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Denver’s First Block

By Linda Tancs

Denver, Colorado, was officially chartered in 1861, and Larimer Street (named after the city’s founder) became the city’s first street. Historically preserved for 51 years now, the site saw its fortunes fall with the crash of silver and rise again during Prohibition as host of the city’s hottest speakeasy. The luster quickly faded when the old street became skid row amidst rising development in other parts of the city following World War II. Community activism resulted in restoration beginning with the 1400 block of Larimer Street, now known as Larimer Square. Located in historic Lower Downtown (LoDo), the tony locale now boasts a lively mix of restaurants, clubs and shops. Its oldest retailer, Gusterman Silversmiths, is still a treasured tenant.

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