On the Importance of Denver's Union Station: Then and Now

The reopening of Denver's Union Station last weekend provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of rail, with its hub at Union Station, in establishing Denver, as well as the city's multi-modal future, again with its hub as Union Station.
July 29, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Pat Mack writes a post to supplement a radio interview with University of Colorado Denver history professor Tom Noel, who claims that Union Station is "arguably the most important building in the city."

Noel tells the story of the time when the Transcontinental Railroad chose a route that went through Cheyenne, Wyoming, which caused half of Denver's population to leave Denver. "But civic leaders in Denver, including former territorial Gov. John Evans and Rocky Mountain News founder William N. Byers….raised the money to build the Denver Pacific Railway which connected Denver to Cheyenne in 1870. That prompted other rail lines to be built from the Transcontinental Railroad to Denver as well."

Denver's early connection to the outside world also drove development in the city, as explained by Mack: "The layout of Denver revolves around the station. With 17th Street running to the station, the road became Denver's main street. That is still seen today by the warehouse buildings, office towers and hotels that line the road."

The radio conversation between Mack and Noel also includes some more details about the history of Denver and the importance of the Union Station makeover to the city.

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Published on Friday, July 25, 2014 in Colorado Public Radio
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