Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/denver-mountain-parks-100-years-magnificent-dream[12/7/2015 3:49:49 PM] Home Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent DreamDenver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent DreamSubmitted by nwharton on 10-31-2013 07:11 AMAuthor: Wendy Rex-Atzet, Sally L. White, and Erika D. Walker. Foreword by Thomas J. Noel. Photography by John Fielder Publishing: Silverthorne, CO: John Fielder Publishing, 2013. Reviewer: Warwick Wick Downing This superb bit of historic artistry looks like a tabletop book, intended as a living-room decoration. Eleven inches wide and eleven and a half inches high, it has 144 pages of text interspersed with photographs. The cover is a stunning John Fielder photograph of Mount Evans from Summit Lake Park, taken on a fall day, with a dusting of snow on Mount Evans and a sky that fades from deep blue into deep purple. One would think it a book to thumb through while waiting for the party to begin. It is all of the above, and much more. It is the moving historical narrative of an idea that morphed into a treasure for the City of Denver. A reader can watch in awe as its hardheaded business leaders, in Denvers early years, were transformed into visionaries. An impossible dream yielded into a magnificent dream. But unlike others with huge visions, those early dreamers achieved theirs. Denver is unique among cities because of their Magnificent Dream. It has enriched the lives of us all. We are as rich as the Duke of Windsor because we have estates where we can go the year roundmountain estates, with unparalleled vistas and scenic views, many of which are breathtaking. The superlative photographs of John Fielder included in this work capture their essence, but nothing compares with the reality. The Magnificent Dream made the reality of those views available to us all. Our estates are the Denver Mountain Parks. In most of them we can hike and picnic, using grills provided by parks staff. In others we can fish for trout in spectacular streams, hike or bike on mountain trails, ski, play golf, watch the buffalo roam, and more, depending on our whim. And our estates are accessible. Acquiring, developing, maintaining, and preserving those estates for all the citizens of Denver to enjoy was what the Magnificent Dream envisioned and accomplished. This writer cannot accomplish, in a few words, a better description of the book than the one that appears in its Foreword. If Denver had not acted back in 1912, much of the land that is now mountain parks would have been developed. Residences, strip-malls, and big-box stores keep creeping into the hills. Denver made the prescient effort to preserve mountains in their natural state for public enjoyment and recreation. That story is told here for the first time in detail. The storytellers are mountain parks historian Sally White and Wendy Rex-Atzet, whose scholarly EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanThe Ute people have lived in Colorado longer than anyone else.
Denver Mountain Parks: 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/denver-mountain-parks-100-years-magnificent-dream[12/7/2015 3:49:49 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us research sheds new light on the legendary early decades. White and Rex-Atzet are joined by Erika Walker, writer, educator, and great-granddaughter of John Brisben Walker, one of the key pioneer promoters behind the Denver Mountain Parks. Together they tell this important and inspiring story. John Fielders powerful photos, each worth several thousand words, gracefully enhance the narrative throughout this book and balance the many historical images with contemporary views. To wrap things up, W. Bart Berger, founder of the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation, provides perspective on the mountain parks today and shows how Denvers foresight created a long-term asset for the citizens of the Front Range and beyond. The story is told in four parts. Part 1, Developing the Mountain Parks, starts with 1900, when the dream began, and takes the reader to 1940. Part 2, Defending the Mountain Parks, tells of the challenges that had to be overcome after World War II, to 2012. Calls for the divestiture of the Mountain Parks have been weatheredso far. Part 3, Discovering the Mountain Parks, shows the reader the real wonder of them. One cannot read, and see through the Fielder photographs, the treasure we have without wanting to weep at the thought of giving them up. Part 3 can also serve as a useful guide to those who take advantage of what we have. There are sixteen parks, from Lookout Mountain Park and Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave to Winter Park. In between are Genesee (where the buffalo literally roam) Red Rocks Park with its amphitheater, Dedisse Park, and so many others. This book is a must. Reviewer Info: Warwick Downing, a Colorado lawyer and former district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, State of Colorado is the author of three suspense novels, four courtroom dramas, and three novels for young readers. His grandfather, Warwick Downing, was an early Denver lawyer who headed up the Denver Mountain Parks Commission and helped to create the Denver Mountain Parks.