An Evening with Award-winning Preservationist Dana Crawford
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Award-winning preservationist Dana Crawford initiated a concept of urban renewal that was one of the first of its kind in the United States. She pioneered the redevelopment of Denver’s historic Larimer Square in the mid 1960s, creating a festival shopping area from the neglected and abandoned buildings of Denver’s original main street. Today, Larimer Square serves as a prototype for the revitalization of forgotten main streets and architectural landmarks throughout the country.
Since the 1960s, Mrs. Crawford has redeveloped more than 800,000 square feet of historic property in the city of Denver including the Oxford Hotel, the Acme Lofts, the Edbrooke Lofts, Cooper Flats Condominiums and Flour Mill Lofts, converting an abandoned flour mill into unique loft spaces designed for the sophisticated urbanite. Mrs. Crawford has been steadfast in her belief that core cities can be made livable again. Today, in partnership with her son Jack Crawford, she is developing Prospect Park, a mixed-use, master planned village in Denver’s Central Platte Valley.
In July 2014, Union Station Alliance opened the 125,000 square foot, 54-million-dollar revitalization of the Denver Union Station transit hub. That same year she received the Urban Land institute’s Legacy Award for initiating Union Station’s reclamation plus decades of development which have redefined Denver. Recently, she has turned her attention to communities across the state, including Trinidad, Pueblo, Broomfield and Idaho Springs. In October, 2018, she received the state’s highest award—the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal, honoring recipients for their contributions to the strength and vitality of the state.
In addition to her many business accomplishments, Mrs. Crawford has given much of her time to both local and national concerns. She served nine years on the board of directors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, six of those years on its executive committee. In 1995 the National Trust awarded her their highest honor, the distinguished Louise duPont Crowninshield Award. For fifteen years she worked with Preservation Action, serving as president for two years. She presently serves on the national board of Project for Public Spaces.
Mrs. Crawford’s contributions to the Denver community are many. She has been on the board of the Downtown Denver Partnership for more than thirty years and has been active with the Platte River Greenway Foundation, the Denver Art Museum, Historic Denver, Inc., the Colorado Historical Society and Foundation, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She is an honorary member of the Colorado Chapter of A.I.A., and has been awarded a Doctorate of Humanities by the University of Colorado. In recognition of her civic contributions, business successes, and the positive influence she has had on the architectural character of Denver, she was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 1997. That same year, in honor of her many years of community service, she was presented with the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award, also known as the “Colorado Nobel Prize.” In 1998, the Denver Business Journal recognized Mrs. Crawford as one of twenty people who have made a difference to Denver’s business success in the twentieth century.
Dana Crawford’s energy and commitment continue to be the spark for the ongoing revitalization of Denver’s Lower Downtown Historic District (LoDo). She is often called upon to assist others in their own revitalization efforts and has served as a consultant for over fifty communities to help preserve the historic character of neglected main streets and neighborhoods nationwide.