December 28, 2008

Glass slide photograph of Larimer Street

(Click to enlarge)

A nice glass slide photographic image of Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado (circa mid to late 1880s). The photograph was taken looking east on Larimer, from a spot just west of the intersection at 16th Street.

The Arcade Restaurant and Club Rooms (upstairs) are seen on the north side of the street. This is previous to the very ornate "Arcade" cornice construction of 1890. The Arcade is perhaps the most famous sin-den of early Denver history. It was also one of Soapy Smith's favorite hang-outs, along with members of the Soap Gang and other underworld notables. Further up the block, at the intersection of Larimer and 17th streets, the three-story Chever Block can be seen. Soapy leased one of the offices on the second floor from which to coordinate his operations. By turning left at this corner and traveling one block to the south-east corner of Market Street, one would arrive at Soapy's Tivoli Club (Caveat Emptor). One more block east on Larimer is the famous Windsor Hotel, at one time considered the most elegant hotel west of St. Louis.
The Windsor, internationally noted, with its 300 rooms and staff of 140 persons overseeing a miniature city including a Western Union Office, a barber shop, two bars, three restaurants, a library, a laundry, a wine cellar, a tobacconist, and a maze of parlors, meeting rooms and suites, Denver became a destination in itself.

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