New York Times celebrates Denver’s pedestrian mall

The New York Times celebrates what Denver did with the 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian walkway rivaled by other U.S. city builders.


There were balloons and free cookies, stickers and speeches on Tuesday to mark the 30th birthday of a pedestrian mall that runs through the heart of this city’s downtown. The mayor read a proclamation, office workers hustled past with late-morning lattes and a few homeless men shadowboxed with the celebratory red-and-white balloons.

So goes life along Denver’s mile-long 16th Street Mall.

For all its vitality and new development downtown, Denver is still a city in search of an icon. It has no Golden Gate Bridge, no French Quarter, no Empire State Building. The snow-capped Rockies float like a mirage off to the west, far beyond the city limits. What Denver has, instead, is the mall.

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Ivy Hughes is a Colorado native and coffee shop junkie. Contact her here.
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