Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Northglenn Pirate Fest

Earlier this week we celebrated an important holiday. You know...September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Sure, you didn't get the day off of work, but hopefully you still had some time to celebrate. If you were in the Denver area over the weekend, you may have celebrated a few days early as Northglenn hosted its Pirate Fest.

The festivities took place at EB Raines Jr Memorial Park in Northglenn, and I gotta admit, it was pretty big. I think it was one of the largest outdoor gatherings I've experienced post-COVID. Tons of people showed up to enjoy pirate food, pirate music, and a cardboard boat race. There were also plenty of vendors there anxious to get their hands on some of your pirate booty.

Of course, there were also lots of folks participating in pirate cosplay. There was certainly a lot of creativity on display. Colorado is a long way from the nearest seaport, but these folks looked ready to set sail. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Giant French Chef

We've said before how some murals exist all on their own, while others reflect the business that resides in the building serving as the canvass. Such is the case with the giant French chef on the side of Encore Catering in Englewood.

Okay, truth be told, I don't know if this guy is French. He could be Italian. Heck, he could be an Australian with a penchant for thin mustaches. Whatever the case may be, he clearly doesn't have a problem with sippin' a bit of the vino while cookin' up dinner.

This mural is located at 3139 S Broadway in Englewood, on the north side of the building.

Friday, September 9, 2022

The Player

I'm a movie guy (just look at my blog and podcast listed over in the sidebar). So, when I hear the words "The Player" I think of the 1992 Robert Altman film. However, when you're in the LoDo area of downtown Denver, The Player is the name of the sculpture that sits outside of Coors Field.
Though the statue is of no player in particular, it does serve as a bit of a tribute to one of baseball's most important figures, Branch Rickey. A quote of his is featured on the statue's base. 

The statue was erected by the Rotary Club of Denver in June of 2005, 10 years after the opening of Coors Field. It was created by artist George Lundeen.

The player stands in front of the home plate entrance of Coors Field, at the intersection of 20th and Blake. Coors Field is at 2001 Blake St in Denver.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Historic Englewood Post Office and Mural

Probably most folks wouldn't consider a post office to be a destination when visiting a place. However, if you are someone interested in history, you might want to stop by for a quick look at the historic post office in Englewood. It's not like going to an amusement park or something...but there are a few interesting things to see.

The post office was built in 1938 as a New Deal construction project. Up until then, Englewood's mail came through Denver, but the suburb was growing rapidly and in need of its own services. It was the first federal building constructed in Englewood. A big groundbreaking event took place in 1937, complete with speeches and a performance by the Englewood High School Marching Band.

Beyond the classic architecture of the building itself, the most unique feature of the post office is the mural in the lobby. Once upon a time, many post offices had murals but they are tough to find now. Very few still exist, and even fewer exist in their original locations. 

The mural was created by Boardman Robinson, who is considered by many to be the founder of the American mural movement. This is his only post office mural and one of only three of his murals that still reside in their original locations. The mural is called Colorado Stock Sale. It was completed in 1940 and is actually based on the artist's second idea for the piece. The sketches submitted for the first were deemed too "frivolous."

The US Postal Service decided to close the Englewood post office in 2010, but the outcry from the community caused a quick change of plans. Eventually, the building ended up on the National Registry of Historic places.

This historic structure, and its historic mural, are located at 3330 S Broadway in downtown Englewood.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Crown Hill Cemetery

It's time for some more hanging out in cemeteries. Hey it's September now! Closer to the Halloween season! So maybe it's not so weird to be hanging out among the deceased during this time of year. Today we journey west of Denver to Wheat Ridge's Crown Hill Cemetery.

The cemetery was opened in 1907 by George W. Olinger. You'll find his name on many of the cemeteries around Denver, and you'll find his own final resting place in Crown Hill's massive mausoleum, the Tower of Memories. This Denver area landmark was designed in 1926 by architect Charles A Smith. It stands 158 feet tall and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. 

The most famous resident of Crown Hill is Adolph Coors, the founder of the Coors Brewing Company. Coors came to the Denver area in 1872 and shortly thereafter purchased the abandoned Golden City Tannery and turned it into the Golden Brewery. The brewery he built, one of the world's largest, still bustles with activity in the heart of Golden. Coors' grave is without question the largest in the cemetery and is pretty easy to find. Just head towards the Tower of Memories and hang a right just before you get to the building. Look towards the trees to the east and you'll spot the tall obelisk that marks Coors' final resting place.

Crown Hill is located at 7777 W 29th Ave in Wheat Ridge. That address is a little confusing since 29th runs through the grounds. Basically, the entrance to the grounds is off of Wadsworth at 29th. It's huge, he can't miss it.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Giant Mushrooms

I love finding strange and unusual things around the city of Denver. Strange and unusual definitely describes the giant mushrooms that can be found in Englewood's Romans Park. The park was named for E.P. "Packy" Romans, who served as Englewood's director of parks and recreation from 1948 to 1966. It contains playground equipment and tennis courts...you know, the sort of things you find in many parks. What you don't find in many parks is huge fake mushrooms!

The six mushrooms appear to be just creative park benches. They were painted solid concrete gray until just a few years ago when they were painted with several unique themes. In fact, one of the images on Google Street View appears to show one of the mushrooms being prepped for its makeover. Now the mushrooms sport images of flying saucers, sea creatures, and one is even made to look like a giant turtle.

Of course, the mushrooms aren't the only thing to see in the park. The playground featuring giant leaves and bugs that the kids can climb on was refurbished in recent years, as well.

Romans Park is located at 1849 E Floyd Ave in Englewood, just a few blocks west of University.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Mile Hi Church

It can be dangerous driving around town looking for interesting things. Sometimes you see something interesting out of the corner of your eye and you immediately turn your attention away from the road and start staring at whatever it was you saw. Well, legend has it that back in the early 70's a local minister asked the architects designing his new church to create something that would cause those driving by to exclaim, "what the hell is that?" Drivers are still doing that today when they drive by Mile Hi Church in Lakewood.

Some say the building looks like a giant white octopus. It was formed by pouring concrete over sculpted mounds of dirt. Once the concrete dried, the dirt was removed. I don't claim to understand how it all works, all I know is it looks pretty cool.  I'm not the only one, either.  Shortly after it was built, it was featured along with several other futuristic Denver area buildings in Woody Allen's 1973 film Sleeper. It actually played the part of a McDonalds.

As I'm sure you can imagine, the sloping tentacles of the building's roof are more than a bit tempting to adventure seekers. Because people are dumb sometimes, you will find signs around stating the obvious...that roof access is prohibited. I wouldn't be surprised if the occasional visit by ambitious skateboarders prompted the installation of these signs.

So, if you plan to stop by, just look, don't climb. The church also has a few other unique buildings that are worth a look filling out its campus. You will find this unique structure at 9077 W Alameda Ave in Lakewood.