Downtown Denver – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

As I stated two blogs ago, my wife and I were in Colorado for the first week of July. We were there to support our daughter by taking care of our granddaughter during the day for mom. Our daughter is in charge of shooting a multi episode show with her production company’s filming crew. Most of the filming was in and around an old historic mining town and it entailed long days for them. She and her husband had just gotten back from Europe and she didn’t want another week of missing her daughter. We gladly said we’d be more than happy to help out and it gave us the opportunity to show our granddaughter our old stomping grounds. We moved from the Denver area 30 years ago this fall to San Diego, so we welcomed the opportunity to spend some time in an area we love.

This weeks post is number 3 of 3 from Colorado. The first week was focused on the Lake Dillon area just west of the continental divide and last week the focus was Loveland Pass which goes over the continental divide. Heading west from Denver when we arrived, we followed Interstate 70 winding through the front range going to the Eisenhower Tunnel (under the continental divide) coming out to the valley with Lake Dillon. Last week found us heading back to the Denver area, but going over Loveland Pass which is the pass above the Eisenhower Tunnel. We thought it would be something our granddaughter would enjoy as it is so different than anything she has experienced (our granddaughter is still talking about the mountain she went to the top of when she was in Colorado). This week features downtown Denver as we spent the last few days of the week in a hotel that was incorporated into the old Union Station during a major remodel in 2014.

My wife and I worked in downtown Denver for a number of years prior to our move to San Diego. We were there during the “oil boom” of the 80’s. The downtown quadrant was a mass of cranes building many of the high-rise buildings you see today and it also saw the opening of the 16th Street Mall in 1982. We found it to be a very vibrant downtown and loved working there. The changes we saw in our time there was incredible, but I must say in the 30 years since then, what has been created and added makes it a very appealing urban center mixing large corporate headquarters with urban residential neighborhoods. Add to that, the inclusion of the major sports arenas (Broncos at Mile High Stadium, Coors Field and Pepsi Center), the Colorado Convention Center, the Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park pulling the downtown experience out to the bike paths/park along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.

The first group of captures feature some of the many high-rise buildings….

Denver 1

…part of the 17th street financial district

Denver 2

Denver 3

I love this capture as it depicts old (Brown Palace Hotel) and new architecture. As you will see in following shots they have done a nice job of incorporating old buildings with the new. As I moved over to the 16th Mall that becomes more apparent and as I moved from the financial district down to the Union Station area.

Denver 4

When this high-rise was built in the 80’s we called it the cash register building due to the shape at the top. This building sits a couple of blocks from the State Capital on Broadway marking the eastern edge of downtown.

Denver 5

Here’s the 16 Street Mall looking westward towards Union Station. The pedestrian/transit mall runs from Broadway (Civic Center Plaza) to Union Station on the western end (1.25 miles/2k). Free shuttle buses run up and down the mall stopping on every block. On either end they go into an underground transit center for commuters to catch other buses to the Park and Rides located throughout the metropolitan area or in the case of the underground transit station under Union Station, you can connect to one of the many light-rail connections serving the metro area.

Notice the mix of architecture with new buildings and rehabbed old buildings.

Denver 6

This is the Daniels & Fisher Tower located along the mall. It was built as part of the Daniels & Fisher Department store and was the tallest building between the Mississippi River and California in 1911 when it was completed. The department store was bought by the May Company and in Denver their department stores were known as May D&F when we lived there.

Denver 7

On either end of the mall the transit lanes are side by side with plaza’s on the side for pedestrian traffic, but the middle of the mall has trees, benches, etc. for pedestrian traffic running down the middle.

Denver 8

When the mall opened in 1982, it only went to Larimer Street (Historic Larimer Square area) which is 4 blocks shy of Union Station. At that time past Larimer was just old warehouses and a plethora of train tracks clear over to the South Platte River.

This is the newly remodeled Union Station which houses The Crawford Hotel as well as being a large transit station. The train tracks I referred to above were removed and replaced with a mixed use development in 2012.

Denver 9

This is a large plaza that connects Union Station with the 16 Street Mall. Notice the mid-rise apts/condos rising behind the station.

Denver 10

Love the architecture that was preserved in the station.

Denver 11

This is the backside of the station where you catch one of the number of light rail connects as well as Amtrak. There is an escalator that connects the bus transit station from underground to the rail station. This place is really hopping during rush hour. Having said that the station is hopping at all hours as it is filled with the hotel, restaurants and bars.

Denver 12

Love the style of the platforms for the different train lines and again, notice the residential buildings in the neighbor west of the station.

Denver 13

I wrap up with a close up shot of one of the platforms and if you look real close you’ll see one of the light rail trains about three platforms over.

Denver 14

We ended our week with this and had a great time in Denver with our granddaughter and daughter. We took her to the Children’s Museum (awesome) and The Denver Botanic Gardens (huge). She loved the mall and the train station as well.

Side Notes:

  1. My daughter asked me to play an extra in the episode they were filming here this week as a hunter in the woods coming across evidence of a missing person and then a scene where I am again in the woods but this time I’m a hand off for a case of uranium from a local mine (all based on a true story that I truly don’t know anything about). Oh baby….Kirt hits the big time!! Whenever this episode airs…I’m sure I’ll mention it!
  2. I am scheduled for total knee replacement surgery 8/8 (40 years of running) and will not be on WordPress for the rest of August. I will ultimately need the other one done, but can’t wait to get going on the worst one. My wife went through this last year, so I’m aware of the fun times ahead….looking forward to being able to hike again!


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44 thoughts on “Downtown Denver – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

  1. Darlene

    Great pictures. I have only been to the Denver airport, which is a good one. The city reminds me somewhat of Calgary with the mix of shiny new highrises and old red brick buildings. But then they are both oil towns. Good luck with the operation. Hubby is recovering from a back operation. Never fun but worth it in the end.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      To your point about Calgary, I’ve always thought of Calgary and Denver as sister cities due to them both being oil towns and both being gateways to the Rockies from the prairie. I’m looking forward to the end result of the knee replacement!!! Thanks for stopping by!! My best to your husband with his recovery!!

  2. Writing to Freedom

    Great tour of Denver with an interesting mix of buildings Kirt. Clearly, you enjoyed living and revisiting the area. I’m sorry I didn’t explore Denver more when I was living there. I hope all goes well with your knee surgery. Be well my friend.

  3. Felipe Adan Lerma

    Wow what a blog post, Kirt! Great images with great info background; didn’t realize Denver was so dynamic. Only driven through it once back in the late 70s. Plus you got to be in a film, so fun! 😊

    My wife had one knee replaced summer of 2012, well worth it! Six year old grandson says she’s half robot 😊 And people vary but you might find being able to write or such after the 2nd week or so; pain and “adjustments” too all encompassing, as you already know, those first few weeks. All the best; we’ll wait for ya!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Glad you enjoyed the post….such a vibrant downtown core! Love it!!! Looking forward to getting through the first few weeks after surgery!! Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. Author Ryan Callahan

    Awesome photos of the city I love! Glad you guys had a great time out here. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the film! I will be praying for you in regards to the surgery. God bless you and the fam!

  5. Jet Eliot

    Really enjoyed this comprehensive look at downtown Denver, Kirt. I was here in 2015 and surprised by so many highrises…a very hoppin’ city. I liked hearing about your time living there and the changes you have witnessed. I especially like the Union Station, inside and out. Great photos. How fun for you to be a movie star! And my warmest wishes for a smooth knee replacement surgery. Great post, thank you.

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks Jet….appreciate the fact you saw it as we did. So cool….
      Thanks for the well wishes on my knee replacement…looking forward to getting it done…thanks for stopping by, much appreciated!

  6. tiffanyarpdaleo

    Love your images of Denver, such a great city! We get over there every couple of years, just wish the airport wasn’t so far away! Everyone I know that has knee replacement surgery has had great success, I hope that for you as well!

  7. Sue Slaght

    Kirt sending very best wishes for your surgery. I had not realized you were in such distress and admire your activity level considering such pain. Congratulations as well on hitting the big time. always good to have connections in the industry!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Lol on my part in her show….was fun!!! Thanks…seems of all the siblings I’m the one who inherited my Dad’s knees and I’m the only one who was a consistent runner for 40 years. Not a good combo but wouldn’t have changed the running!! Both need done so will end up doing the other one some time next year…can’t wait to recoup and get out hiking again! Thanks for the well wishes!!

  8. Teagan R. Geneviene

    Kirt you’ve shown what a lovely city Denver is. Terrific photos. That’s a very interesting side note — kudos to your daughter. Wishing you well with the upcoming surgery — and a speedy recovery. Great big hug!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you very much Teagan. It was a great time for us, our daughter and granddaughter! Thanks for the well wishes….it’s a lengthy rehabilitation process with knee replacement surgery, but well worth it! Take Care!!!

  9. Dan Antion

    Great photos, Kirt. Thanks for including the train station, I love those. I also love a city that finds a way of mixing the old in with the new.

    Best wishes on the surgery.

  10. Diane Henders

    I find it hard to appreciate city highrises, but you got some great shots, Kirt! The Union Station is wonderful – I’m glad they kept the historic references.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your knee – I hope you have a successful surgery and a speedy recovery! 🙂

  11. Annie

    Oh my, I’m sure the city has changed a lot since you lived there. I love it when cities open streets to malls. It’s such a friendly environment that draws folks in.
    Best wishes with your surgery and hope you’ll be on your feet in no time.

  12. denisebushphoto

    You know … I live in Colorado but have only passed through Denver and gone from and to the airport! It’s about 7.5 hours away. I’ll get there one of these days for some city vibes. Thanks for sharing your visit … nice architecture shots!

    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Denise! I was thinking of you when I was taking shots on the prior two posts of the mountains! It was great for us to come back to Denver after leaving so many years ago. For a city of its size…really a very vibrant downtown. Colorado has always had a special place in our hearts!!

  13. Pingback: Black and White Photography – Urban Architecture | thewallgalleryblog

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