A walk around Denver

Colorado State Capitol and Civic Center Park

We found Denver to be a compact and walkable city. As our guidebook included a walking route which ended up at the State Capitol, very close to our B&B, we set off to do it in reverse.

The Capitol (1890s) wasn’t looking its very best with a bit of scaffolding round about, but we could still admire the ornate golden dome (1908) – 200 ounces of gold leaf went into that to celebrate the Colorado Gold Rush. Denver is also known as Mile High City and the 13th step up to the Capitol marks the exact point where that becomes true.

Across the road Is Civic Center Park. I liked the idea of using part of it to grow produce for food-banks.

Two Old West sculptures sit in the park, both by Alexander Phimister Proctor: Bronco Buster (1920) and On the War Trail (1922). Apparently, the model for the cowboy was arrested for murder before the statue was finished, but Proctor insisted that he should be allowed to continue posing for as long as he needed him.

To one side of the park are the public library and Denver Art Museum (DAM), both interesting buildings. The latter has one of the largest Native American art collections in the USA, which I can easily believe as we spent hours in there (including having lunch in their very fine restaurant, Palettes). Unfortunately, even though I still have the floor plan, I have not been able to caption much in the gallery below. I remember being fascinated by the video about creating the woman sitting with several infants between her legs, and could have told you its significance at the time, but now? No idea! That will teach me to leave things six months before writing them up.

Back on the street, we found plenty more art including this  40-foot-tall blue bear peeking through the window of the Convention Center (I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent) and Jonathan Borofsky’s Dancers, two giant white figures prancing towards the Performing Arts Complex.

Our next stop was the Tattered Cover Book Store where we took the weight off our feet over a coffee. Friends had told us about this place: it was huge when they visited, but competition from Amazon and the like has reduced it to one floor. The little scene on the stairs commemorates Charlie Shugarts (1918-2007), Friend of Tattered Cover.

Our route then took us down Cherry Creek to the South Platte River. Here, in Commons Park, we found the sculptures below. I think, checking online, that these were temporary, part of an exhibition of nine sculptures by Jorge Marín called Wings of the City. I also realise I should have stood between the giant wings before John took the photo. Well, he knows I’m an angel anyway 😉

Just beyond Commons Park is the dramatic Millennium Bridge which marks the beginning of the walking tour – or, in our case, the end. We were tired after being on our feet all day and decided, rather than going back to the B&B to come out again for dinner, we would eat earlier than normal so that we could go home to relax.

This also meant we could re-admire by night some of the buildings we had walked past earlier in the day, such as this one – the Daniels and Fisher Tower. Modelled after St Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice, it originally formed part of a department store, long since demolished. Since the 1980s it has been residential and office space. Wow, I’d love to live there!

Our vacation was rapidly drawing to a close – but the next day was a highlight: a meeting with a fellow blogger. Who could that be? More soon!


70 thoughts on “A walk around Denver

  1. nomad, interrupted October 17, 2017 / 14:01

    I haven’t been to Denver in many years, and when I did go, I think I just drove through. I’d love to go back especially after seeing all the art and wonderful buildings. I love the State Capitol, despite its scaffolding, and the Denver Public Library and Art Museum. Do you take notes when you go on a guided tour? I often think I should because I can never remember all the interesting stories told by the guide. It looks like a fabulous walk. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh October 17, 2017 / 15:07

      This wasn’t a guided tour, this was just us wandering ourselves, but I don’t normally take notes. Well, only if I’m on a tour where I think I could pinch some of the info for my own tours!


  2. Elaine - I used to be indecisive April 11, 2017 / 10:11

    Thanks for this tour. I suspected that Denver might be a really interesting place. 🙂 We flew in, hired a car, and drove out to the ski resorts without any chance to explore the town.


    • Anabel Marsh April 11, 2017 / 10:47

      We sometimes do that with cities we arrive and depart from but Denver definitely looked worth a few days and we loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo April 11, 2017 / 08:06

    A grand looking city with a heart, Anabel! Or do I mean a social conscience? 🙂 🙂 That’s a great idea- the veg plot.


  4. Ellen April 9, 2017 / 17:03

    I have to say Denver has never been on my list of places I really want to see, but your post has changed that. It looks like a really interesting city with lots on offer.


    • Anabel Marsh April 9, 2017 / 18:01

      Thanks Ellen, we really liked it. We chose it for its location, near the mountains, so didn’t have much idea about the city itself beforehand. We were very glad we went though!


  5. Marcia Strykowski April 8, 2017 / 22:47

    Your pictures are wonderful, Anabel–such great art and architecture. I’ve never been to Denver, but will have to add it to my list!


  6. Irene April 8, 2017 / 00:16

    I lived in Denver for nine glorious months and loved the various sculptures and architecture. I actually worked for Denver Public Schools. North, South, East, and West High Schools were built using four different architectural styles, which I loved. Just found your blog, so I need to go explore your explorations.


    • Anabel Marsh April 8, 2017 / 07:56

      I imagine it must be a lovely place to live. Thank you for visiting!


  7. susan@onesmallwalk April 7, 2017 / 15:56

    Anabel – just catching up on your American adventures. What lovely photos – especially the one of you on the bench. Looks like a great visit. – Susan


    • Anabel Marsh April 7, 2017 / 17:26

      Thank you, Susan! Hope all is well with you – I’ve noticed you’ve not been around for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      • susan@onesmallwalk April 9, 2017 / 00:23

        Anabel – I am so pleased you noticed! It’s taking me a while to catch up on all my favorite writers 🙂 – we were out and about in South East Asia for a bit. Wonderful trip, but what a long-haul flight!


  8. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) April 5, 2017 / 18:59

    There’s something about state capitol buildings that I really like (maybe because so many of them are Victorian?), and Denver’s is no exception.The golden dome looks very grand. I love the red dinosaur too! 🙂


  9. BeckyB April 5, 2017 / 10:27

    I’ve only ever travelled through Denver, never stopped. So I have only seen the railway station and the inside of the airport. Clearly I need to rectify that!


  10. Green Global Trek April 5, 2017 / 03:15

    Thanks for sharing these terrific sculptures and art installations. We spent some brief time in Denver en route to Boulder where our oldest son went to University. Loved the proximity of the city to mountains etc but sadly did not have time for museums etc. so thanks for the tour!


    • Anabel Marsh April 5, 2017 / 06:39

      I think Boulder would be a really lovely place to study!


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