Colfax and its Seemingly Endless Story


Courtesy of

Old storefronts in Sun Valley near Mile High Stadium.

Zoey Terry, Staff Writer

Colfax, the longest street in the United States, known today mostly for its motels, food, prostitution, and homelessness.

A street so popular astronauts can see from space, and the street that brings Colorado its story. Colfax was formerly known as the Golden Road because of its connection between Golden and Denver, renamed in 1868 for Schuyler Colfax, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and vice-president to President Ulysses S. Grant. Colfax is the main corridor from Aurora in the east, west to the mountains through Denver, Lakewood, and Golden. Where traffic once consisted of hay wagons, peddlers, trolley lines, and now buses, bike lanes, and cars.

Today, known as the city’s at-risk neighborhoods, full of shopping centers, commercial offices, and healthcare facilities, was once known as a route for travel and trade through Denver. Travelers used the Golden Road as a way to the mountains, trades and other agricultural goods intended for Denver. But in the late 19th century, new arrivals began to settle and start new businesses and build homes in the West Colfax community. With immigrants from eastern United States, as well as arrivals from central and eastern Europe, the neighborhood of new homes and small businesses was primarily the Jewish community.

By the early 1950s, the community began to disperse and move throughout the city. After World War II, Colfax was an essential east-to-west avenue, becoming a seat for travelers from all over and even residents to eat, sleep, and be entertained. New hotels, motels, restaurants, stores and entertainment spots, Colfax was the hot spot.

From a street that once only held residents, to one of the most popular streets in America; Colfax has much more to offer today than it did before the Golden Road. With restaurants like Trattoria Stella on and Slicework Pizza on East Colfax, popular places like Dutch Bros and the Famous Casa Bonita off Colfax and Pierce, entertainment spots like the Ogden or Bluebird Theatres, many historical museums like the Firefighter Museum, and of course, the Colfax Museum located on 6851 W Colfax Ave., and special events at Civic Center Park, located at the end of Colfax, home to LGBTQ pride parade and much more.

“Colfax is the story of Colorado,” says writer Robert Sanchez and Craig F. Walker in The Colfax Story on the Denver post, “People live and die on the avenue, create poetry and speak hate, get drunk and find sobriety, prey on others and pray for themselves.” Colfax has a long history, and Denver will forever remember what it once was, and what it will be.