And our guess is it smelled bad...
1800 Larimer
After the oil crash of the 1980s, it took two decades for new high-rise projects to begin appearing again in downtown Denver — and now that mini building boom is going bust. Given the current economic climes, the few buildings nearing completion could be the last of their type for quite a while. The most promising of the group is 1800 Larimer, a project of Westfield Development. As planned by the Denver architectural firm of RNL Design, the building will rise 22 stories and be topped by a penthouse with a striking butterfly roof. The exterior walls will be distinctive, too, covered in a Mondrian-esque pattern with deep-blue glass panels. But this building isn't just about looking good; it's also been designed to be as "green" as possible, with the plans already LEED-certified. This high-rise should be a stunning addition to the downtown landscape, and since over 70 percent of it has been pre-leased, it's likely to actually get finished.
We weren't the only ones blown away by Killing for Coal: America's Deadliest Labor War, the very first book by Thomas Andrews, an assistant history professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His account of the events surrounding the 1914 Ludlow Massacre — in which the Colorado National Guard stormed a mining colony, resulting in the death of twenty people, including eleven children — was a stunning debut, full of insight into the role of labor and class not just in southern Colorado, but across the country. Andrews's efforts were recently recognized with the Bancroft Prize from Columbia University, the top American history award.
Back in 1908, the Democrats trucked in piles of snow to amuse delegates to the Democratic National Convention. A century later, the best entertainment inspired by the 2008 Democratic National Convention may leave a more permanent legacy. Celebrate 1908 was a two-day, multimedia festival of political and historical flashbacks that brought the issues and arguments of 1908 back to the Tivoli Turnhalle on the Auraria campus in late July. Technically a benefit for Auraria Casa Mayan Heritage, an organization that commemorates the Latino community that centered on the Casa Mayan restaurant, Celebrate 1908 was a true celebration of the people whove contributed to the melting pot of Denver over the past century.
It looks like this fireplace escaped from the family room of some 1970s sitcom in search of a better life, then stopped to grab a smoke (because that's what fireplaces do) at the southeast entrance to Addenbrooke Park. That's not the real story, of course. This park was once home to a pioneering family for more than a century. Patriarch (and geologist) Tom Everitt built the original house, complete with a fireplace incorporating rocks from every state and some foreign countries, as well as Native American artifacts that he found on the property. The City of Lakewood acquired the site in 1987 and tore the house down in 1997, but kept the fireplace as a park centerpiece. After all, home is where the hearth is.
When Channel 2 merged with Channel 31, Ernie Bjorkman got the heave-ho. But he had something that other jettisoned anchors, such as 9News's Bob Kendrick and Channel 31's Steve Kelley, didn't: a great story. Seems Bjorkman had been preparing for life after television by studying to be a veterinary technician — a career transition that landed him in a story in the New York Times and a segment on 20/20. In fact, he received far more national publicity for leaving TV than if he'd stuck around.
Employees at the Rocky Mountain News did not learn that their February 27 issue would be the tabloid's last until around noon on February 26. This didn't give them much time to prepare their swan song, even though months earlier selected staffers had started preparing the 150th-anniversary tribute edition, which they'd hoped to publish on April 23. Somehow, though, the final issue of the almost-150-year-old Rocky managed to capture the paper at its best, from compelling history to excerpts from long-gone columnists to a back page listing the current employees. It's a testament to these journalists' professionalism and dedication that the Rocky went out at the top of its game.
In February, Ms. Malkin returned to Denver to take part in a rally at the State Capitol against President Barack Obama's economic-stimulus bill. To emphasize the amount of pork in the measure, she assembled sloppy pig's-flesh sandwiches for hungry supporters with her bare hands — how hygienic! — in between posing for photos with Swastika Guy, a protester sporting a sign with the Nazi symbol inside the first letter of Obama's last name. She subsequently suggested that Swastika Guy was planted by progressives to embarrass her — but she didn't really need any help.
Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, a conservative from the really old school (think Genghis Khan), currently calls Colorado Springs home. But she ventured north for the DNC, little knowing that her visit to a Re-create 68 protest outside the Denver Mint would lead to a bizarre confrontation with Alex Jones, self-proclaimed leader of the 9/11 truth movement. "Shame on you, you little monster! You little fascist piece of trash!" he shouted, to the disinterest of assembled police and the discomfort of Malkin, who eventually ran away, Jones in hot pursuit. What a perfect couple.
There were many great moments for Denver during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. But we have to admit that none were as deeply memorable and satisfying as the second we were actually able to plop our collective asses into the plastic seats of Invesco Field at Mile High to hear Barack Obama's historic acceptance of the nomination, exactly 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. And it wasn't just because we'd survived an insane, two-mile-long line in the August heat to get into the stadium. It was the realization that, after almost two years of planning, Denver had made it through the gauntlet of security checkpoints, the clogged roadways and the throngs of protesters, and emerged as something new. As Obama stepped onto the stage, the world finally saw the Mile High City we've known all along.

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