Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

Henry Roth House, Postscript

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

– by M. Thornton

We met Dianne Roth and her father Milton last year, when they stopped by our house at 5 South Fox Street, the bungalow and compound that Henry Roth had built. Dianne, Henry’s granddaughter, sent this news article that was published soon after the house was built. (Denver wanted to tax Henry Roth more than he had paid in materials for the house.)

She included some family photographs:
• Rusty, her dad’s dog, in front of the house, in the early 1930s
• A wedding picture of Henry and Mary Roth
• Henry Roth the granddad
• Mary Roth and Henry’s sister Mabel
• Henry and his granddaughter Dianne
• Three generations of Roths: Henry, Dianne, and Milton
• Milton Roth in the bathroom, which doesn’t look that much different from today.

It’s nice to get to know the builder and paterfamilias, through his family. We expect to see more of the family this summer or next, for a planned reunion.

The Roth Family in the 1930's

Henry and Mary Roth, 1908

Henry and Mary Roth Wedding Photo, 1908

Henry Roth in the Denver Post during the 1930's

B50 note: Henry Roth built the bungalow style houses in the Baker Neighborhood by hand in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The house is on the national historic register. M Thornton added this as a postscript to his original post, The Henry Roth Houses on Fox Street.

Flood of ’64 – “Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell”

Monday, May 25th, 2009

—by O. J. Goldrick. First published on May 25th 1864 in “The Commonwealth”, six days after the Denver flood.

Higher, broader, deeper, and swifter boiled the waves of water, as the mass of flood, freighted with treasure, trees, and live stock, leaped towards the Blake street bridge, prancing with the violence of a fiery steed stark mad:

“Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell.”

Great God! and are we all “gone up,” and is there no power to stem the tide was asked all round. But no; as if that nature demanded it, or there was need of the severe lesson it teacheth to the citizens of town, the waves dashed higher still, and the volume of water kept on eroding bluffs and bank, and undermining all the stone and foundations in its rapid course.

The inundation of the Nile, the Noachian deluge, and that of Prometheus’ son, Deucalien, the Noah of the Greeks, were now in danger of being out-deluged by this great phenomenon of ’64.

Denver Flood of 1864 - Larimer Street Looking West

Denver Flood of 1864 - Larimer Street Looking West


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Photographing Denver 1984–1992

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

—by Kim Allen

Back in the 80’s and 90’s I photographed some of Denver’s architecture. This period was the transition of some of Denver’s past architectural heritage and merging of contemporary designs. I had to document some of these buildings before they were gone; it was a tremendous experience. Buildings have a little bit of us in them, and we in them, we need each other. Let us go out and revisit some of these links of our lives in a brief little journey.

1.) Wynkoop’s founding members. On a bright fall day, certainly deserted in lower downtown, some dreams and a wonderful building were fermenting to add to an emerging civic pride in Denver. I had an appointment with the “crew” at the Wynkoop Brewing Co. and walked into a bustling construction project. Sawdust on the floor, I could envision the sight and smell of beer and its enthusiasts. The large sign, “Wynkoop Brewing Company,” was a perfect backdrop for some of the founding members as they proudly stood below. Amid the grime and abandoned streets and buildings, the group and dog excitedly were captured on film. It is one of my favorite photographs. 1988

2.) Auditorim Arena/Temple Buell Theatre. It was a Sunday morning, back in the day a great time to jump over a fence and look onto memories. I had danced in elementary school on that floor, seen concerts and basketball games. On the corner of 13th and Champa, we picked up our baseball uniforms as members of ” The Oldtimers League ” as youths. I looked onto the floor and the balcony seats dismanting, a huge mechanical crane now at the “freethrow line.” The seats wrapped around me. High up, the long windows welcomed beautiful rays of sunshine casting down. It was exciting and sad at the same time to view this scene. 1992

3.) Manuel Martinez Mural. Sanchez Park, 13th and Federal Blvd. This image repesented the Spanish heritage of Denver. I would think of the Indians as well, the Platte River just beyond, and nearby Cherry Creek. The mural, an homage to nature, contrast with downtown, different worlds, never to meet. 1986

4.) Elitch Theatre. The theatre was inviting and charming, intimate and glowing. All the wood, the chairs and beams grace a gentle atmosphere. Hosting many high quality plays, the amusement park was relocating, and the theatre would not be able to make the move. A special place, soulful and peaceful. 1992

5.) 16th St. Viaduct looking S.E. over Platte St. and into lower downtown. A long and strong viaduct piercing the valley from the Highlands to downtown. Above the ground 25 feet, the blacktop road and steel handrails connect the neighborhoods. Central St. to the west, and Wazee St. to the east, and spanning Platte St. Remember those stairs up from the ground at various points, leading to the bus stops? 1984

6.) Mammoth Gardens grand re-opening. The Fernandez family owed the gardens, revitalized it and had a wonderful party to open it again. Over the years roller skating and even some rock and roll concerts in the late 60’s had been at the gardens. Tonight belonged to the Fernandez family and the great Tito Puente Band to entertain the dancing, and seated crowd, at large round tables. It was impressive, happy and exciting. 1992

7.) The Acme and Volker buildings were some of the first restorations into lofts in lower downtown. Two beautiful sleeping warehouses between the Speer Viaducts, cars racing by in each direction, soon welcomed sunshine and life would return to the buildings. This would be the start of revitalization of LoDo and help energize the entire city, our pride was back. I will mention the names of the people that gave us a great vision to complete these wonderful buildings and still continue on with the vibrant projects. Dana Crawford, Larry Nelson, Joe Simmons, Mickey Zeppelin and Charlie Woolley. 1985

8.) 16th St. looking north on Wazee St. where some of the revitalization was beginning, with Stuart Buchanan fine antiques and Oxford Hotel on the left and Rockmount Ranch Wear and the Terminal Bar on the right. Firemens Gain Elevator at the end of Wazee St. in the middle of image. It was a great (still) area, the neighborhood had numerous projects, the Edrooke, the Wynkoop, Acme and Volker. The Oxford Hotel and Cruise Room . . . and the Terminal Bar. 1988

B50 Note: Kim Allen is a photographer who extensively chronicled the changes that occurred in downtown Denver in the 1980s and 1990s. For more information on Denver during this era, visit Kim’s website at denverphotoarchives.com. Photographs and text are provided courtesy of the artist (©1884-1992).

The Flood of 1965

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

— photos and text by Dennis Bauer

In the evening of June 16,1965, a wall of water described by some as 15 feet high roared down the South Platte River, the result of extremely severe thunderstorms many miles south of Littleton, Colorado. By midnight, the torrent crested at twenty-five feet above normal and was carrying forty times the normal flow. In its wake, the course of the South Platte River from Littleton to the Colorado-Nebraska border was a mud-encased, wreckage-strewn landscape of desolation.

The great South Platte River flood of 1965 was one of the biggest – and costliest – in the history of Denver.

I was between my freshman and sophomore year at the University of Denver, a journalism major with dreams of becoming a photojournalist for the Denver Post when I graduated college. On that very day, June 16, I had become the proud owner of a new Nikon F 35 mm camera and two lenses: the standard 50mm and a 200 mm telephoto! I was in photojournalist heaven!

As the radio reports followed the disaster, I talked a D.U. friend into driving us downtown, so I could use my new camera and capture images of this historic event. At one point a Denver policeman confronted us, saying, “You do not have permission to be this close to the river. Get going!” I responded by telling the officer I was photographing the flood for the University’s student newspaper, the Clarion, and yearbook, the Kynewisbok. This did not impress the cop who said I would be arrested if I stayed.

Well, we left that spot, but I was able to photograph the flood and its aftermath.

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B50 Note: The two most serious floods in the history of Denver were separated by 101 years; 1864 and 1965. The 1965 flood caused extensive damage from Littleton through Denver, especially along the Valley Highway (now known as I-25), prompting Congress to provide funding for Chatfield Dam. Dennis Bauer is a Denver native who has spent the past 20 years working as a teacher. When he retires in two months, he plans to grow his photography business, db Photography. Text and photographs are courtesy of the author.

The following audio remembrance of the Denver Flood of 1965 was recorded by Charles A. Roessler. Mr. Roessler is a retired member of the Denver Fire Department.

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Trucker’s Terminal Implosion, 1992

Monday, December 8th, 2008

The Fireman’s Grain Elevator stood 120 feet tall at 20th Street and Wazee at the center of abandoned small buildings and remnants of our rail and distribution heritage. Surrounded by days gone by, it looked proudly over the area in silence.

Times had changed, and trucking had replaced railroads as the preferred means of commerce into the heart of the city. “Truckers Terminal” was now displayed in large painted letters on its huge flat walls. Tractor-trailers were parked on the bricks inlayed by the previous era. The bricks as well as the entire area would be scrapped for the beginning construction of Coors Field. The bricks were piled in a long and high mount that I called “the brick pile” hardly romantic…

Time had dictated the demise of the Fireman’s Grain Elevator and its part in storing and distributing grain to the Rocky Mountain West – the huge box like structure held tough until the end. To document its part in Denver’s heritage, I would witness its implosion with others. My goal was to get the best photograph of the day.

I admit, I was a bit territorial in my attitude to document this day on film, having roamed this area extensively. Confident, I thought the day belonged to me. Early in the day I did a cursory scouting trip to check out the scene, everyone was camped out 1000 feet to the west of the implosion site. My main concerns were the phototographers from the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post who I respected greatly – they were also grouped with the others, good. Their view would be good with the backdrop of the city, but I wanted a place directly across the street, just 200 Feet from the implosion.

The day had arrived, and the area was being cordoned off for safety. I had to act fast, onto a fence I climbed, pulling myself and photo gear onto the roof. I set up my tripod, camera with motordrive, I composed my shot and waited. Soon a loud forboding siren gave a warning. Silence – BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM – the building was going down, leaning to its right, it collapsed into the ground. I had captured it all, as if in slow motion. A huge cloud of blown up concrete dust soon surrounded and covered me. Into the dust, I shimmed down the back of the building, into the alley, and found 20th Street. I had done it.

-Kim Allen / DenverPhotoArchives.com

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