To honor the history and legacy of CU Denver’s Aurarian heritage, we have created an initiative, along with our Auraria Higher Education Center partners, to re-envision Ninth Street Historic Park as a geographic and emotional heart of Denver. The area includes approximately a dozen homes—many more than a century old—that were saved from demolition when the land was used to create a shared campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Now, as CU Denver turns 50, the university is conducting a historic preservation project that will update some of the homes’ infrastructure and restore their historic character.
“I don’t think you can tell the history of CU Denver without telling the story of Ninth Street and the Auraria neighborhood,” said Nolbert Chavez, a CU Denver alum, University of Colorado Regent, and CU Denver’s Chief of External Initiatives, to open this impactful video. “As CU Denver begins to celebrate its 50-year anniversary, we need to be respectful and mindful of the sacrifice that was made for this place to exist.”
With Chavez as a guide, this video explains some of the area’s history and CU Denver’s ongoing efforts to revitalize the spaces. “My hope is that we can turn the corner from the hurt and pain that was caused to recognize a new day of opportunity and education,” Chavez said. In addition, he spoke to why he feels a duty to serve as guardian for the homes in this historic location and highlighted the expansion of the Displaced Aurarian Scholarship Program, which allows all Auraria descendants—in perpetuity—to receive a free education at CU Denver.