We wanted to visit Denver and the surrounding area so we parked in nearby Wheat Ridge, CO, at Prospect RV Park, about 12 miles west of the heart of downtown Denver.
We didn’t get around as much as we had intended due to a couple of complications. However, we did check out the town of Boulder, home to the University of Colorado, and the town of Arvada.
Of course, we had to get into Denver to tour the State Capitol, which was constructed in the 1890’s and opened in 1894. The land on which it was built had been donated by Henry Cordes Brown, a man who became known as closely associated with the development of Denver. He arrived here in 1860 and staked a homestead claim on 160 acres of land. It was 10 acres of this land that he eventually donated to be used to build the Capitol. He knew that wealthy people would likely want to live near the Capitol and he profited handsomely by building and selling homes on the remainder of his land surrounding the Capitol building.
Designed by Elijah E. Myers, the building is intentionally reminiscent of the United States Capitol. Mr. Myers is the only architect to design the capitol buildings of three U.S. states, the Michigan State Capitol and the Texas State Capitol, in addition to the Colorado State Capitol. The interior of the building uses copious amounts of Colorado Rose Onyx from a mine near Beulah, CO, consuming the entire known supply.
The official elevation of Denver is measured on the steps of the west entrance to the Capitol, where the 15th step is engraved with the words “One Mile Above Sea Level”. With more recent measurements, additional markers have been placed on the 18th step in 1969 and the 13th step in 2003.