What is LoDo?
LoDo is a trendy urban neighborhood (the Lower Downtown district) in Denver CO that used to be known for its industrial warehouses. It now hosts fancy apartments, art galleries, and restaurants.
What kind of buildings can I see?
A collection of brick buildings some with steel or iron fronts dominates LoDo’s streetscape. They are a mix of retail outlets, commercial offices, lofts, and bars on the bottom floors with residential neighborhoods above them. Many historic buildings have been renovated as well as new structures being built.
What corners are iconic & why?
The corner of 20th & Market Sts has an illuminated Coors beer sign that lights up the night sky like a beacon from within a storefront filled with shiny silver kegs. This is the hub of the many bars in LoDo. The corner of 18th & Wazee Sts has a 60-ft tall blue bear statue that sits atop a building with an outdoor patio where people meet up before clubbing.
Name some popular attractions in the area? Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Pepsi Center (home to the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and NLL’s Denver Outlaws), 16th Street Mall (a pedestrian-only street lined with shops and restaurants), Skyline Park (outdoor park on 16th St mall), Union Station (1911 train terminal turned mall)
History of LoDo
The Lower Downtown district is Denver’s oldest neighborhood and was home to Denver’s earliest residents – the Indians. It evolved into a Victorian Era trading post, warehouse district, and home to light industrial activities. By the 1970s, it had become an area on the decline with vacant buildings and no real identity.
Denver’s Central Platte Valley fell on hard times in the 1970s and 1980s with warehouses seeing no tenants, railways converting from steam to diesel engines, and the South Platte River is viewed as an open sewer. The area was ripe for a revival when the historic buildings were re-appraised and developers started renovating them.
What kinds of people live there?
The Lower Downtown district is one of Denver’s most coveted neighborhoods. It is filled with young professionals who are just starting out their careers at companies such as Chipotle, Qwest Communications International (Qwest), Dish Network (DISH), Level 3 Communications (LVLT, Fortune 500), United Airlines (UAL), Starz Entertainment Group (STRZA, Fortune 500), and Zayo Group Holdings (ZAYO). The LoDo District is also home to many outdoor adventurers.
What’s the local cuisine?
The area is filled with pubs, microbreweries & craft breweries – some of which are Wynkoop Brewing Co (est. 1988), Great Divide Brewing Company (est. 1994), Breckenridge Brewery (est. 1992), Rock Bottom Brewery, Denver ChopHouse & Brewery, Wynkoop Plaza Pub, and bar&brew concept el Camino Community.
Getting there by public transportation
LoDo sits next to the city’s 16th Street Mall bus route (serviced by the RTD). It is also close to the RTD’s light rail lines at Union Station.
Getting there by foot/cycling
LoDo is one of Denver’s most walkable neighborhoods with a large percentage of streets having sidewalks and wide curbs. The Platte River Trail connects LoDo to Downtown, Coors Field (home to the Colorado Rockies MLB team), LODO canal, South Broadway (a historic district filled with shops & eateries), and Highlands (an eclectic neighborhood known for its bars). It can be accessed from multiple points along the corridor including Blake Street, 18th Street near Wynkoop Plaza, Broadway, 20th Street near Market street station, and 21st Street near Wynkoop Plaza.