Even if you're not politically minded, you'll enjoy visiting Colorado's capitol building, which was designed to resemble Washington, DC's. Notable architectural elements include a gold-plated dome that rises 180 feet, carved statues that grace the west entrance, and vibrant stained glass windows. Be sure to search out the hand-painted renderings of US presidents inside. Outside, you can view memorials dedicated to patriots who have served the country and the state. Guided tours available.
Beat poet muse Neal Cassady went to Ebert Elementary School. Today, fittingly enough, Ebert Elementary is a public school for highly gifted children.
The awe-inspiring Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was reportedly Denver's first Catholic church. Distinguished by two limestone-and-granite towers, the beautiful Gothic structure features impressive architectural elements and ornate appointments. Inside, a Carrara marble altar and bishop's chair add majesty, as does sacred statuary. Seventy-five stained glass windows, imported from Munich, illuminate the church. Multiple mass services are held daily.
The Rossonian, built in 1912, was for years THE place in Denver for jazz. Throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s it booked the best acts in the biz, from Duke Ellington to Charlie Parker. In more recent years, it served as a film location for Things to do in Denver When You're Dead.
This structure was home to the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, who gained her nickname by surviving the sinking of the Titanic. The home is fully restored and furnished with period pieces. Known for her flamboyance, Molly Brown was a formidable woman in Denver society. Special events such as teas and readings are offered at the home these days.
Beat writer Jack Kerouac used a $1000 advance (for The Town and the City) to purchase this house. He ended up living in it for just two months (June-July 1949) before moving on to San Francisco, but while here he did research and wrote some of On the Road. Today the home remains a private residence.
This is one of metro Denver's most popular attractions – with good reason – so saddle up the SUV and get yourself to Golden. In 1917, with some 20,000 mourners in attendance, Buffalo Bill was laid to rest atop Lookout Mountain, where he'd have a permanent view of his beloved mountains and plains. His longtime friend Johnny Baker started the museum a few years later, and today it houses some pretty fascinating stuff – photos and memorabilia from the Wild West Show years, Native American artifacts, period firearms and equipment, and interactive kid's exhibits. Giddyup!
The current East High School was built in 1925. It has won numerous awards over the years for both academics and sports. It also has a surprising roster of well-known alumni: Don Cheadle, Judy Collins, Neal Cassady, Hattie McDaniel, Dianne Reeves, Sidney Sheldon, Pam Grier, Bill Frisell and Douglas Fairbanks, to name a few.
Dating to 1883, the grand old Byers-Evans House was originally built for newspaper executive Williams Byers. Six years later, it was sold to William Evans, an executive with the Denver Tramway Company and son of a former governor. Today, the home offers lovely architecture, period furnishings, and a film narrating the home's history and its notable owners. Throughout the year, a variety of special events is sponsored, including James Joyce poetry readings and live musical performances. Guided tours available Tuesday through Sunday.
For decades, the Colburn (circa 1925) has functioned as an apartment building and short-term rental property for those with limited incomes. This, of course, included starving artists and poets. Perhaps the most notable of its former residents are Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and muse Neal Cassady. Check out Charlie Brown's on the ground floor for a real Denver dive bar experience.