Brand altruism is the fuel behind our Brands We Love series, in which we profile brands that intrigue and inspire us. This month we’re focusing on brands started in 1970, like ours. So here we go. Let’s go back in time together and talk about Historic Denver.
In the 1950s and through the 1960s, Denver was growing. The federal government had moved many jobs to the area, creating a housing boom. Also, the car had become the dominant mode of transportation, and residents wanted highways. But what to do with Denver of old? The predominant philosophy for urban renewal at the time was to clear the landscape, creating blank canvases for development sometime in the future or, as it happened, seas of parking lots.
Of note, when Denver enacted the voter-approved Skyline Urban Renewal Project, some 16 square blocks of central downtown were demolished. The demolition also sparked a powerful movement to preserve historic properties and neighborhoods. Leaders of this new approach argued that the past held value, from which we could learn and with which we could grow. Also, they asserted that historical structures were part of a city’s unique allure to developers and visitors.
It’s worth going back and revisiting the philosophy of historic preservation because, although we take it for granted now, there was a time when this approach simply didn’t exist. Visionaries quietly yet boldly occupied the disquiet that existed between our collective past and future, and gradually, they established a new space. A space where a near or distant story, often represented by a structure or a design motif, can be named, recognized and known by all.
This is the work of Historic Denver, which in 2020 marks 50 years of preserving Denver’s story. The organization’s work is tactically diverse and includes funding and technical assistance, architectural consultation, and policy development. Where it all comes together is in its purpose to preserve places that help anchor the people of Denver, to remind them that they’re “home,” and ensure that Denver’s protected landmarks reflect the full and diverse aspects of this growing city.
Without Historic Denver, we wouldn’t have the Molly Brown House Museum, one of the most successful house museums in the country. Historic Denver also played critical roles in the redevelopment of the city’s Lower Downtown (LoDo) neighborhood; the transformation of the original Tavern Uptown location into a modern retail and residential tower; and the preservation of the original Emily Griffith Opportunity School building.
Enduring by nature, Historic Denver is and always has been transparent, passionate and solution oriented. We think it’s a brilliant brand, we believe in what it’s doing in the world, and we look forward to seeing it evolve and grow in the next 50 years.
Now in our 50th year of business, Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.