Colorado Treasures: How downtown Denver's Larimer Square went from skid row to a must see

Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 21:10:36-05

DENVER -- Larimer Square is one of Denver's most visited spots. It's just as popular with locals as it is tourists. The city block is full of fine dining, unique shopping and an awesome night life.

Historical buildings cast shadows on the street below. Denver's first post office was there, as was one of the city's first banks.

Those very buildings were on the verge of disappearing in the 1950s and 1960s as Larimer Street was considered skid row. A lot of the city's homeless set up camp there and city leaders were ready to revitalize the area -- they wanted to bulldoze history.

The buildings along Larimer Street are examples of the late 1800s. They still stand today thanks to one woman: Dana Crawford.

"I had a vision for the future," said Crawford.

She teamed up with investors and bought most of the historical buildings.

"We took an historic preservation approach to the buildings to bring them back to their original great good looks." she said.

That was the beginning of Larimer's rebirth. It has grown and evolved over the past 50 years. 

Jeff Hermanson with Larimer Associates runs everything now. He says each space is unique in its own way, but all the same too.

"It starts with a commitment, a vision and a willingness to make the investment," said Hermanson.

Larimer Street now has the largest number of celebrity chefs in one block than anywhere else in the country. You'll find unique shops at every corner. At night, locals and tourists alike come out for drinks and fun.

"Larimer is not a coupon clipper. You can't just be passive," said Hermanson on keeping Larimer current.

Denver's love affair with a single city block goes on as the great city of Denver makes strides into the future.


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