Homeless in Denver Part 2



Thank you for a very interesting article. I'm hoping there will soon be positive steps to address the issue.

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, a glimpse into the past will help provide for steps that can be taken forward.



Thank you for this two-part article on homelessness in Denver history, which helps put current events in context. I do want to offer a correction to a photo caption in part one of the article. The photograph of a man reclining on a marble bench under a carved inscription reading "If thou desire rest desire not too much", is not the "Denver Post Building 1940s-1950s?" as stated in the caption. Rather, this bench and inscription are on the side of the Byron R. White Tenth Circuit U.S. Courthouse, formerly the U.S. Post Office Building, at 1823 Stout Street, Denver, completed in 1916. The bench and inscription can be seen there to this day. Here is a flickr link showing a recent photograph of it: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/6167434173.

Joseph, thank you so much for the correction. For some reason, the image in the Rocky Mountain News photo collection had "Denver Post Office Building" written on the back. I have updated the blog post and the image in the gallery. Good eye!

Ah, that solves the mystery. It was in fact the "Denver Post Office Building" for many years, not the "Denver Post Building" (the newspaper's building). When it first opened in 1916, it was both the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. The Post Office later expanded to take over virtually the entire building, and the U.S. courts moved a block over to a new building at 1929 Stout Street, erected in 1964. The Post Office building was reclaimed by the courts in 1994, after an extensive historic preservation effort essentially returned it to its 1916 appearance for use as the Byron R. White U.S. Courthouse for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. https://www.gsa.gov/historic-buildings/byron-white-us-courthouse-denver-co


You mention Tom Waits--in the '70s when he was in town performing at the Oxford Hotel (pre-renovation and kind of shabby) he used to hang out at the Terminal Bar, diagonal from the Oxford. It's now Jax Fish House.

I remember in the '80s when the Flour Mill Building was empty and a haven for homeless people. Now it's million-dollar condos. That's been the pattern downtown for some decades, accelerated in the last 10 years--the marginal parts of town where the homeless dwelt have been gentrified. Now there are no marginal parts of town and the homeless are shuffled around by the police from one "mainstream" area (e.g. Civic Center) to another. I know that the conditions of the flophouses of lower downtown in the '50s and '60s were bad, but at least the people weren't living on the street.

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