7.0 out of 10

Civic Center

39.736748734231 -104.991364423182
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
  •  
  •  
  •  
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Clean & Green
Who lives here?
  • Tourists
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"I love Civic Center"

I never tire of visiting Civic Center. Whether wandering around for People's Fair or Denver's Pride Festival in Civic Center Park, or popping by Mad Greens at the Art Museum for lunch, it's always an interesting and beautiful place to be. It seems like over the past few years, there are more and more things to see. The new Colorado History Museum is next on my list.

The 4th of July fireworks set to performances by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra are a must see!
Pros
  • Museums everywhere!
  • City and County Building lights display at Christmastime
3/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Civic and public spaces just south of downtown"

Civic Center contains courts, museums, the main public library, and a few restaurants. Most of the time, people don't think about housing in this neighborhood, but that is starting to change becuase of some high-end condo development here.
If you want to search for apartments in this neighborhood, you will be looking at the area that comes to a point south of 12th Avenue, the other borders being the main thoroughfares of Broadway and Speer. And you will probably have better luck if you look for "Golden Triangle", which is another name for this neighborhood. Actually, when locals mention Civic Center, odds are they are referring to the area of the state capitol building, the City and County Courthouse, and the broad swath of column-flanked green park space in between. They might also be including the area of the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum stretching west from 13th and Broadway.
A lot of this area is still covered with the small pay parking lots that are filled with people who are going to the courthouse for work or jury duty. But this area has also been the target of a lot of recent development, mostly stemming from the prime location and the new Art Museum building. Some extremely high-end condos have been built to the south.
The activity in this area is cultural, thanks to the museum and library, and public/civic, thanks to the park. The museum houses a huge variety of collections and has some areas geared toward children as well as adults. The view from the glass walkway that runs over 13th Avenue at the 2nd story level is worth the price of admission alone. Go during a snowstorm if you get the chance, because you will be standing in midair, in a glass tunnel, just like a figure in a snow globe. The park itself is a nice space for festivals and other events, but is also unfortunately a gathering spot for large numbers of downtown's homeless population.
It is a fun area to visit. There's a great local restaurant called Pint's Pub just west of the Art Museum, which is a brewpub with a huge collection of single malt scotch. And of course, being that close to downtown means that residents have any activity they want available to them.
Pros
  • Proximity to downtown
  • City and County Building lights display at Christmastime
Cons
  • Heavy traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
2yrs+

"Denvers Hub of Civic Administration and Museums"

Civic Center is one of a handful of Denver neighborhoods that is almost or completely non-residential. As of the most recent census, there are only 1500 living residents within the neighborhood’s boundaries. They’re vastly outnumbered by the neighborhood’s painting subjects and fictional characters. Civic Center houses the art museum and the central library, as well as the State Capitol and the City and County Building. It’s a cultural and geographic nexus, and almost all visitors to the city, as well as all locals, pass through or make a quick visit at some point.

All Civic Center’s attractions are definitely worth a look. The art museum houses a very apropos collection of western art as well as shelves upon shelves of Central American artifacts and art and design from pretty much every time period and culture. The library, like the airport, is floored with fossil-bearing stone. Denver's history museum is currently undergoing a total reconstruction, with a grandiose new building slated to open in 2012. In all seasons, festivals, concerts, and protests take place in Civic Center Park. Every Wednesday night in the summer, hundreds or thousands of bicyclists converge on the park’s amphitheater and briefly transform it into the “Circle of Death,” a furious whirlpool of wheels, pedals, and rowdy, costumed riders. Many cities can draw a crowd for a bike ride like this – but perhaps only Denver can routinely boast over eight hundred people. The area gained a bad rap in the '70s for crime and homelessness, and while it's improved substantially since then, visitors would still do well to be cautious after dark.

One of the best times to visit Civic Center is around Christmas. The City and County Building’s entire façade is lit up with multicolored lights, as is the tower at the top. Bells, candy canes, and other seasonal paraphernalia, also in lights, adorn the building as well. Flanking the grand neoclassical entry are, on one side, Santa and his mechanical elves, and, on the other side, a Nativity scene. Reactions to this whole spectacle run the gamut: eye-rolling, outrage, fierce protective affection. As a transplant from Montana put it: “The City and County Building is like the Tammy Faye Bakker of Christmas lights. Is it gaudy? Or is it beautiful? Yes.” This display stands in contrast to the state Capitol, which remains unilluminated, except for the light that shines on its golden dome.
Pros
  • Some of Denver's best museums
  • City and County Building lights display at Christmastime
Cons
  • Doesn't feel 100% safe after dark
Recommended for
  • Tourists

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