LOOK: Denver Christmas throughout the years

Nighttime view of the City and County Building in Denver, Colorado. The building is decorated with Christmas lights and decorations. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-415)
The City and County building, illuminated in 1965. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Series 3 Photographs/Photobox 1) archive; library; historic; denver; denverite; colorado
The City and County building, illuminated in 1965. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Series 3 Photographs/Photobox 1)

Decade after decade, Denver has pulled out all the stops to gussy itself up for the holiday season.

And one thing has been reliably unchanged for decades: Civic Center is the crown jewel of the city’s light displays.

Union Station and 16th Street make a pretty good showing, too, though. Take a look:

Civic Center, 1930
View of Voorhies Memorial with Christmas decorations, Civic Center, Denver, Colorado, shows wreaths and garlands on gateway and colonnade, "Merry Christmas" sign, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus with reindeer atop gateway. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/MCC-2872)
View of Voorhies Memorial with Christmas decorations, Civic Center, Denver, Colorado, shows wreaths and garlands on gateway and colonnade, “Merry Christmas” sign, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus with reindeer atop gateway. 1930. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/MCC-2872)
Union Station, circa 1920-30
Interior view of the Union Station, in Denver, Colorado. Children, women, and men pose by a Christmas tree, garlands, and decorations. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-25208)
Interior view of the Union Station, in Denver, Colorado. Children, women, and men pose by a Christmas tree, garlands, and decorations. Circa 1920-30(Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/ X-25208)
Civic Center, 1929
View north from Greek Theater and Colonnade of Civic Benefactors across Civic Center Park to Voorhies Memorial and downtown Denver, Colorado; Christmas decorations include: bottom of wreath on theater, large Christmas tree center of plaza, evergreen wrapped lamppoles and columns, evergreen garland draped from poles; landmarks include: Old Main Library, County Courthouse dome, Republican Building, Continental Oil Building with sign, "Conoco Products", Metropolitan Building, Majestic Building, Hotel Shirley Savoy; Sommer's Oil Co., and Western Tire Co. 1929. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/MCC-3022)
View north from Greek Theater and Colonnade of Civic Benefactors across Civic Center Park to Voorhies Memorial and downtown Denver, Colorado; Christmas decorations include: bottom of wreath on theater, large Christmas tree center of plaza, evergreen wrapped lamppoles and columns, evergreen garland draped from poles; landmarks include: Old Main Library, County Courthouse dome, Republican Building, Continental Oil Building with sign, “Conoco Products”, Metropolitan Building, Majestic Building, Hotel Shirley Savoy; Sommer’s Oil Co., and Western Tire Co. 1929. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/MCC-3022)
Gas and Electric Building, 1930
Nighttime view of the Gas and Electric Building at 15th and Champa Streets in downtown Denver, Colorado. The building is decorated with light bulbs for Christmas. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-24888)
Nighttime view of the Gas and Electric Building at 15th and Champa Streets in downtown Denver, Colorado. The building is decorated with light bulbs for Christmas. Dec. 19, 1930. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/ X-24888)
Civic Center, 1940
The Denver City and County Building is decorated for Christmas, Denver, Colorado. Sign reads: "Merry Christmas Happy New Year 1940." (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-4554)
The Denver City and County Building is decorated for Christmas, Denver, Colorado. Sign reads: “Merry Christmas Happy New Year 1940.” (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Rh-4554)
A “singing tree” of West High School students, 1946
Photograph of the annual singing Christmas Tree at West High School in Denver, Colorado. Eight levels of students stand on a circular platform decorated as a Christmas Tree while singing. Beside the tree a singe female students sits on a stool dressed in white. ((Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/WH1990)
Photograph of the annual singing Christmas Tree at West High School in Denver, Colorado. Eight levels of students stand on a circular platform decorated as a Christmas Tree while singing. Beside the tree a singe female students sits on a stool dressed in white. 1946. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/WH1990)
Civic Center, 1953
Nighttime view of the City and County Building in Denver, Colorado. The building is decorated with Christmas lights and decorations. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-415)
Nighttime view of the City and County Building in Denver, Colorado. The building is decorated with Christmas lights and decorations. 1953. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-415)
16th Street, 1966
Nighttime view of 16th Street in downtown Denver, Colorado. Automobiles drive under Christmas lights and decorations that span the street. Signs read: "Denver" "Baurs" "Douglas Optical" and "Paramount." 1966. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-23129)
Nighttime view of 16th Street in downtown Denver, Colorado. Automobiles drive under Christmas lights and decorations that span the street. Signs read: “Denver” “Baurs” “Douglas Optical” and “Paramount.” 1966. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-23129)
Bonus

I found this very good dog in there.

Cleo the Basset Hound poses for her owner, Marie Griffin, in the annual Christmas card. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/RMN-036-3518)
Cleo the Basset Hound poses for her owner, Marie Griffin, in the annual Christmas card. (Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/RMN-036-3518)

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.