500th post! Lakeside extravanganza!
This is the 500th post to The Denver Eye!
Tom Lundin here, Eyeballer #1. I first took up architectural photography in 2006 to
supply myself with source material for my technical illustration habit. Photography quickly
became an obsession.
To celebrate I am posting these Lakeside Amusement Park shots from that year, 2006. Lakeside doesn’t always allow you to photograph freely, but these were all taken before that became an issue. All I had in those days was a point-and-shoot-camera with all the distortion and poor shadows that come with a smaller digital sensor and static lens. And on that day I dealt with weather that I could not control. But the subject matter stands out no matter what the circumstance!
Lakeside Amusement Park started as a White City in 1908. White Citys sprung up in various places across the United States as imitations of the White City set up at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. There, they built a Beaux-Arts style city with hundreds of thousands of light bulbs provided with electricity by the competing technologies of Thomas Edison (direct-current) and Nikola Tesla (alternating-current).
The Tower of Jewels above is decorated with 16,000 light bulbs.
Lakeside is one of the oldest remaining amusement parks in the U.S. After Benjamin Krasner bought the park in the 1930s, he gave it an incredible Art Deco makeover with the aid of architect Richard Crowther.
When Richard Crowther moved to Denver, he was an expert at neon lighting as he had just lit up the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition Fair of 1940. Crowther became a famous Denver modernist architect, designing the Neufeld House in 1956. He designed multiple Cinerama theaters including Denver’s Cooper Theater on Colorado Blvd (now gone), and achieved his greatest fame as a pioneering green architect in Cherry Creek, noted for his use of Passive Solar Heating.
The Cooper Cinerama Theatre, from 1961.
Lakeside is filled withoutstanding examples of Art Moderne or Streamline Modern signs, ticket booths, gardens and other features. The parts of the park that are not Art Deco are from the original White City and are often reused elsewhere in the park.
The Starride ferris wheel from the earlier days of the park.
A minature diesel version of the Zephyr!
When this tower was built in 1908, it was the tallest structure in the state!
Looking out over Lake Rhoda.
Lakeside Speedway closed in 1988 after 50 years of racing!
Lakeside’s famous Merry-Go-Round. Four rows filled with the widest variety of animals you will ever see on any merry-go-round.
White City’s Casino Theatre
This steam-powered minature locomotive has been running here continously since the opening of the park in 1908!
June 5th, 2012 / 7 Comments » / by Tom Lundin
Photo © 2012 Scott Murdock
Guest photographer Scott Murdock with an iconic shot of the Bluebird Theater on Colfax.
The theater was designed by Harry Edbrooke in 1913 for John Thompson and was originally called the Thompson Theater. While movies had been playing in town before 1913, the Bluebird was the first theater in Denver designed specifically for screening films. Edbrooke is probably the most famous and prolific of downtown Denver’s architects. (And he later designed the Ogden Theater for Thompson as well.)
Harry Huffman, the Denver movie theater mogul (who built Shangri-La), bought the theater in 1921, changed the name and added the first Bluebird signage, which originally had a very large bird placed on top. I assumed the sign was replaced with the current Art Deco sign in the ’30s.
May 22nd, 2012 / No Comments » / by Scott Murdock
Lazy T Ranch Muffler Man
This classic Muffler Man at the Lazy T Ranch between Longmont and Lyons
has been customized to look like a cowboy with a pitchfork.
It was originally created by International Fiberglass company of California in the ’60s
to place in front of a tool and machine parts shop.
International Fiberglass started making these giants as Paul Bunyon with an axe and then adapted the mold to make the more classic Muffler Man. International Fiberglass also made the Sinclair gas station dinosaurs!
May 7th, 2012 / 2 Comments » / by Tom Lundin
Some S. Colorado Blvd & S. Broadway signs
Just some signage from S. Colorado and S. Broadway. Well, this
first sign isn’t exactly on Colorado Blvd, but close enough.
April 17th, 2012 / 4 Comments » / by Tom Lundin
The ’50s-era Hi-Lo Market in Commerce City with it’s high sign (and low prices, I assume!)
February 28th, 2012 / No Comments » / by Tom Lundin
Driftwood Hotel sign
The Driftwood Hotel sign on E. Colfax. It points to the hotel on the other side of the street!
The driftwood from the Driftwood Hotel.
January 25th, 2012 / No Comments » / by Tom Lundin
January 2nd, 2012 / No Comments » / by Tom Lundin
Valverde Yacht Club sign
Nice, simple, Googie sign for the Valverde Yacht Club, now gone,
of course. Jokingly named after the 1965 Platte River Flood decimated
December 9th, 2011 / No Comments » / by Tom Lundin
Royal Tavern sign
Photo © 2011 Scott Murdock
Streamline Modern sign from the 1930s in Manitou Springs.
October 3rd, 2011 / No Comments » / by Scott Murdock