Denver, CO

Denver’s historic Larimer Square celebrates 57 years

Margaret Jackson

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(Courtesy of Larimer Square)

By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Internationally renowned preservationist Dana Crawford saved Larimer Square from the wrecking ball 57 years ago, and Denver’s most historic block is ready to celebrate with a birthday party from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The schedule of events includes:

  • 4 to 6 p.m., Something Vinyl Club, Colorado’s collective of all-vinyl DJs
  • 6 to 8 p.m., a special performance by DJ Bella Scratch
  • 5 to 8 p.m., free historical walking tours every 30 minutes by Tell Me More Tours

Be sure to register for the walking tours, which are limited to 15 people per group.

The first 60 attendees will be offered free Larimer Square screen-printed tote bags from Ink & Drink with two free tickets to Comedy Works. Attendees can purchase additional Larimer Square merchandise once the 60 totes sell out.

Captain Crepes will serve savory crepes in front of the Taste of France vinyl mural, with the first 250 crepes free to those attending.

Crawford, who fell in love with Boston’s array of historic buildings while attending Radcliffe College (now part of Harvard University), arrived in Denver in 1954 and began searching for a place where people could gather for socializing, dining and shopping.

In 1963, she found the perfect spot on Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets — the heart of what was then Denver’s skid row.

The block had been home to Denver's first bank, its first book store, dry goods store, and photographer. The original City Hall, torn down in the 1940s, had been on the corner of 15th and Larimer.

Crawford populated the block with national tenants like Ann Taylor, Talbots, Laura Ashley, and Williams-Sonoma. She also started various events, such as Oktoberfest and an oyster-eating contest.

Larimer Square became Denver’s first historic district in 1971.

Crawford sold the block to real estate investment trust TrizecHahn in 1986. Jeff Hermanson purchased the property in 1993 and sold it to current owner Asana Partners in 2020.

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