It’s amazing how quickly things have changed. I don’t think anyone would have foreseen to see the world as it is today a month ago. It was surreal to see the once vibrant streets of Broadway, now empty with boarded-up stores and restaurants.
The artists of Denver are fighting back against the doom and the gloom by creating works of art on top of the plywood that now adorns the many buildings on Broadway.
Not all novelty restaurants can be as enduring as Denver’s Casa Bonita restaurant. There have been many beloved restaurants over the years, but unfortunately like many good things their time came to an end.
1. Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine
Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine is probably the restaurant on this list that I am most familiar with. The restaurant overlooked I-25 and downtown Denver from its location on a bluff on the west side of the highway. Growing up my dad would always say something like “There’s Baby Doe’s” when he would pass it on the highway. This would later turn into “There’s where Baby Doe’s used to be” when it was torn down in 2007.
If you venture up towards 11th ave and Bannock St, you’ll come across a walk down memory lane. At 1089 Bannock Street (Rocky Mountain PBS Studio) you will find the remains of Denver’s short-lived TV walk of fame.
I spend a lot of time driving down Colfax Avenue. I love looking at all the different neon signs, murals, and architecture that reside on it. One of my favorite murals is an art nouveau inspired piece. I’ve always wanted to know the artist behind it, so I decided to do a little Google search. To my surprise, I found that the mural was done over an American Beauty Pasta ghost sign that had been defaced.
At the center of the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO lies the old the Fitzsimons Army Hospital or also known as Building 500. These days the old hospital is used for office space for the continuously growing Colorado University (CU) operated campus, but at one time this building served to be one of the most important developments to ever happen to the Denver Metro Area.
The Story of Fitzsimons Army Hospitals past. @wikimedia
The Fitzsimons Army Hospital was the place where President Eisenhower recovered from his heart attack back in 1954, the birthplace of former Secretary of State and Presidential Nominee, John Kerry, and the home to a bustling military community.
This past week, the Aspen born coffee company, Ink! received negative press over a mind boggling sign they displayed at their Five Points location. The sign proudly read “Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014.”, in the historically black neighborhood. Much to no surprise this resulted in the store being vandalized, a protest, and national press. It’s hard to believe that any professional would sit there and think that this was a good idea or maybe they were too busy smoking Colorado’s biggest GDP contributor.
Colorado just lost one of its most influential art icons, Lawrence Argent; the man who is most notably known for creating the giant blue bear that peers inside the Colorado Convention Center. The blue bear oddly enough is the second iconic giant blue statue in Denver. What can I say? We really like giant blue animals in Colorado.
Lawrence Argent was not native to Colorado but was in fact born overseas in Essex, England. He spent most of his childhood years in Australia and came to America after he finished his education. He came to Colorado in 1993 when he landed a teaching job at the School of Art and Art History at the University of Denver. Since that time he has called Colorado home and has made numerous contributions to its art culture.