Ten Best Commercial Signs on East Colfax

To know the story of Colfax is to truly understand the personality of the Denver metro area. The gravel-and-tar artery that once ushered visitors in from the open road now hosts a variety of people and cultures along America's longest main street. Westword is taking a look at Route 40's history through the signage found in each section of the strip; this edition covers the stretch from Colorado Boulevard to east of Havana. Stay tuned for a final list of central Colfax's greatest signs.

See also: Ten Best Commercial Signs on West Colfax

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Elitch Lanes to Close on Tennyson in May; Owner Hopes to Find New Location

Categories: Neighborhoods

"If you've been around northwest Denver, you know: The people who come in here are so much nicer than the average person." Cal Eichinger, owner of Elitch Lanes, is already lamenting the loss of his customers. On May 17, after more than sixty years in the Berkeley neighborhood, Elitch Lanes will close up shop. But Eichinger says he isn't done with the bowling business; he's been working in the industry for forty years, and at 63, he's nowhere near ready for retirement.

See also: Best of Westword 2007: Best Bowling Alley - Elitch Lanes

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Birdseed Collective Brightens RTD Bus Stops With Art Through the P.S. You Are Here Project

BirdseedAnthonySr Instagram
Bus bench at 45th and Broadway.
With a grant from the city of Denver, Birdseed Collective is beautifying RTD bus benches in its own Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhood. With two benches already finished and four more on the way, the art and community service collective is working with LiveWell Colorado on the P.S. You Are Here Grant to not only bring art to these bus stops, but actual places to rest where there used to be none.

See also: P.S. You Are Here Grants Awarded Eight Projects, Including Whittier's Alley Loop

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Ten Best Commercial Signs on West Colfax

Bree Davies
Colfax Avenue's sordid and fascinating history provides a road map for the evolution of the metro area. The longest uninterrupted main street in the United States, Colfax coasts from Aurora to Golden with chunks of Denver and Lakewood in between, providing an excellent cross-section of Colorado commerce, culture and community. And since this strip formerly known as Route 40 was here for both boom and bust, during the good times beautiful architecture, structures and signage appeared -- much of which survived the busts.

Westword is taking a look at Colfax's history through the signage found in each section of the strip. Starting from the west end at Kipling and heading toward downtown Denver, we've captured just some of the great signs belonging to current and former businesses that give West Colfax its visual character.

See also: 40 West Arts Is Capturing West Colfax's History Through Commercial Architecture

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Rudy Gonzales on Servicios de la Raza's Four Decades of Work and its New Home

Servicios de la Raza's Executive Director, Rudy Gonzales.
After providing community health and services in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood for decades, Servicios de la Raza moved this week to a new home at 3131 West 14th Avenue. To do so, the organization had to sell its buildings at 41st Avenue and Tejon Street, which meant the removal of the "Privavera" murual, which had been a landmark there for more than three decades. But the move should be a good for Servicios, says executive director Rudy Gonzales, who spoke with Westword about its work and about the challenges facing the population its serves -- as Denver neighborhoods continue to change.

See also: Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

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Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Jerry Jaramillo's "Primavera," before it was removed from the corner of 41st Avenue and Tejon Street.
Colorado artist Jerry Jaramillo was devastated when he found out that his mural, "Primavera," had been sandblasted and removed from a brick wall at the corner of 41st Avenue and Tejon Street in Sunnyside, where it had been for more than thirty years. "It felt like I lost a child or something," he says. "I was single and didn't have any kids at the time I painted it; every time I did a mural, it seemed like my child. So it felt like a loss to me, because it was one of my favorite murals I had done in Denver."

See also: Gemma Bayly Brings Her Optimystic Arts to a New Community Collaborative Mural In Denver

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Denver Modern Home Tour Shows Off the Latest in Local Architecture

Courtesy of Denver Modern Home Tour.
One stop on the tour, 3510 West 18th Avenue in Denver, designed by Studio HT Architecture.
Walk around any neighborhood in Denver and it is easy to see how fast the city is growing -- new architecture seems to be popping up around every corner. This Saturday, October 25, four newly-built homes will open their doors to the public for a closer look as part of the annual Denver Modern Home Tour. See these new builds from the inside out and get to know some of Denver's top designers and architecture firms through their work on this one-of-a-kind tour focusing on the best in contemporary living spaces.

See also: Ken Schroeppel's DenverInfill blog keeps a close eye on the city's growth and development

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Why Denver's La Alma/Lincoln Park Neighborhood Deserves to Be a "Great Place"

Categories: Neighborhoods

The La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood was named one of the nation's Ten Great Neighorhoods this week by the American Planning Association. I happen to live in the neighborhood, which is bounded by Colfax Avenue to the north, 6th Avenue to the south, Speer Boulevard to the east and the South Platte River Drive to the west. All of those places are major thoroughfares, and anyone who lives in Denver knows where they are. But the response I get most often from new acquaintances who ask which neighborhood I live in is, "Huh? Never heard of it." When I tell them I live near the Santa Fe art district, a look of recognition dawns on their faces. "Ohhhhh," they say. "Cool."

But while La Alma/Lincoln Park may not be the most recognizable neighborhood or top most tourists' (or residents'?) to-do lists, boosters say it has a lot going for it -- a contention with which the APA's award-pickers agree.

See also: The people of First Friday at Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

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Why the Highland Vs. Northside Debate Is All About Gentrification

Longo's Subway Tavern, a former northside staple.
Back in August, I wrote a love letter to Denver, the city I used to know. Though my intention was to remember the good things about my city that are gone now, it was also, perhaps, a thinly veiled criticism of the way progress is going in Denver. Recently, there was a "blog" (I say that in quotation marks because the person who runs the site identifies as a real-estate agent on Twitter) floating around Facebook about the debate over whether the north section of our city is called Highland or Northside. While this enraged me and many other natives for a lot of reasons, the biggest issue raised in the online conversation was this: The name game in Denver isn't about our written history. It's about gentrification.

See also: A Love Letter to Denver, the City I'm Getting to Know

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FashioNation Signs a New Lease on South Broadway

The Italiano family outside FashioNation's new digs at 1594 South Broadway.
Counterculture apparel staple FashioNation announced last week that it was leaving its location at 613 East 13th Avenue after almost thirty years -- but co-owner Paul Italiano promised that the store would be resurrected in a new spot. He was vague about the details, because the lease agreement was not solidified. Then over the weekend, Pam and Paul Italiano announced via Facebook that the store will be moving to 1594 South Broadway -- but not without some drama.

See also: FashioNation Leaves 13th Avenue After 27 Years but Will Live On at a New Denver Location

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