West Colfax


Nowadays the streets of West Colfax are filled with shopping centers, healthcare facilities and commercial offices that blend with residences in this Hispanic and Asian multi-ethnic neighborhood. However, more than 100 years ago West Colfax developed as the residential and commercial home of Denver’s original Jewish population.

History
Contemporary West Colfax is less defined by its boundaries than its namesake street, and the relationship between a residential neighborhood and a hard-luck commercial stretch of America’s longest street, which was originally known as the Golden Road for its connection of Golden and Denver. Colfax long served as a route for travel and trade through Denver. Westward travelers used the Golden Road as a way to the mountains, meeting wagons of hay and other agricultural goods destined for Denver. Travelers traversed a section of the Front Range with few residents, save for a handful of grand residences, shanties, and farms. With immigrants from the eastern United States, as well as more recent arrivals from central and eastern Europe, the neighborhood of modest homes and small businesses was a distinctly Jewish community. Much of the recent history of West Colfax has been concerned with a series of revitalization efforts, beginning in 1978 with a study of the street itself and means to create a more inviting environment.

Today
Today, West Colfax is identified by the Piton Foundation as one of the city’s at-risk neighborhoods, with residents who are younger, poorer, and less educated than those who reside in almost any other Denver neighborhood. Some 28% [2013] of West Colfax residents are without a high school diploma, compared to the city-wide rate of 10%, and just 26% [2013] of residents hold an undergraduate degree, that’s 22% less than that of Denver’s population. However, the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown jobs and amenities offer the prospect of renaissance.

 Source: Denver Public Library: Western History & Genealogy Department
More Info: The Piton Foundation
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