DENVER (CBS4) – Denver is always changing, but if you know where to look, you can see what remains of the city’s past.
“There’s a very long history here,” said Lucha Martinez de Luna, associate curator for Latino Heritage at History Colorado.
Her father painted murals in the La Alma and Auraria neighborhood of Denver, which is now the Auraria campus. Some murals date from 60 years ago when it was a completely different location.
“It was a huge community and there were many families from the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado who really had a story here, before it was Denver, before it was Colorado. When it was the Spanish Empire, ”said Lucha.
It was home to the largest Mexicano, Hispano, and Chicano neighborhood in the state, but the city wanted the land for development and evicted the residents. Lucha says the residents did not go down without a fight.
“They fought very hard, they resisted, but the city just didn’t listen,” said Lucha.
This story of the Auraria and La Alma neighborhood is just one of History Colorado’s new “Buildings Denver: Visions of the Capital” exhibition, which explores Denver’s growth, urban development, and architecture from 1860 to the present day. The Auraria / La Alma section shows visitors the price some of Colorado’s oldest families have paid in the name of progress.
“This is largely focused on Denver redlining and eviction,” she said.
According to Lucha Martinez de Luna, this is a price some families continue to pay thanks to gentrification.
“This is still a pattern that continues to plague us,” Lucha said.
She says that’s why it’s important for Coloradans to see not just the Auraria portion, but the entire Building Denver exhibit.
“This way our deceased can hear and read about these stories and they will not forget,” she said.