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Explore Denver’s Past Today

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More families are moving to the Denver area because of the unbeatable weather, lifestyle and child-friendly activities. But long before this was an emerging metropolis, Denver was a mining town. The Denver Public Library has a wealth of great photos and books in its Western History Collection, but if you want to learn about the city as you walk around some of its more historic locations, Explore LoDo is another option. Explore LoDo is a free mobile app that lets you take a self-guided tour as you discover histories of some of the area’s most unique buildings and sites.

Here are just a few things you can learn using Explore LoDo:

  1. The Elephant Corral on 14th Avenue and Wazee Street was never a corral for elephants. The first structure on this site was built in 1858—the same year Denver was founded. Emigrants watered and fed their livestock, traded their prairie oxen for mountain mules, and bought, sold, and rented four-footed transportation
  2. The Sugar Building at 1555 Blake: What is said to be the oldest working brass open-cage Otis elevator west of the Mississippi is located here. Peek inside the main doors of the Sugar Building to take a look.
  3. The original Wynkoop Street Railway Bridge was among many Denver bridges destroyed by floods from the Cherry Creek. Now rehabilitated, this bridge is a popular access point to LoDo for cyclists and pedestrians.
  4. Trains were first introduced to Denver in 1868 to accommodate all travelers. Owners of the four main railroads built Union Station in 1880. You can still catch a train ride from this historic landmark today or stay and play in its fountains.
  5. Denver may no longer be a cow town, but there’s still proof of its cowboy heritageat the Rockmount Ranch Wear Building. Founded in 1946, this is Rockmount’s flagship store and museum and THE place to buy classic western wear. The store also features a “celebrity gallery,” showing famous musicians and actors modeling Rockmount Wear they’ve purchased.

The Explore LoDo app was developed by Explore Denver was developed by Envie Media for the LoDo District in partnership with Historic Denver and the Denver Public Library. You can download the app from the App Store on an iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and from Google Play for use on smartphones and tablets. For more information visit lodo.org/app.

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