Discover Denver: Project aims to document every building in the city and the stories behind them

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 20:55:48-04

DENVER – Denver has a rich history and much of it can be told through the city’s buildings.

That’s the idea behind Discover Denver – a partnership between the city and the nonprofit Historic Denver – that aims to catalog Denver’s buildings and the stories behind them.

“We want to document every building in the city,” spokeswoman Andrea Burns said of the project.

Discover Denver sends teams of volunteers out into the city, one neighborhood at a time, armed with tablets and special software they use to photograph buildings and take note of their architectural features.

Before surveying a neighborhood, organizers also invite neighbors to gather and share any photos, documents or stories they have that can add to the historical record.

The project has been going on for several years already, and the discoveries made so far highlight that even the most unassuming houses bear fascinating tales of the city’s past, as people from across the country and beyond came to Denver looking for work.

Organizers hope Discover Denver will give the city’s residents a better understanding of their community and its rich heritage.

“[It’s about] fostering community pride in our collective history,” Burns said.

Burns estimates it will take about 10 years to complete the survey. The team is currently in the Virginia Village area and hopes to be finished there by June. From there, volunteers will move on to the City Park West neighborhood.

How can I get involved?

Burns said organizers would love to have more people visit the project’s website and share stories, memories and photos of buildings around town.

In addition, the project is always looking for more volunteers to go out in the field and help document buildings. Though many of the volunteers have some kind of background in city planning or historic preservation, professional training isn’t really necessary, Burns said.

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