551. Denver, Denver County (CO19)

Denver turned out to be an interesting case from an administrative perspective, something I hadn’t run into yet in my travels. In 1902, the City of Denver and Denver County were combined into a single entity, therefore this is the administrative center for the City and County of Denver, effectively the county courthouse. Though it is hard to see, I liked the quote carved on the side: divine nature made the country, human art built the cities. I have talked on a number of occasions about how church and state should be separate, and I believe that very seriously. That said, while I see there being room for thanks to or for the divine, I think that a lot of times people give short shrift to the ingenuity and cleverness of man. Don’t get me wrong, though… Man does some pretty stupid things, too. For instance, I fervently believe that Phoenix, as stated by Peggy Hill, is a monument to the arrogance of man, a city that lives in Apollo’s microwave that should not exist. As a further sidenote, the above carved quote was written by Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman author I was not previously acquainted with. I don’t usually have occasion to run into holes in my classical education, but they are most certainly there and this one should be grappled with more thoroughly at some point.

A couple of blocks away is this gorgeous beast and you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s the courthouse. This is the City and County Building and, while it does contain courts, it’s more like City Hall. And one heck of a City Hall it is, n’est pas? I took a shot of it as it was beginning to rain (fear not, I had my trusty umbrella) since I was passing by, but I really photographed it because I thought it might be a contender for the county courthouse and wanted to avoid the specter of Albuquerque. And speaking of capitals, the City and County Building lies across a central park/common from…

…the Colorado State Capitol. I don’t know for sure what the bottom half of the building is made of, but I do like the blue stone of the dome quite a bit. Add in the gold at the top and you get an old effect approximating the blue/orange color combination that was all the rage in movie marketing for many years. Yes, that is a strange correlation to draw, but welcome to my head. I also like the way that the Capitol and the City/County Building face off against one another. And between the two?

ART! But that’s not even the most interesting thing. In this downtown, full of stunning buildings, there was one more that I was compelled to see.

Welcome to the Denver Mint, located right behind the City/County Building. The numismatist in me was all aflutter to see it. As another weird little sidenote, just as I once wanted to see all the courthouses in Texas, I’ve always wanted to visit all the mints in the United States. There are four active (Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point), four inactive (Dahlonega, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Carson City). The bad news was that they are not offering tours during the time of cholera. The good news was that this was where I ended up getting my cache.

There was a virtual on the back gates of the Mint, which was convenient considering the rain that kept dropping in and out. Any time I can avoid rain caching on the road I most certainly am happy to do so. I’ve not entirely averse to it, but I feel I’ve done more than my fair share of rain caching in the last five states I’ve been to. And with this, I made my way to see my friends and spend a well deserved night of food, camaraderie, and fireworks (it was the day before Independence Day, after all). Sure, it cost me a good afternoon and evening of caching, but (and you will rarely hear me say this, and only about certain, very specific things/people) there are some things even more important than caching. But I was up the next day with the sun (not before it because their guest bed was unreasonably comfortable and I am a weak man who is easily temped by luxury), soon to continue my journey by crossing the big old city to make a first, pre-breakfast stop in…

6 thoughts on “551. Denver, Denver County (CO19)

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