Throwback Thursday: Transit Helps Change Downtown
Downtown Denver in 1976. The D&F Tower is near the center. Photo: Nick DeWolf/Flickr
Throwback Thursday for May 16, 2013 takes us back 37 years to when downtown Denver looked like a gigantic parking lot. Well, there were actually several of them as you can see in the picture above from 1976. That's the D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe near the center of the photo.
Surface parking lots covered the landscape. The changes that have happened to the downtown Denver landscape since then recently caught the attention of a national urban planning blog, dc.streetsblog.org.
Downtown Denver 2012. The D&F Tower is near the top of the photo
It was an inefficient use of land from an economic standpoint and it wasn't very attractive either.
Urban renewal projects during the 1960s and 70s paved the way for the lots in the 1976 photo. "The urban renewal authority would just come in and bulldoze dozens of blocks as a slum clearance program," said Ken Schroeppel, of the blogs Denver Urbanism and Denver Infill.
How did Denver fix the problem? Additional public transportation choices such as light rail into downtown and the free 16th Street Mall shuttle made it so people don't have to bring their cars downtown. Zoning and regulations limiting surface parking lots also make a difference. See the photo below. The D&F Tower is at the top of the picture. Read More>>>