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        Speer & the City | Colorado Experience

        Robert Speer was born in Pennsylvania in 1855 and traveled to Colorado to cure his TB when he was 22 years old, which he did. In 1884, Speer ran for City Clerk, just as Colorado was hitting a large economic boom off the mining of Silver and other ore. The election was fraudulent, ballots were stuffed, and Speer won the election. The 1893 Chicago World Fair inspired Speer to beautify Denver. “The City Beautiful” was the idea put forth which involved Greco-Roman styles of engineering and a large shift towards public parks. Civic Center Park was Speer’s baby, which is surrounded by the State Capitol, the City and County Building, and the Denver Art Museum. He would move on to become mayor in 1904 and reelected in 1908, again, with suspicions of a fraudulant election. However, Speer was a brilliant politician who was able to convince wealthy people to give funds towards the construction of Civic Center Park. Speer Blvd. is named thusly as he put forth the construction of the barriers which enclose Cherry Creek today. The greening of Denver was a program to incentivize people to plant trees and plants. Speer doubled the amount of park space. Speer died in 1918, before the parks were fully completed. In 2012 Civic Center Park became a national historic landmark, one of about two thousand on the list.

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