Lower Downtown, or LoDo as it is commonly referred to, is located in the area where Denver was founded in 1858 by General William Larimer. The boundaries are basically Larimer to Wynkoop, Speer Boulevard / 14th to 20th. Redolent with history, this neighborhood of three and four story red brick buildings was built on the site of Denver’s first Gold Rush settlement. Many locals have been working and playing in LoDo prior to its resurgence when the only bars were The Cruise Room, The Wazee Supper Club and Billabongs. Coors Field was just a Field of Dreams. But times have changed and the Rockies were the 2007 National League Champions! What a transformation and what a Rocktober that was in Denver! Today, LoDo is a vibrant 25-block urban neighborhood, shopping, dining, entertainment and tourist destination.
Lower Downtown was a bustling commercial area during Denver’s early years. However, much of Denver’s industrial economy shifted away from Lower Downtown after World War II, and almost one-fifth of the buildings in the area were demolished in the 1960s and 1970s. In order to preserve Denver’s historic legacy, Denver City Council created the Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988. The historic district designation introduced zoning ordinances that limited building heights, preserved dozens of buildings from the wrecking ball, and instituted strict guidelines for building rehabilitation and new construction.
Today, LoDo is a neighborhood of approximately 2200 residents with lots of entertainment options. Art galleries, dozens of restaurants, brewpubs, clubs, live music spots and specialty retail stores line the ground floors of historic buildings. LoDo loft residents enjoy proximity to outdoor parks, including the Cherry Creek bike path, the 16th Street Mall, The Pepsi Center, and the recently completed 30-acre Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley. Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, anchors the neighborhood at 20th and Blake Street. Wynkoop Street is home to historic Denver Union Station, the Tattered Cover bookstore, and the Wynkoop Brewing Co., Denver’s first brewpub (and the country’s largest) that opened in 1988.