The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond

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The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond
Series Title:
The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond
Fisher, Steve
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:45:53 PM] Home The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and BeyondThe Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and BeyondSubmitted by jainlayconley on 7-21-2010 10:30 PMAuthor: Phil Goodstein Publishing: Denver: New Social Publications, 2010. Black and white photos, index, footnotes. vi + 306 pages. 6 x 9. $19.95 paperback. Reviewer: Steve Fisher Reviewer Affiliation: University of Denver As university archivist at the University of Denver, I am often asked questions such as Is the Mary Reed Building haunted? People ask me this with a straight face as if I can possibly prove it one way or the other, like giving them the date of a buildings cornerstone. Phil Goodstein, that infamous Denver Naysayer and teller of ghostly tales, has that rare ability to spin fact and legend into enjoyable reading. He is quite prolific, having authored over two dozen Denver-related titles. He is also well known for his historic Denver walking tours where he often sells his books. Goodstein is now back in print with an entertaining study of south Denver titled The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond. It is the third and finalvolume of a series entitled The History of South Denver. Ghosts is divided into seven chapters and covers the University of Denver, University Park, Wellshire, Platt Park, and Harvard Gulch. He also probes such diverse topics as land speculation, religion, and traffic in the area. The largest segment of the book is devoted to the University of Denver, and Goodstein is not always flattering. He calls the early South Denver campus as much a real estate ploy as it was an institution of higher learning (8). In truth, the real estate component was an attempt to help raise funds to support the fledgling institution, and the primary motivation of the trustees at the time was to establish a utopian educational village, a university park. Founder John Evans had done much the same thing in Chicago with Evanston, which contained his Northwestern University. When the landlocked University of Denver found itself out of room at Fourteenth and Arapahoe, it sought out greener pastures far from the dirt, noise, working women, and alcohol. (Many university-area mortgages still forbid the manufacture or sale of alcohol.) Goodstein is also highly critical of cable czar Bill Daniels, who was a large contributor to DU. The universitys business school bears his name. Goodstein argues that it is ironic that Daniels started an ethics program at DU when he had ethical issues of his own. This, of course, is debatable. The DU saga has been told a number of times, but Goodstein breaks new ground in a number of areas, including his treatment of the often ignored Wellshire area, the evolution of the State Home for Dependent and Neglected Children, and the controversy over the landmarking of the Saco R. DeBoer property near Harvard Gulch. Dick Kreck, in reviewing my Arcadia book University Park and South Denver noted that Readers who seek a complete history of the area would do better to dive into Phil Goodsteins two-volume exploration, but University Park is a picturesque overview. That two-volume set is now a trilogy, and 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 AmericanWhile on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco drew the first map of Colorado.


The Ghosts of University Park, Platt Park, and Beyond | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 12:45:53 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Kreck is absolutely correct in his analysis. While no history of this area may ever be complete because it is so diverse and ever-changing, Goodsteins set will suffice for the time being. Reviewer Info: Steve Fisher is an associate professor and curator of special collections at the University of Denver Penrose Library. He has been at DU since 1977 and teaches graduate courses in rare book librarianship, preservation and conservation, and archival administration. A past president of the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, he is the author of University Park and South Denver (Arcadia, 2009) and edited Archival Information: How to Find it, How to Use It (Greenwood Press, 2004). Add new comment