2016 Docent Resources
LoDo Walking Tour Training Materials
Hello 2016 Historic Denver Docents! This page has been created to host your reading assignments, post presentations from class and share additional information that may be helpful when giving the LoDo Walking Tour!
DAY 1 - Denver History
to read "Gold" in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
to read "Native Americans" in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
to read "Town Building" in Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
to view and print photographs of the buildings on the LoDo Walking Tour.
Lower Downtown Historic District
The general boundaries of the district are Cherry Creek, 20th Street, Wynkoop and the alley between Market and Larimer Streets. Deviations are:
- At 19th and Wynkoop the boundary jog southeast to Wazee and then continues to 20th (Littleton Creamery is not in the LoDo Historic District)
- At 16th and Wynkoop the boundary jogs northwest to Wewatta and continues to Cherry Creek
- At 14th and the alley between Market and Larimer the boundary jogs southeast ½ block to Larimer and continues to Cherry Creek
NOT included within the boundaries of the Historic District are Union Station, Littleton Creamery,the Union Pacific Freight House, the entrance plaza to Coors Field with the “ball arch” and the adjacent parking lot.
to view the Historic Landmark map for the City and County of Denver.
to view the presentation on Historic Denver History and Programs.
to view the Power Point presentation on LoDo History, presented by Barb Gibson
List of Books to read as other sources (optional):
• Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis
, Stephen J. Leonard and Thomas J. Noel: This is the book where several readings are from and uploaded on the docent website
• Denver: The City Beautiful and Its Architects
, 1893-1941, Thomas J. Noel and Barbara S. Norgren
• The Lower Downtown Historic District
, Barbara Gibson, Historic Denver Guides: This book will be provided to you through the docent website toward the end of the training
LoDo - Denver's Lower Downtown Success Story, Click HERE. Source: Denver Public Library
of Various books/references to prepare your tour.
To download the Tour Stop Manual, click HERE.
DAY 2 - Architecture
Click HERE to read Chapter 7 in The Good Guide: A Source book for Interpreters, Docents, and Tour Guides
Click HERE to read an excerpt from How to be a Tour Guide: The essential training manual for Tour Managers and Tour Guides. Author: Nick Manning
Click HERE to read an excerpt from Personal Interpretation: Connecting Your Audience to Heritage Resources. Author: Lisa Brochu & Tim Merriman
Click HERE to download the HD Walking Tour Introduction Guidelines. Work on your theme, what story do you want to tell throughout the tour you will lead? How will you connect all the buildings through this overall theme?
Click HERE to download the schedule for the groups and stops for which you will be assigned to present on Saturday February 13th, 27th, and March 5th. (THIS SCHEDULE IS THE UPDATED VERSION!)
Click HERE to download an extra copy of "How to Read a Building" form
"How to Read a Building" forms filled out by You! Click HERE for the first packet of forms and HERE for the second packet. And one more, which is Jodell's sheet on J.S. Brown Mercantile.
Power Point presentations on Architecture from class:
Architectural Styles & Terms in LoDo
Everyday Architecture (Guest Speaker: Tom Sanders)
Mentioned in Tom’s presentation is the list of Colorado Architects. Click HERE to view this document
PDFs of Application Forms for the National Register of Historic Places:
Crocker Cracker Factory
Denver City Railway Company Building
Denver Union Station
General Electric Building
J.S. Brown Mercantile Building (Wynkoop Brewery)
Littleton Creamery (It took months for the ice to melt when it was being renovated first into the design center and later renovated into residences. Renovations began in 1984 and began leasing space in 1986)
Wazee Exchange Building: This is the oldest building on our tour route, constructed in 1871. Here is a good place to highlight a few items:
1) Juxtapose the 1871 building with the 1995 Coors Field -- compare and contrast (there is a 124 year difference between these two buildings)
2)This building could only have been constructed if the Railroads were coming through Denver:
It has a Steel frame Structure, which you know from the large panes of glass on the first floor of the front facade, because there is little structure or brick between each window pane. These large steel structural materials were delivered by train.
Also, the pressed metal cornice piece that adorns the top of this building was not made locally, but was made in Brooklyn, New York and was delivered out here by train in large sections and put together on site. The pressed metal is mainly composed of steel with zinc or tin added to the alloy to make the metal more malleable.
Here is the company that did the current restoration work to bring the Wazee Exchange back to its historical state, click HERE.
Information on Pressed Metal:
Diane Travis’s explaination of Pressed Metal used on buildings:
The metal panels are mostly steel with zinc added to the alloy to make the metal more malleable. This flexibility meant that the thin sheet of metal would not split as it was pressed into the mold to form the decorative pattern. The added benefit of the zinc in the mix also made the metal resistant to rust. People refer to pressed metal cornices and pressed metal ceiling panels as “tin work”. In actuality, the panels were primarily steel with a thin coating of tin or zinc.
Here is an article on tin ceiling panels (similar to tin cornices) online, from This Old House Journal, Jan/Feb 2015 edition, which can be found HERE.
When was the viaduct along 16th street removed?
The 16th Street viaduct was built between 1881 and 1889. Prior to 1992 the 16th viaduct carried nearly all of the local and express buses coming from the west and northwest. The viaduct was falling apart. In about 1988 Paula Woodward did a story on her TV news show about the fact that pieces of the bridge were falling off when buses and large trucks drove on the viaduct. RTD hired a bridge engineer to check the bridge monthly and certify that it was operational.
In 1990, RTD started building the I-25 bus lanes which included a direct ramp from I-25 to the river side of DUS. RTD, Trillium, and the City also started preparing the development plan for the river side of DUS - the Central Platte Valley. As the plan developed, the City rebuilt 15th Street with an underpass under the mainline tracks and RTD completed the direct ramp from I-25. The local buses began using 15th and the express buses started using the direct ramp. At that point, the 16th viaduct came down to clear the way for the 16th Street Mall to be extended.
Click HERE to view a photograph of the old viaduct in front of Bartelds.
Otis Elevator at Sugar Building
The Otis Elevator Company officials believe these elevators to be the only ones of this vintage still in operation in Colorado and possibly west of the Mississippi. According to the National Register Nomination form there are 2 still operating, a passenger one and a freight one. I only know of the passenger one that is still working today.
Click HERE for Historic Resources of Downtown Denver, National Register form
Digital Library where you can find historic photographs:
New Construction within Historic Districts Information
The LoDo Historic District was established in 1988, so anything built before then had no regulations. Also at the beginning of the established historic district, sometimes decisions were made that would not be made today. Regulations of the Historic District has also evolved over time.
1860 Blake Street Parcel information (Crocker Cracker Building lot)
Red House articles:
Olson Kundig - architectural firm's page
New York Times article on this house.
Ice House Lofts:
A loft at 2,493 Square Feet is going for $890,000. It includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, outdoor terrace, and rights to 1,000 sq. feet of the roof top space. Click HERE to see the site listing.
Video through unit 202 (not the one mentioned above).
Littleton Creamery/Ice House Building Dates:
1903 – original structure at the corner of 18th and Wynkoop; a five story heavy timber framing structure with basement
1912 – second building - five story structure was added to the NE side, made of a steel framed structure with concrete slabs and brick exterior walls
1916 – third building – concrete structure with reinforced concrete frame and concrete slab with brick exterior walls
1917 – three floor addition to the central structure (1912 structure), for cold storage
Source: National Register Nomination Form posted above.
Design Guidelines for Lower Downtown Historic District (this was an early attempt to manage development in LoDo; but was not strong enough so the Historic District designation was signed into action by city council)
LoDo Historic District National Register Form, 1988, click HERE.
Take a look at the art and history of the Oxford Hotel, click HERE.
Historic Denver's Historic Structures Assessment of DUS' terra cotta.
DAY 3 - Becoming an HD Docent
to read “A Spiderweb of Steel,” in Denver Mining Camp to Metropolis
Tour Guiding 101
Historic Preservation in Denver.
to download the Theme Building Worksheet. Please complete this worksheet before February 27th
. This will help you to establish an underlying theme for your tour, while you continue to work on your presentations.
Biography of Charles Boettcher
to read a history of Charles Boettcher and the Boettcher Foundation.
Click on the names below to learn more about the architect's featured on our tour
Sign at Denver Union Station
Here is an article
from the Rocky Mountain News dated June 11th, 1953 stating that the sign at Denver Union Station once alternated between “Travel by Train” and “Ship by Train.”
Fun Preservation Links:
Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation: A Report to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, November 2011
PlaceEconomics, Donovan Rypkema: http://www.placeeconomics.com/
“Good News in Tough Times: Historic Preservation and the Georgia Economy,” prepared for Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; prepared by PlaceEconomics in 2010)
“The Economic Power of Heritage and Place: How Historic Preservation is Building a Sustainable Future in Colorado” http://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/OAHP/crforms_edumat/pdfs/1620_EconomicBenefitsReport.pdf
Windsor Farm Dairy building Photo
, 1910-1920? Building with no first floor windows on the left and right sides
Windsor Farm Dairy building Photo
with president of the Windsor Farm Dairy, 1900-1920(?)
This photograph shows windows on the first floor, but if you study the image this section may be the original central section of the building in the first photo and what we see today. The left and right portion of the building that you can see in the first photo and today may have been built after the central portion. You can see another, shorter building on the right that is not there today.
on the Ice House/Littleton Creamery.
Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Skyline Renewal project forum: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=207698
(This forum has great information about the transformation that Central Business District of Downtown went through and some great images)
: If you look at National Register nomination form for Lower Downtown Historic District you will see that Beebe & Runyan furniture Co had a warehouse in this building. In this other document
(take it with a grain of salt because it is someone's personal history), gives details on page 11 about Beebe & Runyan Co. opening a warehouse in 1971 and closing in 1985.
DAY 4 – Denver, the Railroad, and Building Materials
to read “Reinventing Downtown,” in Changing Places – THIS IS A REQUIRED READING ASSIGNMENT, page 178-200.
It is essential to understand Lower Downtown and how it developed over the year, as well as the revitalization efforts to make it what it is today.
PowerPoint presentation by Diane Travis, “Denver’s Building Materials and Methods 1860 – 1940
Remember the top three building materials used in Denver are: #1 brick, #2 sandstone, #3 rhyolite
for a copy of the “Compare & Contrast” worksheet.
This website has some good Tips for Tour Guides: http://www.beoo.com/tips/how-to-be-a-good-tour-guide
for a pdf presentation on “How to be a Storyteller.”
to view a great photograph of what Wynkoop Street taken between 1920 and 1935. The photograph shows streetcars lined up on Wynkoop Street in front of Denver Union Station.
Question: Is there a building height limit in LoDo? I took a tour in DC last week and learned that the baseball field was lowered 46 feet so the ball park would not exceed the height limit. Did the Rockies have to lower Coors Field?
Yes, there is a height limit in LoDo. The Lower Downtown Historic District has a height limit first and foremost because it is a historic district. The fact that the area is a historic district takes precedence over zoning. Though, most of LoDo is zoned D-LD, which is Downtown-Lower Downtown. This zoning restricts height of buildings to 55-85 feet in Lower Downtown and Larimer Square.
You can see the zoning throughout the entire city on this interactive map, HERE
Here is an excerpt from the Zoning Context:
Description of District
The district is intended to provide for and encourage the preservation and vitality of older areas that are significant because of their architectural, historical and economic value. A variety of land uses will be permitted in order to facilitate the reuse of existing structures without jeopardizing or reducing zoning standards promoting the public safety, convenience, health, general welfare and the preservation of the comprehensive plan. New residential development is encouraged. The design of new structures should recognize the style and character of adjoining building exteriors, i.e., cornice lines and building materials and colors should be similar wherever possible.
As for Coors Field, it is not in the Lower Downtown Historic District so it did not have to be lowered because of Design Review in a Historic District. However, planners at the time did decide to restrict the height of the stadium to preserve mountain views and because the stadium is attached to a historic warehouse. In fact, the field at Coors Field is located 21 feet below street level.
to learn a bit about Coors Field.
, the creators of the movie Denver Union Station: Portal to Progress
A good book to use as a resource: Denver: The City Beautiful and its Architect
, by Thomas Noel and Barbara Norgren.
Can be found at the Denver Public Library.
Additional Building Information:
Merchandise Mart: This scan
is from the Historic Denver guidebook, The Lower Downtown Historic District, by Barbara Gibson
Crocker Cracker Factory
: When was the Crocker Cracker Factory actually built.
: There is a discrepancy in construction dates, but if you read in the materials there was a fire in the building in 1885 and then much of the interior was rebuilt. My instincts point to that the building was built before 1885, so perhaps the 1881 date is correct for the initial construction. Then the second date of importance is 1885 for the rebuilding of the structure.
Note: You do not need to say the exact date for every single building. When there is confusion in the original construction dates like this one you may say something like "The Crocker Cracker Factory was constructed in the 1880s"
Good article on LoDo: https://history.denverlibrary.org/lodo-denvers-lower-downtown-success-story
As we all know, Denver Union Station went through a huge transformation. You can check out these resources for more information about the work.
Fun article on Denver Union Station, and other great Amtrak Train Stations in America! http://www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/DEN
A Denver Post article on Union Station right before it was reopened after its most recent restoration. http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_25997081/union-station-gets-major-makeover-133-years-after
One of our former Docents, Larry Ralston, did a presentation in the past on the Railroad in Denver, and these documents are from his research and presentations.
Rail yard History
William J Palmer timeline
Ghost Signs of Denver:
Look at these two links for Ghost Signs around Denver. Some of these are not in LoDo, but we do have quite a bit of concentrated Ghost Signs along our tour.
of signs around Colorado
DAY 5 – LoDo Through the Years
Historic Denver Projects in LoDo
to view the PowerPoint presentation on projects in LoDo that Historic Denver has managed.
Tours and Ticketing & What’s Next?
to view the PowerPoint presentation on Tours and Ticketing & What’s Next?
to view Larry Nelson's presentation on LoDo Through the Years.
Development in Denver
Do you ever wonder about all the construction taking place around Denver Union Station? The Denver Infill Blog
features constant updates
Additional Research on buildings, click HERE
Intermediate Cornice vs. String Course visual, click HERE
To understand some of the topics we will be looking for during certification, please click HERE
For the Certification Evaluation form, click HERE
Certification Schedule for LoDo tour:
Shannon and/or Seasoned Docents will be certifying docents-in-training for LoDo at
11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the following days:
Monday, April 11
Tuesday, April 12
Wednesday, April 13
Thursday, April 14
Friday, April 15
Saturday, April 16
Monday, April 18 < ADDED
Tuesday, April 19
Wednesday, April 20 << CANCELLED
Thursday, April 21
This will be first come first serve, so email ASAP if you have a limited schedule. Please email Shannon with the day and time that works best for you no later than March 18th.
Miscellaneous Important Information
2016 Denver Events schedule that may affect your tour, please click HERE
Download an app to locate AED (Automated External Defibrillator) locations near you. You do not need to do this, but it was a question asked by the 2015 docent class and I wanted to provide it to you too. http://www.firstaidcorps.org/locate-aeds-near-you/
One still must pay even if an ambulance is called on their behalf. Also if they refuse to go to the hospital, they must pay for the ambulance.
See F&Q's about ambulance services on the site above.
to view Diane Travis’ map of LoDo Walking Tour.
to see VISIT Denver's website. VISIT Denver Address: 1575 California St, Denver, CO 80202. We advertise with Visit Denver, and they have our Walking Tour Rack Cards at their locations around town.
Boundaries for Lower Downtown Historic District are roughly from Speer Blvd, 20th St, Wewatta St. to the alley between Market and Larimer St. See city district map: