Discover Denver, a project attempting to tell the city's history through the stories of significant buildings, launched a new website today replete with an interactive map that gives users the chance to upload stories, photos and documents about the city's varied structures.
The project, funded mostly by a grant from History Colorado’s State Historical Fund, is a partnership between the City and County of Denver and Historic Denver, a group that preserves historic buildings in town, including the Molly Brown House.
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“We invite anyone with a story to tell to share it at discoverdenver.CO,” says Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver, in an announcement of the site. “Maybe a building was owned by your family for generations, or was an important gathering place for your community. We want to capture and catalogue its role in Denver’s history, no matter how big or small.”
Collecting and archiving stories of Denver's buildings is one step toward answering a question that plagues Mayor Michael Hancock's administration and his pro-development agenda: How can the city grow and create new urban projects without erasing history?
The first step, of course, is making sure that history has been chronicled somewhere.
Just because a building's history has been documented does not necessarily mean that the city will ultimately decide that it's significant enough to keep around. Last month, Westword contributor Margaret Jackson reported that Denver City Council had rejected historic designation for Judith Battista’s Jefferson Park home, a Queen Anne-style structure built around the 1880s at 2849 West 23rd Avenue.