Larimer Square in LoDo is in the vicinity of were General William Larimer staked-out his claim for Denver City in 1858. It was the Kansas Territory with statehood many years into the future. In 1881, Union Station in LoDo opened home to no fewer than four railroad companies. It was LoDo that first time visitors stepped into. Funny how 130-years later, it is still LoDo where many of Denver’s first time visitors gravitate towards. LoDo was the address for many factories and storehouses that surrounded the rail yards. By the 1950’s, many buildings were abandoned and deteriorating as rail transportation was displaced by highways and airways. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, twenty-percent of LoDo’s buildings were demolished. The area had no vision only random efforts.
This haphazard destruction ended with the creation of the Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988. This was the beginning of LoDo’s remarkable transition from blight to vibrant. As you walk the streets of LoDo with countless cafes, coffee houses, brew pubs, restaurants, retail shops, jazz clubs, renovated residential lofts, and more, it is hard to believe that this was a gritty industrial part of original Denver pulsating with the energy of the railroad.
Today, LoDo is a shining national example of how redevelopment can work!
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