Zoom into 1890s Denver

Try zooming in on this panoramic photo. It looks hand-painted.


The cursor is a tiny magnifying glass with a plus sign. Move it to a spot you’d like to visit. Click to zoom in to Denver on Dec. 31, 1897.  Click again to zoom out.

The label on Wikimedia Commons says, “The view depicted is looking northwest down 16th Street, image taken from Colorado State Capitol.”

The Capitol was only a few years old, and the photographer William Henry Jackson must have looked out onto new buildings that seemed tall and modern. A vibrant, modern city.

The triangular building on the right is the Brown Hotel, which Google Earth shows as now dwarfed by high rises.The large one in the center foreground, red brick with pale granite lower stories, is the Majestic Building, which no longer stands. Same architect for both buildings. The tall, domed building on the left, yellow and facing us, is the county courthouse.

The street in front of the park in the foreground is much darker than 16th Street. It looks like 16th Street was not paved, and the pale dirt is covering some of the dark, paved street.

On the left foreground, the white sign painted on the building reads “Palace Stables.” There can’t be any livery stables left in downtown Denver.


6 thoughts on “Zoom into 1890s Denver”

  1. Pam: This is fascinating. The buildings look more dignified than one would expect in what must have been a frontier town. And there appears to be a meadow for a horse ranch right there in downtown Denver. Isn’t this a marvelous time to be alive when electronics can add so much to out lives?

    1. I think the grass in the foreground was a park and is now. Not sure.

      I found this as a very small photo on Wikipedia, and when I clicked on it to make it full screen, it took my breath away. The color makes it feel real.

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