The City Beautiful - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 45.057 W 104° 59.803
13S E 500281 N 4400115
A series of plaques as part of a walking tour of lower downtown (original) Denver
Waymark Code: WM8JEP
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 04/09/2010
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Miles ToGeo
Views: 10

The plaque reads:

The City Beautiful

Denver's municipal facts book of 1909 states "Denver is known in every civilized country as the 'City of Lights.'" Electric light bulbs were considered a miraculous new invention and Denver took full advantage of the ease and elegance these lights gave to city streets.

The city streets were first lit in 1907. Three years later, Henry Read, President of the Art Commission, designed lights for 15th, 16th, and 17th Streets. The lights were lit from dusk until 10 o'clock P.M., enhancing Denver's growing nighttime entertainment.

The artistic cast iron lights with hand-forged filigree were the inspiration for the current street lighting. Originally designed to carry overhead electric wires, the stout poles served as supports for electric trolley car cables.

The Welcome Arch at Union Station was another mark of the City Beautiful Movement. Built in 1906 at a cost of $25,000, the 70 ton bronzed steel arch was 65' high by 85' wide. Spanning 17th Street with 2,194 light bulbs, the arch originally carried the word "Welcome" on both sides. In 1908, the east side was changed to read "Mizpah."

Although many joked that this was the American Indian word for "Howdy," "Mizpah" was actually a common parting salutation from the Hebrew language.

The arch was torn down for scrap metal in 1931 due to the high cost of its lighting and the problems it caused for automobile traffic. Today Lower Downtown commemorates the arch by inscribing the word "Mizpah" in its gateways.

For more information on the City Beautiful movement, (visit link) .
Group or Groups Responsible for Placement:
Denver Landmark Commission

County or City: Denver

Date Dedicated: Unknown

Check here for Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

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