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Colorado, Denver, Wall Street of the Rockies Historical MarkersThis series is for the 40+ markers forming "A Denver Walk of History and Infamy along 17th Street" in Denver, Colorado.
By Mark Hilton, June 9, 2019
The former Colorado National Bank, now the Renaissance Hotel.
|In 1915, this was the Colorado National Banks slogan.
Designed by W.E. and A.A. Fischer, the buildings bronze vault and door weighs 73,000 lbs with supports walls three-and-a-half inches thick. Inside the vaults, the doors alone weigh 62,000 . . . — — Map (db m135451) HM|
|In 1887, Mary Lathrop came to Denver to recover from tuberculosis. She became the city’s first female attorney in 1896. — — Map (db m135517) HM|
|On December 10, 1975, 17th Street celebrated its 25th year as a concrete street. Anniversary invitations were engraved in old English and former Governor John Love led the champagne toast.
In 1950, amid great City Council debate, 17th Street . . . — — Map (db m135544) HM|
|The legend says that Denver's early settlers, who made their camp on the banks of Cherry Creek, laughed at the Arapaho, a local Indian tribe, for making their camp inconveniently far from the water's edge.
The Arapaho warned the settlers of . . . — — Map (db m135440) HM|
|Before the founding of the City of Denver, the tribe that camped in the area called themselves “Inuna-ina" meaning, “Our people.”
This tribe was also known as “Arapaho,” the word for “trader” or . . . — — Map (db m135442) HM|
|"A dog fight on Champa Street is of more interest to Denverites than a war in Europe."
Founder of The Denver Post
and prominent philanthropist — — Map (db m135447) HM|
|The downtown skyline was transformed in the late 1970s and early 1980s as the Denver economy boomed based on the price of oil. As oil prices fell below $10/barrel in 1986, Denver’s economy contracted.
In 1986, the Denver economy entered its . . . — — Map (db m135486) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m135352) HM|
|Josephine Roche, daughter of a wealthy coal mine operator, ran for governor in 1934. She advocated a progressive sales tax that fell heavily on the rich.
Although she lost the election, she became Assistant Secretary of Treasury, the second . . . — — Map (db m135101) HM|
|The D&F Tower at the corner of 16th and Arapahoe Streets is all that remains of the Daniels & Fisher department store that stood on this block.
After its construction in 1911, the D&F Tower was for many years the tallest building in Denver. . . . — — Map (db m135103) HM|
November 18, 1997
While waiting for a bus on 17th Street, Oumar Dia was shot and killed because of the color of his skin. Jeannie Van Velkinburgh who came to his assistance was shot and paralyzed.
In response to the murder, thousands of . . . — — Map (db m135508) HM|
|The Silver Panic of 1893 brought 17th Street to her knees. Eventually she recovered; gold was the reason she survived. Golden riches arrived from the mines of Cripple Creek filling Denver's coffers.
This Golden Era is symbolized by the gold . . . — — Map (db m135105) HM|
|Charles Henry Dow, the first editor of the Wall Street Journal, created the stock market index with Edward D. Jones in 1897.
Dow, who had worked as a bookkeeper for a Leadville mining operation, was the first Vice-President of the International . . . — — Map (db m135528) HM|
|Constructed in 1890-92, the Equitable building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has long been home to many of Denver’s most prestigious law firms and financial institutions, and is generally regarded as the last great building . . . — — Map (db m135472) HM|
|The four corners of 17th and Champa Streets are occupied by the Boston Building (1890), the Colorado National Bank (1915), the Railway Exchange (Title) Building (1937), and the Ideal Cement (Colorado Federal) Building (1907). All were built of . . . — — Map (db m4659) HM|
|The five-pointed intersection at 17th and Broadway is the result of shifts in Denver’s street grid.
The grid shift created the triangular-shaped block upon which the Brown Palace Hotel is located. Here, the original grid which runs parallel . . . — — Map (db m135518) HM|
|On August 26, 1964 five thousand screaming fans waited outside the Brown Palace Hotel for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols, the Beatles.
Well-rehearsed in evading mobs, the “Fab Four” sneaked into the hotel through a . . . — — Map (db m135538) HM|
|“We have to organize. The best way to make the system work for us is cooperation.”
-- Bernie Valdez (1912-1997)
Co-founder of Latin American Education Foundation and the Latin American Research and Service Agency, and Head of the . . . — — Map (db m135515) HM|
|In the 1880s and 1890s Denver was the nation's headquarters for "con" men, a dubious honor that it maintained into the early years of the 20th century.
The most famous con man was "Soapy" Smith who sold $5.00 bars of soap from 17th Street, . . . — — Map (db m52186) HM|
Seventeenth Street is home to
many of Denver’s parades.
Annual parades include:
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Memorial Day Parade
Veteran’s Day Parade
Parade of Lights
National Western Stock Show Parade
Special . . . — — Map (db m135525) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m135543) HM|
|The first man to rob the Denver Mint was “Small Bad Jim” – James Clark. The gold bars were so heavy that he began dropping them only one mile away in what is now Cheesman Park. Six days later, the desperado was captured 25 miles . . . — — Map (db m100808) HM|
|Before the coming of the rails, stagecoaches were a major form of passenger transportation to and from Denver.
In 1878, Helen Hunt Jackson wrote, The public coaches are here, as everywhere, uncomfortable, overloaded, intolerable. I know of no . . . — — Map (db m135476) HM|
|Until 1911, Denver was the largest city in the nation where women could vote. Western states, including Colorado, were among the first to give women the right to vote.
In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteed full . . . — — Map (db m135444) HM|
|Clark, Gruber and Company printed gold notes as well as producing $2.50, $5 and $20 gold pieces.
After private mints were outlawed in 1864, the federal government took over the job as the Denver Mint.
Clark, Gruber and Co. evolved to . . . — — Map (db m135483) HM|
|The Skyline Urban Renewal Project consisted of twenty blocks between Curtis Street and Larimar Street that were demolished in the late 1960s to “remove blight” and make way for the new and modern. There is a noticeable difference in . . . — — Map (db m135445) HM|
|Unlike San Francisco, which the Spanish founded as a mission, and Salt Lake City, which the Mormons started as a communal religious utopia, Denver originated as a place to make money.
From the beginning, the town aspired to be the supply hub: . . . — — Map (db m135357) HM|
|Down 17th Street, Longs Peak is visible over the roof of Union Station. Together, they symbolize two bases of Denvers economy. Since its founding in 1858, Denver has taken advantage of its location for freight and passenger transportation. Starting . . . — — Map (db m135104) HM|
|“Your ruffle shirts, standing collars and all kinds of fine clothing had better be left in your wardrobe at home. Discard all cotton or linen clothing; adapt yourself at once to woolen and leather; provide yourself with woolen underclothes. . . . — — Map (db m135351) HM|
|By 1886, Denver’s transportation system was becoming more sophisticated with the use of an electric streetcar system.
However, by 1887 its use declined and this mode of transport was ultimately abandoned. The electricity was inadequate and . . . — — Map (db m135480) HM|
|Charles Boettcher (1852-1948) was a German immigrant who played several key roles in the state’s economic development. He introduced the sugar beet industry to Colorado and established the Great Western Sugar Company.
While building sugar beet . . . — — Map (db m135478) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m135315) HM|
|The first traffic signal with a pedestrian "walk" component was installed here by Henry Barnes in 1952. The resultant diagonal crossing pattern was reminiscent of a square dance colloquially known as "the Barnes Dance."
Barnes stated, "The . . . — — Map (db m135470) HM|
|Mr. Barney Ford (1822-1902) was a former slave who dared to venture forth in the new frontier of Colorado. He eventually settled in Denver becoming a political activist, prominent businessman and sometimes millionaire. — — Map (db m135510) HM|
|Overnight, paper empires collapsed. Prominent businessman Claude Boettcher borrowed $2 million in life insurance and plunged into the market to recoup his losses. Fifty-six of Colorado’s 174 state and national banks closed their doors. — — Map (db m135490) HM|
|Orphaned at age seven, Henry C. Brown worked on a farm in Ohio where he learned carpentry. In 1860, Brown moved to Denver and set up shop. He went on to become one of Denver’s most important early developers. He donated land for the State Capitol, . . . — — Map (db m135541) HM|
|Long’s Peak, visible at the end of 17th Street, is 14,255 feet in elevation.
The National Forest Service lists 54 peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation within the state of Colorado. Mt. Elbert at 14,433 feet it the highest peak in the Rocky . . . — — Map (db m135531) HM|
|17th Street earned this title long ago based on its status as the business and financial center of the Rocky Mountain Region. Many consider 17th Street the “right address” for business success.
Denver’s major banking institutions, . . . — — Map (db m135513) HM|
|Welton Street connects Downtown to Five Points, the historical commercial center of the African-American community.
The name of the neighborhood comes from the five-pointed intersection where 26th Avenue, 27th Street and Washington Street meet . . . — — Map (db m135527) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m135511) HM|
|Rodolfo Corky Gonzales born in Denver June 18, 1928, son of a migrant worker, helped organize and lead the Chicano civil and human rights movement of the 1960s and '70s. He advocated equality, justice and self-determination for the Chicano/Mexicano . . . — — Map (db m135326) HM|