Reader: I Miss the Old Denver. It Had Character!

Thanks for the mammaries: Many Denverites remember Sid King's.
Thanks for the mammaries: Many Denverites remember Sid King's.
Charlie Salzman
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Longtime Denver historian Phil Goodstein started working on a book called Lost Denver back in 2014, but he and his publisher had a falling-out over what was actually lost in Denver. So Goodstein moved on to another project before he decided to dive back into the Lost Denver idea.

The result is The Denver That Is No More: The Story of the City’s Demolished Landmarks, which was just released. As always, Goodstein hopes that the history he writes will help shape the present and future of this place. “The argument I give — and I’ve used it so much it’s a cliché: 'Grasping the past, we can understand the present,'" he says. "If we can understand the present, we can shape our future."

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post about The Denver That Is No More, readers have plenty to say about Denver's present...and Goodstein's take. Says Michael:

What’s worse, looking forward with rose-tinted glasses or behind? Of course we miss certain aspects of Denver, five, ten, twenty-plus years ago, but anyone who has been around for a while knows Denver has improved and grown up in many respects also — kind of like many of its citizens. Denver, while more expensive and crowded than ever, is still one of the most livable cities in this country. And that's why folks are still moving here and why Colorado picked up a congressional seat.

Counters Melody:

I miss the old Denver. It had character, as opposed to the unrestrained, over-developed no-character cityscape we have now, thanks to Hancock and those developers who have him in their pockets. Thank goodness for East Colfax. Without it, I'm not sure I'd know where I am anymore.

Replies Nick:

You think Hancock started it? Why is it that people are so afraid of progress? The city has people moving here, which increases tax revenue, services, etc. So why is this a bad thing? Coloradans are so afraid of change and want to scream “native” from the rooftops.

Responds Naomi:

Yep, she's gone, my Queen city.

Adds Jayce:

I mean, this guy's insinuation that things used to be more fair and just in the nineteenth century is laughable. The idea that big business is erasing our history because "progress" is the same as "profits" is obviously false. Making money has nothing to do with making life better for people...just ask a plantation owner.

Comments Philly:

I miss street hockey, meeting other kids and snowboarding hills. Now it’s like you're utterly alone in this city at times. Whatever, I still love Denver.

Notes Preston:

Isn't every city one which has changed from what it once was? I get it, I am also nostalgic for my past and what I once knew, but change is inevitable. However, the kinds of changes that occur are something which we can try to have say in.

What do you think of Denver today? What have we lost? What kind of changes would you like to see? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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