Thursday, August 31, 2017

Homestead Motel's New Sign

Photo courtesy Ryan Terpstra
Noticed today that while the sign at the Homestead Motel on Colfax has been spruced up and painted, we also lost the exposed dual color neon that was on it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Save Local Music on Colfax

At least that's what I THINK it says on his shirt... Watching the epic jams at Art-I-Fax!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beat Generation Ground Zero

Photo by Jonny B
If Neal Cassady hadn't met Hal Chase at the old Denver Public Library on Colfax Avenue (today it's the McNichols Building), the entire Beat Generation wouldn't have happened. Hal later introduced Neal to Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg while he was attending Columbia University. 

We hereby recognize Capitol Hill Books as the official Ground Zero Bookstore for the Beats worldwide, as it is a very short walk from the spot where it all went down. Check out their amazing section of Beat literature!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Historic Route 40


The California segment of U.S. Route 40 was given a sort of rebirth with the designation of "Historic Route 40" through that state.

In 1998, Eddie Lange persuaded the California legislature to designate Route 40 between Reno and San Francisco as Historic Route 40. Together with Trish Gray, the duo designed the signs and a program where local businesses could donate funds to have a sign erected near their business along the route. The signs can now be found throughout the California route and is a popular route for motorcycle clubs and other travel enthusiasts.

 I propose that we, as Coloradans, do the same thing for the stretch of U.S. Route 40 that runs through our state, including Colfax Avenue.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Deluxe Trailer Village

This is quite the rare find! Deluxe Trailer Village, 5525 West Colfax Avenue, in 1938. #WestColfax West Colfax

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mallory Manor Motor Inn

Photo by JL McGuire
We recently noticed this vintage sign missing from the front of the Mallory Manor Motor Inn on W. Colfax.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Original Hard Rock Cafe

Photo by Jonny B.
No, the original Hard Rock Cafe wasn't in London, or even New York City. The original is in the town of Empire, Colorado, on Highway 40, which runs through the center of town. Colfax Avenue is a part of Highway 40, therefore, technically, the very first Hard Rock Cafe was on Colfax!!

The Hard Rock Cafe opened in 1934, and is named for the "hard rock" miners that were its early customers. The miners also used the cafe as a bunk house. Empire became part of Colorado's early mining history when gold was discovered in 1860. Empire's first town government was under the Union Mining Company. this building was constructed in 1898 and currently houses the cafe, town hall, an antique store, and police station. 

In keeping with the early "hard rock" mining pioneers' spirit, they use source Colorado ingredients whenever possible, to bring their guests a unique mountain town dining experience.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bob's Western Motel

Photo by Jonny B.
Continuing my end of Summer trip down Historic Highway 40 (of which Colfax Avenue is a part), I ran across another classic neon sign, a remnant from the good ol' days...this time in Kremmling, Colorado: Bob's Western Motel.

Here's an old postcard, courtesy the Colfax Museum, showing Bob's in much better shape in its heyday!

Courtesy the Colfax Museum

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Denver: Gay Haven of the West?

This is a reprint of an article first published in Gaysweek Magazine, March 26, 1979. "The rise in prostitution was attributed to Denver's growing stature as a convention city. The Capitol grounds have been used as a gay cruising area longer than anyone can remember..."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The King is Gone

(Photo by Jonny B.)

40 Years Ago today The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Aron Presley, was found dead at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. Not only has Elvis left the building, and his body, but this mural on Colfax Avenue paying tribute to the Atomic Powered Singer is also now gone. Anybody remember where it was? I do, but then again, I took the picture...

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hattie McDaniel, first African American to win an Academy Award

The very first African American to win an Academy Award went to East High School on Colfax Avenue. Recently saw Hattie McDaniel's star on Hollywood Blvd. for her work in radio and her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Lights of Colfax

Denver realtor Nellie Harris-Cassel recently posted this photo on her Instagram page of some old city lights from Colfax Avenue back in the day that ended up in her yard after some civic improvements were made. Now that the "civic improvements" are done, can we somehow put these cool lights back on Colfax? Or even better, can I just come over for tea?

Friday, August 11, 2017

O'Meara Ford

Grandpa bought his 1954 Ford 2-door brand new at O'Meara Ford, 1001 W. Colfax Avenue in Denver, CO. They even sent him this postcard as a thank you!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Carnival & Peace Jubilee Celebration, 1898

This is a great historical Colorado Souvenir: Medal is embossed 4th Annual Carnival & Peace Jubilee Celebration, Denver Colo, 1898. Colorado had an annual festival that started in 1894 called the Festival of Mountain and Plain, that ran from 1894 - 1899, skipped 1900, started again in 1901 and ran on and off until 1912. beginning in 1899 and through 1902 it also held the Colorado State Fair celebration. The Festival was revived in the late 1970's and still is celebrated today under the name The Taste of Colorado. In 1898, the Carnival & Peace Jubilee Celebration ran concurrently with the Festival, although this medal does not say Festival of Mountain & Plain, it is the same celebration. Embossed in the center of the Medal is the Farmer meets with the Miner - the symbol of the Festival.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Trolley Coach, 1950

Hard to believe that the old Denver Streetcar Trolleys were replaced with these in 1950... They just don't have quite the same sex appeal, do they?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Colfax Ave's New Look by Arthouse Design

Join ArtHouse Design at community event to celebrate Colfax Avenue

DENVER, Colo.—Colfax Avenue is looking brighter, and people are taking notice. Find out what all the buzz is about at Art-i-Fax, a local street party and art fair at the intersection of Colfax and Park Avenues, on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ArtHouse Design, the Denver design agency responsible for Colfax’s brand identity package, including logos, icons, a responsive website and street banners, invites Denver residents and visitors to come for the free koozies—and stay for the live music, local art, street food and cold beer.

ArtHouse’s municipal branding for Colfax, a bustling street often associated with a colorful past, is part of a greater effort led by the Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (Colfax Ave BID) to enhance safety guides, respect the historic nature of the street and improve the pedestrian experience, while keeping Denver’s independent and original street thriving. Through the brand, residents, visitors and businesses can show their pride in the diverse neighborhood.

“We’re respectfully toeing the line between legacy and progress to redefine development in Denver,” said ArtHouse Senior Designer Zach Kotel. “Rather than ‘out with the old, in with the new’, our community-oriented designs are helping to revitalize a historic area that is known for being unapologetically gritty to maintain a more local, authentic feel compared to other changing Denver neighborhoods.”

Inspired by Colfax’s unique view from east to west—Playboy dubbed Colfax “the longest, wickedest street in America”—the vibrant color scheme represents the spectrum of hues that can be seen while walking down the street at sunrise and sunset. And the typography evokes images of iconic neon signs that continue to line the eclectic thoroughfare.

“We build a lot of brands that have to be grown up, but this identity is spunky and spirited, just like Colfax,” said ArtHouse Principal and Creative Director Marty Gregg. “It subscribes to all the rules of a successful brand, but we’ve kept the uncompromised verve it had during its first inception and people are noticeably connecting with it.”

Colfax Ave BID hit a snag in June when its funding from Denver City Council’s 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond was drastically reduced. But the community showed its love for Colfax by appealing to the Denver City Council, and Mayor Hancock announced reinstatement of the funds in July, pending City Council review, as well as a public vote in November.

To show their support, ArtHouse is the leading sponsor for Art-i-Fax, donating design and event marketing services to Colfax Ave BID. “Our in-kind donation is an investment in a community we love,” said Gregg. “We’ve had two offices along the corridor, one of which was across the street from a firehouse. Client meetings used to get interrupted by sirens that made us feel like trucks were tearing through the room.”

Colfax has a nostalgic effect like this on just about everyone who has lived in or visited Denver, conjuring up stories of fun, excitement and sometimes trouble. With this in mind, ArtHouse also designed a branded collection of swag, including stickers, t-shirts, posters and tote bags, that people can buy. With a variety of logos and colors to choose from, they can unite with Colfax yet express themselves individually.

“With guerrilla marketing, we’re hoping to attract more intrigue, development and investment along the corridor,” said Kotel. “The main idea is that all are welcome on Colfax, from its old, seedy lounges to its hip, crowded patios, and together, we can make the community an even better place to live, work and play for decades to come.”

ArtHouse has won numerous industry and civic awards from Graphis, ASLA, HOW, GDUSA and the City of Denver for its work on other municipal brand identity packages, such as Denver’s 14thStreet and Mother of the Nation Park in Abu Dhabi, Dubai.

Source: TheWritten Effect, 720.989.1912

About ArtHouse Design
ArtHouse Design is a Denver-based, full-service design agency devoted to the creation of beautiful, thoughtful design. Nimble and versatile, ArtHouse has a wide range of expertise, from wayfinding and signage to branding and logos, from print and packaging to digital and web. Specializing in designing and shaping user-friendly, built environments, ArtHouse leads the experiential and environmental graphic design industry in art direction for architecture and interior design. Principal and Creative Director Marty Gregg actively leads in the design community, serving as vice president for development at AIGA Colorado and president of the Community College of Denver's design advisory board. Gregg is also a member of the advisory board to Colorado State University’s design department, serves on the Mayor’s Committee on Vital Signs for the City and County of Denver, and engages in speaking events across the country. At ArtHouse, Gregg leads a team of designers who creatively develop, enhance and reinvigorate brands while communicating their clients’ visions and goals. Maintaining the highest standards for both their work and relationships with clients, ArtHouse designers are constantly endeavoring to share their passion for design and to make it an enjoyable and fulfilling process along the way. For more, visit ArtHouse’s onlinenewsroom and blog and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Colfax Ave Business Improvement District
The Colfax Ave Business Improvement District (BID), which encompasses Colfax Avenue from Grant to Columbine and 14th to 16th Streets in the Capitol Hill/Uptown neighborhoods of Denver, Colo., exists to promote economic vitality and advocate on behalf of area businesses. A self-taxing, quasi-government entity formed in 1989, BID has overseen improved street maintenance and installation of HALO cameras and historic streetlights, as well as created local events such as the Victorian Holiday House Tour and Root 40 Music Fest. For more, visit BID’s online newsroom and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

Media Contact
Mindy Viering, Writer, Editor and PR Specialist
(call/text) 720.989.1912,

To download high-resolution photos, visit ArtHouse Design's online newsroom.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

West Colfax MuralFest 2017

West Colfax MuralFest
Saturday August 12th from 11am-6pm
Lamar Station Plaza (home of Casa Bonita)
6715 W. Colfax Avenue, Lakewood, CO

Join us for the 3rd annual West Colfax MuralFest, a celebration of the arts in all forms. This free one-day festival will feature live mural painting by nationally renowned artists, live music, food trucks, a beer garden, art vendors, art-making activities for kids & families, pop-up performances, free mural tours in an open-air trolley, and much more. Come over to Lamar Station Plaza on Saturday August 12th between 11am-6pm for this incredible event and support your local art scene.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Guitar Legend Dick Dale at the Bluebird Theater

Photo by Bill E. Guerriero
The beautiful Bluebird Theater sign on East Colfax Avenue with a special name on the marque!