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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)
 

Larimer Street

Lower Downtown Historic District

 

—Established 1988 —

 
Larimer Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
1. Larimer Street Marker
Inscription. General William H. Larimer, Jr., founder of Denver City which was established on November 22, 1858, named the city after the Governor of the Kansas Territory and the principal street after himself. Some of Denver’s first cabins were located at the corner of 15th and Larimer Streets. Larimer Street gained prominence as Denver’s main thoroughfare when it escaped the 1863 fire, which destroyed buildings along Market and Blake Streets. By the 1880’s, Larimer Street has gained the reputation of being Denver’s main shopping and entertainment area. The Vanderbilt’s, Guggenheim’s and Rothschild’s dined and shopped in Larimer Street’s fine establishments.

Larimer’s once prominent buildings included City Hall at 14th and Larimer, the Tabor Block on 16th and Larimer and the Windsor Hotel at 18th and Larimer. It was at the Windsor where Horace Tabor, owner of the Leadville Matchless Mine, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado and U.S. Senator, courted Baby Doe creating a scandal by divorcing his wife and later marrying the younger women. Some of the Windsor’s other famous and infamous guests included Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Soapy Smith, Jack Kerouac, David Moffat, Ulysses S. Grant and John L. Sullivan.

After the silver crash of 1893, Larimer Street and Lower Downtown fell into decline. Few buildings were constructed until

Larimer Square from 15th Street image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
2. Larimer Square from 15th Street
The edge of the marker can just be seen at the extreme right.
the 1970’s. The area became Denver’s Skid Row until restoration began with the 1400 block of Larimer Street, now a National Historic District known as Larimer Square. Under Denver’s Skyline Urban Renewal Project, new buildings were constructed along Larimer from 15th to 20th Streets including Writers Square and the Tabor Center.
 
Erected by Lower Downtown Historic District.
 
Location. 39° 44.896′ N, 104° 59.934′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is at the intersection of Larimer Street and 15th Street on Larimer Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1491 Larimer Street, Denver CO 80202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Denver's Old City Hall (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Silas S. Soule (about 600 feet away); Constitution Hall (about 700 feet away); Clark and Gruber Mint (about 700 feet away); The Rocky Mountain News (about 700 feet away); Denver City (about 800 feet away); Let the Buyer Beware (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mint Robbery (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in Larimer Square which consists of Larimer Street
Larimer Square from 14th Street image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
3. Larimer Square from 14th Street
between 14th Street and 15th Street.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Larimer Square image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
4. Larimer Square
Larimer Square image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
5. Larimer Square
Larimer Square image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
6. Larimer Square
The Granite Building.
Larimer Square image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 14, 2008
7. Larimer Square
The Kettle Building-1422 Larimer Street image. Click for full size.
By Johnathan Stegeman, November 7, 2010
8. The Kettle Building-1422 Larimer Street
The Kettle Building, at 1422 Larimer Street, was built in 1873 by George Kettle, a local butcher. The building has no side walls of its own, wedging a front and back between the adjacent buildings. Kettle, who later went into real estate, left his building in a few years and it was at various times an employment office, a Rocky Mountain Curiosities Shop, and a newspaper office. By 1890, the Denver Steam Dye Works had moved into the building to stay a good many years. The building has a simulated cut stone facade and a fancy molded cornice. The Larimer Square Historic District, covering the 1400 block of Larimer Street, was the birthplace of Denver City in 1858, with false-fronted stores, hotels and saloons catering to prospectors and pioneers. The original wood buildings were destroyed during the fires of 1863, but the surviving second generation two and three-story late Victorian brick buildings date from the late 19th century. In the mid 1870's, it was the main street of the city, and the site of Denver's first post office, bank, theater, and streetcar line. By the 1930s, urban decay left a skid row of pawnshops, gin mills, and flophouses. The buildings were spared demolition from the sweeping urban renewal projects of the mid-1960's, primarily due to the efforts of Denver preservationist Dana Crawford. As part of the nation's first historic neighborhood revitalization campaign, a for-profit corporation renovated all 16 of the block's commercial buildings in 1969, providing mixed space for shops, restaurants and offices. Larimer Square Historic District National Register #73000468 (1973)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 945 times since then and 110 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on January 17, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   8. submitted on January 15, 2013, by Johnathan Stegeman of Denver, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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