East Colfax Avenue

Colfax Avenue ~ A Legendary American Thoroughfare

Along with Route 66, Sunset Boulevard, Fremont Street, Beale Street, Melrose Avenue, and a very few other famous drives, Colfax Avenue is an icon of the American experience. This 27 mile stretch of pavement has both played host to a pope and is the workplace of street walkers. Colfax is a stage on which every kind of story has played out, where good and evil rub elbows, where "if you need it, you can find it." It's a place that was romanticized by Jack Kerouac, and demonized by George Will. Playboy magazine called Colfax Avenue "the the longest, wickedest street in America." Opinions vary on the actual length of Colfax - some say it ends where I-70 crosses in the east and the west, and others insist that it extends from Utah to Kansas, encompassing the entire statewide length of Highway 40.

The long and winding history of Colfax Avenue is full of ups and downs, and today, in 2014, the street is seeing a renaissance after the long period of seediness that characterized the area for decades. As Denver becomes ever more desirable as a place to settle, young urbanites are finding great appeal in the gritty, down-to-earth and decidedly un-suburban flavor of East Colfax Avenue, and have pumped life, color and prosperity into this key artery of the Mile High City.


The information regarding East Colfax Avenue is pulled primarily from the Historic Denver Guide: "East Colfax Avenue," in which there are many more profiles than in this online exhibit. Historic Denver, Inc. has published a number of guides for the various historic districts and building styles in Denver. These guides can be purchased at Historic Denver.