1970 Larimer Street, 1970
Larimer Street, 1970
Larimer Street (Not Square)
Next time you’re strolling down lovely Larimer Square, squint your eyes a bit and try to imagine the days when that end of Larimer Street was a wild and wooly skid row. (And if you’re having trouble conjuring that image, check out our Wow Photo Wednesday from June 28.)
Until a major, but thoughtful, urban renewal in the late 1960’s turned Larimer Street into Larimer Square, the rowdy street was home to a notorious skid row. While the urban renewal headed by civic visionary Dana Crawford made the street look nice between 14th Street and 15th Street, the problems of mental illness and alcoholism merely moved to less desirable locations.
1926 May 5 Lakeside Park funhouse
Lakeside Park funhouse
Lakeside’s Beloved Funhouse
Here’s a fun thought exercise: try to imagine an amusement park design team pitching the gloriously dangerous Lakeside Park funhouse to the management team at Six Flags or Disney. Our guess is that they’d be immediately shown the door.
Fortunately for several generations of Denverites, no such qualms existed when the Lakeside funhouse was built.
We must, however, warn our readers that this blog contains several references to Laughing Sall, which may induce nightmares!
Barnum Elementary Students Barnum Elementary
Kids Love Monkey Cages (It’s True!)
Kids are kids, and they really haven’t changed all that much over the last 80 or 90 years. That’s one of the reasons we just love this photo of a group of children at Barnum Elementary, circa 1925. These adorable little ones crafted their own little circus out of cardboard and other scraps. It’s not too big of a stretch to picture the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of these kids doing the same thing.
[between 1906 and 1910] Musicians testing sound board at early Red Rocks site
Musicians testing sound board at early Red Rocks site
Summer of Stars Circa 1906
In the years between 1906-1910, Red Rocks Amphitheatre hosted its first set of concerts on what would become its iconic stage. The only rock you would have found during these early Red Rocks events would have been the rocks themselves, as these were chamber orchestra concerts.
Readers should also take note of the stage, which is little more than a few boards laid down on the rocks. What old Red Rocks lacked in stagecraft, it made up for in something that modern audiences would certainly love. Back then, a tram hauled concertgoers from the stage to the top of the park.
If you’re interested in seeing Wow Photo Wednesday every week, be sure to like the Western History & Genealogy Facebook page or check out Denverlibrary.org.