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 Denver, Colorado



  Book Introduction


     There was gold in the water that day back in 1858 when a group of prospectors settled down at the confluence of Cherry Creek and South Platte River to stake their claim in the first, heady days of the Colorado gold rush.

     Everybody with a dream came to Denver during the Gold Rush; but, the city grew too fast. It wasn’t easy transforming a gold rush town into one of the country’s most beautiful cities, but Denver was lucky. Visionary city planners, led by legendary major Robert W. Speer, set out to create a “Paris of the West” out of a muddy, prairie town.

     Denver began with the promise of great prosperity and, today, the Mile-High City with the Rockies in its backyard has really struck it rich. Denver is the largest metropolitan area in a six-hundred-mile radius, roughly the size of Europe. It is the region’s cultural, financial, commercial, transportation and educational hub.  With the largest city park system in the country and more days of sunshine than Miami Beach, Denver is one of America’s fastest growing regions.    

     The city’s glittering Performing Arts Complex is second in size only to New York City’s Lincoln Center with music, theater and dance lighting up the performance halls almost every night. Denver’s wildly successful 16th Street Mall is a shining example of the right way to create an exciting downtown.

     A short, weekend drive will bring you to the year-round pleasures of the spectacular Rocky Mountains. A winter paradise for white powder skiing and snowboarding and a summer haven for hiking and rock climbing, the high country will touch you deep inside, quieting all the noise of your everyday life.

     Turn the pages of this special “Photographic Portrait,” by Colorado native and photographer John Kieffer and enjoy the stirring images of America’s Mile-High City and the regal mountains at its back door.


In 1920, renowned Denver sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor faced a major challenge while working on this magnificent bronco-riding cowboy. The male model for the statue, Slim Ridings, was jailed for horse rustling, yet Proctor was so determined to complete his statue that he put up the bail to free Ridings so he could continue the modeling job. “Broncho Buster” and “On the War Trail” are two outstanding sculptures by Proctor that can be found on the Civic Center grounds.

Denver’s grand Civic Center Park in known nationally for its distinctive, symmetrical, neo-classical design of formal gardens, fountains, statues and bricked walkways. The State Capitol Building is at one end of the rectangular park, and the City and County Building (above) rises at the other end. Additional attractions adjacent to the park include the new Denver Central Public Library, the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado History Museum, a Greek amphitheater and th 


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