Denver Colorado History and Cartography (1887)

Denver Colorado history and cartography is explored and exmained from this vintage map that was originally produced in 1887. In the video we zoom in and look at various historical aspects pertaining to the city of Denver.

The beginning of the video will feature a brief synopsis on how the city of Denver Colorado grew to such prominance as becoming the capital. We will also discuss the historical origins of how Denver got its name and the Kansas settlers that tried to annex the territory.


  1. Interesting, i dont think the capitol is positioned correctly. The building seems to be facing south instead west. it seems the width of the wings pictured here are in the wrong direction.

  2. 1.Capital – Modeled after the U.S. Capital Building in D.C.. Originally thought to be the 15th step "One Mile Above Sea Level" was engraved, until CSU students measured again and placed a bronze marker on the 18th step. It was remeasured and now the 13th step has a marker noting 5280ft, a mile high, above sea level.
    3. Metropole Hotel is now called The Brown Palace, (you can still stay there!).
    5. St. John's Cathedral, now called Trinity United Methodist
    6. Denver High School was around 19th and Stout, US Circuit Library building and the US Customs House and Byron Rogers Federal Buildings take up the area now (includes Denver MEPS, where I and many others went/will go to be processed into the military.)
    16. Windsor Hotel was torn down and is not the Windsor Condominiums, but some paintings, including one of the owners wife and daughter are now in the Oxford Hotel across the street from Union Station.
    17. Union Station – serves as a station for the Denver rail line as well as Amtrak
    18/19. City Hall and Chamber of Commerce is now Larimer Square, but the old City Hall Bell is placed at 14th and Larimer.
    20. River Front Park is still a park.
    24. Cherry Creek has running/bike path along each side.
    25. South Platte River: the river follows Hwy85/Sante Fe Dr to I-25 until I-70. The original site of Montana City is memorialized at Grant Frontier Park. The river also features a couple white water features for kayaking and also features a running/bike path.

    Everything else is now pretty much a skyscraper, office/condo building, and/or parking lot (i.e. #2 Court House is basically the site of the Sheraton Hotel, 7-11, McDonalds, and a Krispy Kreme)

  3. One interesting fact is that the Capitol wasn't open for business until 1894. I gotta agree with another commentator that the Metropole was across the street from the still standing triangular shaped Brown Palace. I was trying to decide if you could see Molly Brown's house but can't decide if it would be bottom right or bottom left because the Capitol's orientation is confusing.

  4. Thanks for the video! Some things to note: The Metropole hotel wasn't constructed until 1891, and it wasn't triangular in shape. It was built directly across the road from the triangular building, which is the Brown Palace, constructed between 1888 and 1891. But the most amazing error in this map is that the long axis of the capitol building isn't oriented east/west, but north/south. (This map looks NW between 16th and 17th Streets toward what is now Union Station.)

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