Auraria Urban Hiking–Where Denver Politics Began
Many folks know Auraria as the home to three college campuses or as the site of the original Denver. But the one common denominator that pulls together this neighborhood would be the rise and fall of political agendas. For this Denver Neighborhood walk, we took on an urban hike through Auraria and discovered a rich history of the wax and wane of Denver.
Founded by two brothers from Auraria, Georgia, who came to Denver and discovered gold on the banks of the Cherry Creek, Auraria sprouted up quickly. It drew the attention of General William Larimer who arrived to town and established the competing town of Denver. Tousling and politicking began. Soon, Auraria gave way to Denver, and Denver became the queen of the Platte River.
With people comes beer, of course. The Tivoli Brewing company established and grew quickly, changing hands many times. After the 1965 flood and employee strike, it closed. Now, it’s the student union building, and brewing has returned to the location.
When the 1965 flood invaded Auraria and destroyed much of the vibrant Hispanic neighborhood, Denver leaders gathered to decide how to renovate and restore the area, ultimately politicking their way to a Higher Education campus to home UC Denver, Metro State, and Community College of Denver. The creation of the campus displaced the remaining Hispanic population and created the 9th Avenue Historic District.
Shortly following the campus designation, Elitch Gardens moved in. Then, not to be outdone by the other large event arenas in the area, the City put in the Pepsi Center in 1999 where Celine Dion opened the venue. Thus by the early 2000s, not much remained of the original neighborhoods and the regional politicking continues. But, the original Hispanic neighborhood lives through the student body. If a student can claim lineage to the original families displaced by the campus, they get free tuition.
A triangle shape of I25, Cherry Creek and West Colfax.
Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.
Like this post? Get a weekly, Denver urban hike suggestion in your mailbox. Click here to subscribe.