker is a large metal plaque, mounted at eye-level, directly on the Market Center building, facing 17th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1330 17th 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. Rocky Mountain Fashion (within shouting distance of this marker); Yo Soy Joaquin (within shouting distance of this marker); Let the Buyer Beware (within shouting distance of this marker); Mint Robbery February 1864 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Elmo Hotel (about 400 feet away); Cherry Creek Emigrant's Song
Marker Center Building (<i>marker visible; mounted on pillar</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
3. Marker Center Building (marker visible; mounted on pillar)
(about 500 feet away); Private Profits and the Public Good (about 600 feet away); General Electric Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
 
Also see . . .
1. The City Beautiful Movement in Denver.
Denver was a thriving but ugly city in 1901. It had grown rapidly in the last decades of the nineteenth century, but civic beautification was often neglected or ignored during that rapid growth. Jerome Smiley wrote in his 1901 History of Denver that the city should be “an example, a standard, for other American municipalities.” It would become one under the leadership of Mayor Robert Speer. During Speer’s three terms as mayor, decorative streetlamps replaced the seven arc lamp towers that had lit Denver since 1883, and many of the city’s buildings were covered in lights, leading some to argue that Denver rivaled Paris as the City of Light. (Submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Welcome Arch at Union Depot, Denver (1908).
This is an amazingly crisp and clear photo of the welcome arch by Union Station in Denver. This photo looks out towards 17th Street. Denver's famous Welcome or Mizpah Arch was built in front of Union Station on 17th Street just west of Wynkoop Street; the arch was formally dedicated on July 4, 1906.
Market Center Building image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
4. Market Center Building
(Submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
<i>Welcome Arch at Night, Looking up 17th Street, Denver, Colo.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
5. Welcome Arch at Night, Looking up 17th Street, Denver, Colo.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 14, 2018. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 111 times since then and 9 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 June 14, 2018. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Aug. 8, 2020