Downtown Denver – The 16th Street Mall

Denver, Colorado.

In last week’s Travel Tuesday, we visited the Colorado State Capitol with our photographer friend, Fred Mast. As I noted in last week’s post, we used the city’s mass transit rail system to go from Littleton area to downtown. At the southern end of the mall, the Denver City and County Office Building and the Capitol Building anchor the Civic Center Park. Our train stopped, though, near the northern end of the mall a short distance from Union Station.

Near the commuter train station, a building leads to an underground walkway that goes to Union Station. We could have got on one of the red buses like the one in the image above that travel the mall to head directly to the Capitol from there, but we chose to go to Union Station first.

Union Station is a beautifully built building in the classical style of those early passenger rail terminals. In those arches on the upper right of the image above, you can view part of the Crawford Hotel that shares the space. The Great Hall is the core of the rail terminal, hotel, and a collection of shops and restaurants.

We headed out the southern entrance and then walked a couple blocks where we picked up one of the free shuttles to the south end where we completed our Capitol Building visit. In case you missed that post, you can check it out here.

Once our tour was completed, we walked across Civic Center Park and visited the Voorhies Memorial, erected in 1921, the memorial is named for local banker, John Voorhies, and anchors the north end of the park. The gateway to the Civic Center Park from the downtown neighborhoods was under some renovation on the day we were there, as evidenced by the red caution tapes in the image. On the south end of the park, the Greek Theater is an open air theater that can seat 1200 people.

Anchoring the park on the west, the Denver City and County Building completes the western edge of Civic Center Park. Though the building was envisioned in the 1917 master plan for the park, it took 39 architects to design the building and construction didn’t begin until the mid-1920s. The final cornerstone was set in 1932 ending a 30-year process to complete the civic center park.

After our visit to the Capitol and the park, it was time to head back to the main part of the mall to find a place for lunch. On our walk, we passed by the Pioneer Monument and many of the 42 bars and restaurants and chose to have lunch at the Yard House. After a leisurely lunch, we headed back toward the metro station.

Our last stop was at the Money Museum. Housed in the Federal Reserve Bank building, the small museum features exhibits about money and the operation of the Federal Reserve Bank. A future Travel Tuesday features images captured at the museum which is focused on younger visitors. After leaving the museum, we hopped on a shuttle to complete the trip and head back south toward Littleton and Fred’s house in Highlands Ranch. I submit for your review a gallery of images captured on our walk through Downtown Denver. In most browsers, you can click on an image to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.

John Steiner


4 thoughts on “Downtown Denver – The 16th Street Mall

  1. It’s cool how beautiful and ornate old train stations are… I was once struck by the old school and beautiful grand central. The sheer lack of corporate signage or shops, a throw back to a much older time.

    • Union Station in Washington DC is one of my favorite stops during my annual trip there. It is usually the stop where we get on the metro to head back to the hotel. It is just a short walk from the Senate office buildings.

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