| News |

Union Station shindig blows the roof off the depot

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

For a while last night during "A Night in Old Union Station," a swanky fundraising shindig that took over Denver's central depot, the grand old railroad station resembled what it must have been like during its heyday 80 years ago.

Roughly 850 people packed the station's elaborately decorated great hall and balconies, surely the largest number who've congregated there for quite some time. Ladies in flapper dresses danced the jitterbug as men in period hats navigated penny-farthing bicycles through the crowds. Mayor John Hickenlooper gave a speech, as well as prominent figures like hotel magnate Walter Isenberg and everybody's favorite real estate mogul, Evan Makovsky.

Folks dined from an always-full raw bar while filmmakers unveiled a trailer for Denver Union Station: Portal to Progress, a new documentary coming out this February. In the basement,the model trains were chugging at full speed -- though there were some big-boy train toys around, too. Out on the tracks, guests could quaff drinks in two of Philip Anschutz's personal train cars.

It was all to raise money to build a replica of the Mizpah Arch, the 65-foot-high, iconic gateway that once welcomed people arriving to Denver from the station. Since the rebuilding of the arch wasn't funded as part of the ambitious rehabilitation of Union Station into a modern transit hub, the civic group Union Station Advocates decided to take it upon themselves to do so -- and with tickets to the party last night going for $40 to $200, they seemed to get a long way towards their goal.

Much of the credit goes to Advocates co-chair Dana Crawford, the celebrated civic booster who helped revitalize LoDo. Crawford had the idea for the fundraiser more than a year ago, and most people likely thought the ambitious party would be impossible to pull off. If so, these people clearly didn't know Crawford.

With all the energy and excitement packed into the great train hall last night, it wasn't too hard to imagine the station once again becoming a central gateway in a few years' time. And while many people want to see changes they'd like to see in the complicated plan to remake Union Station, it's good to see some of those folks -- Crawford and her colleagues -- willing to put their money where their mouths are.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.