A while back I was on a business trip and had the opportunity to walk through the Capitol Hill neighborhood where I lived 30 years ago as a young man in my twenties. It’s amazing how my perspective has changed over that period of time.
First, let me say the neighborhood has remained pretty much unchanged. That’s because when I lived there it had been unchanged from the 30, 40, or 50 year period before I moved in. It’s an old neighborhood with old buildings and a great deal of history. I also realized that I probably had my love of old buildings and history at that time, but it was either dormant, or I hadn’t started to appreciate it yet. There were lots of cool parts of town to choose from when I moved there with shiny new apartment complexes, but I was drawn to the historical area in Denver.
Poets Row Capitol Hill Neighboorhood Denver Colorado
My home when I lived in this neighborhood was a row of apartment buildings known as Poets Row. I lived in Mark Twain. Chosen because he was (and still is) my favorite author.
Built in the 1930s and now on the National Register of Historic Places, it was just a cool apartment building with lots of sunlight and windows that opened wide to let in the mountain breezes and neighborhood noises.
Crawford Hill Denver Colorado
Just around the corner from the apartment is the magnificent Crawford Hill Mansion. Built in 1906 for Crawford and Louise Hill, it provides a look into the past and the status this neighborhood once held.
KPOF Alma Temple
Down a few blocks toward the capital was one of the more interesting buildings in the neighborhood. The Alma Temple. When I lived here, I had absolutely no idea what this building was. Four large neon red letters–KPOF–glowed on the top of the building. For a time, I even thought it might be a radio station housed in an old building. Turns out it was a church! The Pillar of Fire, Alma Temple. And the red letters…they did reference a radio station. They were the call letters of the church’s very own radio station. Today, the hall serves as a performance venue for bands and other entertainers.
It was great to trace the footsteps of a younger me with the eyes and experience of the current version. I realized how much I loved old buildings then, and still love the history and character that buildings and architecture contribute to your experience. Try it sometime. Go back to your old stomping grounds and see what memories are stirred inside of you.