Denver is the largest city and capital of Colorado. It is also the most populated city in Colorado, with a population of about 715,000 residents. Known as the Mile High City, it sits at an elevation of 5,279 feet above sea level.
Brief History Of Denver
Denver’s roots reach all the way back to 1858 when it was nothing more than a minuscule gold mining town in the western portion of the Kansas Territory. Its location is no mistake, it sits on the periphery of the Rocky Mountain range, acting as a focal point for trade between the plains and the mountains.
The following year marked the beginning of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, which led to 100,000 or more prospectors converging on the region over the next two years. Eventually, prospectors moved on due to the lack of gold they found, but Denver would still continue to grow over the coming years.
Denver solidified itself into history by building connecting rail lines to Cheyenne, WY, and eventually connected with the Kansas Pacific Railroad. This coupled with the 1879 silver rush in Leadville brought untold numbers of people to Denver in the hopes of striking it rich.
Features Of Denver
Geography And Climate
Denver sits in the central part of the state in the South Platte River Valley, sharing its western border with the Great Plains of the midwestern United States, and its eastern border with the Rocky Mountains Front Range.
The heart of the city is located 101 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming and 70 miles north of Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the South Platte and Cherry Creek meet, and spans 154.7mi2. Colorado Springs is the nearest major city to Denver with a population of 471,686.
Three of Colorado’s major cities, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins, all lie along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, also known as the Front Range. They are connected by Interstate-25 which spans Colorado from north to south.
Denver is considered to have a semi-arid climate, which is classified as having low relative humidity and an abundance of year-round sunshine. This also means that there are four distinct seasons in which the temperature varies greatly. Generally, July is the warmest month with an average high temperature of 90℉ (32.2℃), and December is the coldest month with an average low temperature of 18℉ (-7.78℃).
Although Denver began its days as a small gold mining encampment, it has grown into a major metropolitan economic hub with a 2010 GMP of $157.6 billion, making it the 18th biggest metropolitan economy in the US.
The capital can lend much of its success to its geographical location and links to major US highways and rail lines. This is a major reason for Denver’s success as a distribution and storage hub, especially since it is the largest city within a 500-mile radius.
The city of Denver claims that its largest industries include aerospace, bioscience, broadcast and telecommunications, energy, healthcare, and IT. Over the years Denver has become home to some of the largest corporations in the world including Amazon, Deloitte, and IBM.
The largest employers in Denver are the federal and state governments which employ a total of around 43,000 people within the Denver Metro area.
Architecture & Design
Colorado’s capital city boasts one of the most eclectic collections of architectural musings in the western United States. Denver’s transformation from its primitive roots to a major metropolitan area can be chronicled through its beautiful buildings that span the city’s limits.
The Colorado State Capitol building, circa 1894, was built with the intention of mimicking the appearance of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. It features soaring columns that surround a central tower with a golden dome. The gold is an ode to the miners that settled in the city during the 1800s.
One of Denver’s most redeeming qualities is its spectacular skyline combined with the famous orange and pink sunsets that the city is known for. Among the behemoths that make this skyline so breathtaking are the Republic Plaza building, 1801 California highrise, and the Wells Fargo Center, all of which reach over 700 feet above the ground.
Denver’s rich culture mirrors that of other major cities, but with an emphasis on outdoor recreation. The city is home to cultural hubs such as the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Since its birth, Denver has consistently grown as one of the premier destinations for live music and performances. The famed Red Rocks Amphitheater sits just west of the city as a beacon for outdoor concerts and has hosted countless internationally touring acts such as The Grateful Dead, U2, and The Beatles.
There is no shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities in Denver during the summer months, biking, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and camping are all commonplace for the city’s residents.
People Of Denver
Denver’s diverse and inclusive sense of community continues to draw people from many different religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The one thing that brings almost all of Denver’s citizens together is their love of the outdoors.
Christianity is the largest represented religion within the city, however, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam are also very prevalent as well. Catholicism is the most abundant sect of Christianity which makes up 28.6% percent of all Christians within Denver.
77.3% of Denverites identify as white (non-Hispanic or latino), with another 22.7% of residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino, making these the two largest ethnic groups in the city.
Denver prides itself on its education system, hosting over 20 colleges, universities, and university extension programs. Over 50% of its citizens possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree, making Denver a hub for innovation in the western US.
Politics & Voting
By any and all measures, Denver is considered a very liberal city, with almost 80% of voters voting Democrat in the most recent Presidential election. Denver is considered more liberal than the rest of Colorado, but the entire state is still liberal.