A Message From Historic Denver
June 4, 2020

Over the weekend our city’s landmarks and historic places once again bore witness to history-making events with protests in response to police violence against African American communities. Preservation is grounded in the belief that places have meaning, and so landmarks are often the gathering places and sites for expression, and in some instances become a part of the narrative. It is these moments that add new layers of meaning and history to the places and spaces in our city. While some historic properties sustained damage in the past few days, we know that they can and will be repaired. More importantly, we know our historic places can help us to understand and face the struggles of our past that carry through to today, including the legacy of systemic racism in our country.

Recently Historic Denver has been supporting the development of a documentary about the Power of Place, produced by HaveyPro Cinema. In the yet-to-be-released project Paul Gardullo of the National Museum of African American History and Culture explains, “Place becomes a really resonant lens through which to understand our own lives. Sometimes they’re constructed through something that happened. Sometimes they’re constructed like a garden through planting seeds and carrying those seeds with you from one place to another. Sometimes they’re constructed by acts of violence. Or the reaction to acts of violence.”

At Historic Denver, our vision is to connect people, place and the past in support for a better future for all. To do this we must grapple with history, including its pain and injustice, and grapple with ourselves, and we must renew our commitment to uncover, understand, and tell the stories of the places that reflect the full and diverse breath of our city’s story.

As a continuation of the community coming together, we are so grateful to see the many residents immediately step forward to help clean-up and repair landmarks and civic spaces, showing that our community can express both anguish and love in the search for justice.

As the work continues we will also seek to listen and to learn, and for additional resources from fellow history-focused organizations, check-out:

National Museum of African American History & Culture

History Colorado Blog

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Facing History & Ourselves

If you have additional resources you want to bring to the attention of Historic Denver or add to this list, please send it to info@historicdenver.org.