Profile of Denver and Our Cathedral

Since the office of the bishop is located in the heart of Denver, we thought it would be helpful to include a bit about our capitol city. The story begins in 1858, with the city sprouting from the banks of Cherry Creek, at its confluence with the South Platte River. Since then, the City of Denver has weathered cycles of boom and bust. When the prospectors moved into the ore-rich mountains, taking their economic activity with them, Denver persevered by becoming a vital transshipment point and supply town. It became home to grand houses and thriving businesses.

Denver Skyline.jpg

“Queen City of the Plains” or “Mile-High City,” in 2018 Denver is booming. Its “brilliant blue skyline,” reports the New York Times, “is punctuated with red cranes, its soundtrack includes the steady thrum of power drills operated by hard-hatted construction workers putting up office buildings and housing at a feverish pace.” [1] Developers are eying a 90-story mixed-use structure in the heart of Denver’s central business district downtown.

More than doubling its population since the 1950s, when the Daniels & Fisher Tower, at 325 feet, was Denver’s tallest building, Denver continues to attract a highly skilled workforce. Now the “supply town” for arts and entertainment, Denver is also the hub for government, commerce, bio-tech, oil and gas, education, and urban-agriculture innovation—including a legal, billion-dollar cannabis industry dominating most of the city’s warehouse space and filling the state’s tax coffers. Home to 2.7 million people, Metro Denver’s population is expected to continue to rise. [2]

A major airline hub, Denver International Airport (DIA) is at 33,531 acres (or 52.4 square miles), the largest airport in the United States. DIA is connected by light rail to the beautifully restored and renovated Union Station, a historic landmark in Denver’s Lower Downtown (LoDo).

Our beautiful mountains and creeks, just a short drive from Denver, offer an array of activities for the soul from skiing, to snowboarding, to hiking, to fishing, and more. Right outside your doorstep, Denver boasts more than 5,000 acres of parks, trails, golf courses, and playgrounds.

Our common myth is that we have 300 days of sunshine per year; while not truly accurate, it does point to the amazingly bright blue skies and low humidity. Our highest average seasonal rainfall is only 2.2 inches in the summer. [2]

 

 Saint John's Cathedral, Denver.

Saint John's Cathedral, Denver.

Saint John's Cathedral Campus

Integral to Denver’s history and identity, Saint John’s Cathedral is many things to the city: cool Gothic structure, Capitol Hill chapel, grand host for state funerals.  The cathedral is one of the 16 communities of faith that house homeless women one night a week for a year-round ministry of shelter and care. Metro Caring, a premier hunger-relief nonprofit, receives food grown and gleaned by the Cathedral Co-operative of Gardeners. Active in the formation of The St. Francis Center in 1983, the cathedral recently partnered with the Center to build the St. Francis Apartments just a block from the Office of the Bishop. The five-floor, 52-unit apartment building houses people who were homeless and provides offices for case workers and other support personnel.

The cathedral campus sits on nearly two city blocks on Capitol Hill, not too far from the State Capitol building. The Office of the Bishop and the cathedral complex together occupy Cathedral Square South, bounded to the north and south by 14th and 13th Avenues. Cathedral Square North, across 14th Avenue, features a large parking lot, two busy commercial operations (a two-story pizza place and a large liquor store called The Argonaut) fronting on Colfax Avenue. Colfax is itself a historic American thoroughfare celebrated for its grittiness. The newly constructed St. Francis Center Apartments occupy the west side of the square and front on Washington Street, a busy traffic corridor for south-bound commuters. The cathedral-owned Kimberly Apartments building anchors the southeast corner of the square.

 

Contributors:

[1] Patricia Cohen, “The Cities on the Sunny Side of the American Economy,” New York Times, March 31, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/01/business/economy/cities-where-us-economy-is-thriving.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/us&action=click&contentCollection=us®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=22&pgtype=sectionfront

[2] Katie Hearsum, “Denver, Number One, 2016 Best Places to Live Rankings,” US News & World Report, http://realestate.usnews.com/places/colorado/denver

Saint John's Cathedral Parish Profile, http://sjcathedral.org