WATCH: We compressed a crazy day of conversation into this two-minute portrait of the 16th Street Mall

Is the mall really feeling more dangerous? Does it have the right businesses? Who’s it really meant for?

Krin Ali. (Kevin J. Beaty & Chloe Aiello/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;

Denverite sent a team to spend a day on the 16th Street Mall last week. We talked to people for hours on an end, listening to 12 hours of opinions and ideas. I was so overwhelmed by the time we left that I could hardly remember what had just happened. Good thing we had our cameras rolling.

This was the big event from our “16th Street Week.” The idea was to see what real people thought about all these questions we’d been asking: Is the mall really feeling more dangerous? Does it have the right businesses? Who’s it really meant for?

We’ve also mapped out how the mall might change in the future, how it was designed and what it looked like in the past. Erica Meltzer told the story of the mall through the eyes of a parent.

And when the big day came, we wrote about what we were thinking and hearing — and now we’re really happy to show you the people of the 16th Street Mall.

Lindsey. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“If I happen to be having coffee or eating on a patio on 16th Street Mall, I don’t think there’s ever been a time that I haven’t been approached by somebody for money.” -Lindsey (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Joey. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
Joey was homeless for 3 years, and spent 2 weeks on the mall before a retailer offered him a job. “My homeboys told me that if I come out here that I could get easy money.” (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Purnell Steen. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“It was a bright, bright, bright jewel amongst other attractions in other cities, and that jewel has suddenly become very tarnished.” -Purnell Steen (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Sir. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“Before this cobblestone-looking thing was here, before they tried to copy Boulder, this was one-way traffic going westbound. They used to have low riders come down here and they used to ride down 16th…It was nice.” -Sir (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“The questions we’re asking…How do you meet the growing population needs so that we can make sure this is supporting more retail, more residential, more companies?” -Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Tillman Gandy. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“Too bad I don’t see prominent people. The mall is a drab place, really. Tourists coming here don’t know what they’re getting into.” -Tillman Gandy (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Bhavish Patel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“I see some chains [retailers] are still missing. We could see some more chains. The more franchises the better.” -Bhavish Patel (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Walter Isenberg, Chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“I just think the more we can do to create activity and make the mall a place that people want to come, as well as being a transportation corridor, that that’s good for downtown.” -Walter Isenberg, Chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Iris. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“There’s not very much diversity out here.” -Iris (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
"The 16th Street Mall? It sucks!" (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“The 16th Street Mall? It sucks!” (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Elmo. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
“If you come to the 16th Street Mall there’s a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts…The doughnuts are so delicious you gotta just try each and every one of them.” -Elmo (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
The 16th Street mall is: "Fun." (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sixteenth street; 16th street mall; video portrait; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado; cbd; downtown;
The 16th Street Mall is: “Fun.” (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.