photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Paul Verizzo | profile | all galleries >> DENVER BEAT TOUR tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

DENVER BEAT TOUR

Denver was the most third important city in the formation of the lives of the men who started the Beat movement after NYC and San Francisco. Neal Cassady grew up here and met his second wife, Carolyn, at the Colburn Hotel. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg spent time in Denver, and Jack bought a house in Lakewood, a Denver suburb. The Five Points area was a Harlem in the West with its jazz clubs.

Here you will find pictures of some of the haunts of Neal Cassady as he was growing up, including known addresses his family had (24 by age 14, many of them repeats.Generally, I did not include addresses with new buildings.) Most of the Larimer street pool halls and flop houses are long gone, gentrified out of existence along with the whorehouses. Kerouac's Lakewood house is still there, and the Colburn stands tall with the popular 74 year old Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill pulling customers in, just like Jack and his friends.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER ONE! Quality Note: These images have been "shrunk" and compressed severely in order to expedite loading. They are NOT indicative of the camera's ability (Minolta D7).

For a good history of Denver with strong historical emphasis on all of the Denver folks, go to Tom Christopher's excellent page at http://www.zipcon.net/~tkc/nealdenver.html . A description of the Neal Cassady book that I found so helpful and his new one, go to http://www.zipcon.net/~tkc/biography.html And last, his books may be purchased from http://www.kerouac.com.

If you haven't already done so, please visit my other Beat photo sites:
Neal Cassady Sr. Gravesite: http://www.pbase.com/pzo/ncgravesite
Kerouac Longmont Gas Station: http://www.pbase.com/pzo/kerouac_gas_station_longmontco
Kerouac's Last House in St. Pete, FL: http://www.pbase.com/pzo/jacks_house

NEW! Check out my Beat Tour using Google Earth or Google maps: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/696545/an/0/page/0#696545
This is the school that Neal reminisces so much about in The First Third, his posthumously published book.
010 - Elbert Elementary.jpg

This is the school that Neal reminisces so much about in "The First Third", his posthumously published book.

020 - Elbert Elementary 2.jpg
020 - Elbert Elementary 2.jpg
Or maybe he didn't here, saving his habits for later.
030 - Elbert Sign that Neal ignored.jpg

Or maybe he didn't here, saving his habits for later.

040 - Elbert addition.jpg
040 - Elbert addition.jpg
050 - Elbert Elementary, back.jpg
050 - Elbert Elementary, back.jpg
060 - View to Welton, Rockies from Elbert School.jpg
060 - View to Welton, Rockies from Elbert School.jpg
070 - Apt there when Neal was.jpg
070 - Apt there when Neal was.jpg
This is the Sonny Lawson Park and ballfield now.  Neal Cassady played here, the Elbert school is three blocks away.
080 - Neal's Ballfield.jpg

This is the Sonny Lawson Park and ballfield now. Neal Cassady played here, the Elbert school is three blocks away.

090 - Waiting for what near Five Points.jpg
090 - Waiting for what near Five Points.jpg
100 - Something new, something old.jpg
100 - Something new, something old.jpg
The Rossonian is the last remaining hotel/jazz club.  It presently is under-utilized with offices above.
110 - The once hopping Rossonian.jpg

The Rossonian is the last remaining hotel/jazz club. It presently is under-utilized with offices above.

120 - Rossonion.jpg
120 - Rossonion.jpg
130 - Welton Street Door, the Rossonian.jpg
130 - Welton Street Door, the Rossonian.jpg
140 - Welton St. Door, Rossonian, 2.jpg
140 - Welton St. Door, Rossonian, 2.jpg
As you can see, the Rossonian fits one of the points of Five Points!
150 - Rossonian North Door.jpg

As you can see, the Rossonian fits one of the points of Five Points!

160 - Rossonian and gentrification.jpg
160 - Rossonian and gentrification.jpg
170 - 5 Points from the Rossonian.jpg
170 - 5 Points from the Rossonian.jpg
I know an old black woman who tended bar here for many years.  She walks with a slight limp because she once fell off of a table when she was dancing on it.  She also claims to have killed a woman outside once.  Police are still called frequently, I hear.
180 - 715 Club, most dangerous bar in Denver.jpg

I know an old black woman who tended bar here for many years. She walks with a slight limp because she once fell off of a table when she was dancing on it. She also claims to have killed a woman outside once. Police are still called frequently, I hear.

The large brick building is Deep Rock Water, and to the left is the Cabaret Casino.  The former is the area's largest commercial enterprise now, constantly expanding.  The Cabaret is bad news, lots of police need there.  The two sit on the site of old jazz clubs.
190 - 5 Points looking SW.jpg

The large brick building is Deep Rock Water, and to the left is the Cabaret Casino. The former is the area's largest commercial enterprise now, constantly expanding. The Cabaret is bad news, lots of police need there. The two sit on the site of old jazz clubs.

200 - 5 Points Street Scene.jpg
200 - 5 Points Street Scene.jpg
210 - Something new, something old II.jpg
210 - Something new, something old II.jpg
220 - The Roxy w Mexican Family.jpg
220 - The Roxy w Mexican Family.jpg
Denver went through a major urban renewal project starting in the 60's.  Some important buildings met the wrecker's ball.
230 - The Denver Neal Never Saw.jpg

Denver went through a major urban renewal project starting in the 60's. Some important buildings met the wrecker's ball.

Neal Cassady was an altarboy here (my, how things change!) and took his first communion, too.  He was baptized at a Catholic camp SW of Denver.  I found out from a priest that the church we see was dedicated in 1943, well after Neal's religious upbringing.  It turns out that the old church was right here, but below grade!  The roof was at sidewalk level.
240 - The Holy Ghost NC did NOT attend.jpg

Neal Cassady was an altarboy here (my, how things change!) and took his first communion, too. He was baptized at a Catholic camp SW of Denver. I found out from a priest that the church we see was dedicated in 1943, well after Neal's religious upbringing. It turns out that the old church was right here, but below grade! The roof was at sidewalk level.

The D&F (Daniels & Fischer) tower was once the tallest structure between the Mississippi River and San Francisco!  The store at the base once employed Allen Ginsburg!
250 - D-F Tower 1.jpg

The D&F (Daniels & Fischer) tower was once the tallest structure between the Mississippi River and San Francisco! The store at the base once employed Allen Ginsburg!

260 - D-F Tower, Base.jpg
260 - D-F Tower, Base.jpg
270 - D-F Tower, doors.jpg
270 - D-F Tower, doors.jpg
280 - D-F Tower, from South.jpg
280 - D-F Tower, from South.jpg
282 - D-F Tower, with streets.jpg
282 - D-F Tower, with streets.jpg
6100 W. Center Avenue, Lakewood, CO
Jack bought this house in 1949 with the advance from The Town and the City.  He moved out with his mother (of course!) and his sister and brother-in-law Paul.  Within a month all but Jack were headed back east.  Mom was afraid of the mountains!  Jack met with his publisher here in July and went hitchhiking with him to give him a feel for the road.
290 - Kerouacs Lakewood Home.jpg

6100 W. Center Avenue, Lakewood, CO
Jack bought this house in 1949 with the advance from "The Town and the City." He moved out with his mother (of course!) and his sister and brother-in-law Paul. Within a month all but Jack were headed back east. Mom was afraid of the mountains! Jack met with his publisher here in July and went hitchhiking with him to give him a feel for the road.

300 - Kerouacs Lakewood Home.jpg
300 - Kerouacs Lakewood Home.jpg
310 - Kerouacs Lakewood Home.jpg
310 - Kerouacs Lakewood Home.jpg
320 - Signs by Kerouac home.jpg
320 - Signs by Kerouac home.jpg
The hero of On The Road was Dean Moriarity, in real life, Neal Cassady.  Did the name inspiration come from here, only a block away from his house? The school building is obviously much newer than late forties, probably less than ten years old as a guess.  BUT, maybe the Deanes lived here on their farm in the late forties, or there was a now demolished older school, or......   Or maybe a heck of a coincidence!
330 - Dean Moriarty Elementary, maybe.jpg

The hero of On The Road was Dean Moriarity, in real life, Neal Cassady. Did the name inspiration come from here, only a block away from his house? The school building is obviously much newer than late forties, probably less than ten years old as a guess. BUT, maybe the Deanes lived here on their farm in the late forties, or there was a now demolished older school, or...... Or maybe a heck of a coincidence!

The Snowden apartments, which also had the address of 910 26th Street, used to be here.  The Cassadys lived here three times.
340 - ex-Snowden apts, 2563 Champa St.jpg

The Snowden apartments, which also had the address of 910 26th Street, used to be here. The Cassadys lived here three times.

342 - Perhaps tiny tree when Neal was living here.jpg
342 - Perhaps tiny tree when Neal was living here.jpg
The Gertrude is mentioned by Neal.  It was next door to the Snowden Apartments on Champa Street.
344 - The Gertrude, next to 2563, Neal mentions.jpg

The Gertrude is mentioned by Neal. It was next door to the Snowden Apartments on Champa Street.

346 -  The Gertrude dooway.jpg
346 - The Gertrude dooway.jpg
Neal and his family - ten in all at the time, lived in that little building between the larger ones!  He was five at the time.
350 - 2558 Champa, the little one squeezed.jpg

Neal and his family - ten in all at the time, lived in that little building between the larger ones! He was five at the time.

352 - 2558 Champa, close.jpg
352 - 2558 Champa, close.jpg
354 - 2558 Champa, close 2.jpg
354 - 2558 Champa, close 2.jpg
After being a house, 2558 Champa was a store.  According to a man next door, it has been boarded up as long as I can remember, he's lived here his whole life that I would guess to be about 35 years. 2558 and 2560 were built in 1901; we looked it up on online property records.
355 - Was a store 40 years ago.jpg

After being a house, 2558 Champa was a store. According to a man next door, it has been boarded up "as long as I can remember", he's lived here his whole life that I would guess to be about 35 years. 2558 and 2560 were built in 1901; we looked it up on online property records.

356 - Was a store 40 years ago 2.jpg
356 - Was a store 40 years ago 2.jpg
357 - Was a store 40 years ago 3.jpg
357 - Was a store 40 years ago 3.jpg
358 - Even smaller than it looks.jpg
358 - Even smaller than it looks.jpg
The Snowden Apartments were diagonally across the intersection of 26th and Champa from the Puritan Pie Company.  Some of Neal's older brothers made moonshine in the apartment; they felt that the smell of the baking pies covered that of the mash!
359a - Puritan Pie Factory NE from Snowden Apts.jpg

The Snowden Apartments were diagonally across the intersection of 26th and Champa from the Puritan Pie Company. Some of Neal's older brothers made moonshine in the apartment; they felt that the smell of the baking pies covered that of the mash!

359b - Puritan Pie Factory, front.jpg
359b - Puritan Pie Factory, front.jpg
359c - Puritan Pie Factory, front 2 .jpg
359c - Puritan Pie Factory, front 2 .jpg
Allegedly Neal lived at 2427 in 1940.  No such house or missing space.
360 - 2427 California Missing.jpg

Allegedly Neal lived at 2427 in 1940. No such house or missing space.

I recall a white single story apartment building here in the mid 90's.
370 - Site of 2420 California.jpg

I recall a white single story apartment building here in the mid 90's.

Neal and family lived here when he was two and four years later a few doors to the right.
380 - 411 21st 3rd door from left.jpg

Neal and family lived here when he was two and four years later a few doors to the right.

390 - 407 and 411 21st St. building.jpg
390 - 407 and 411 21st St. building.jpg
They told me that once up to six families lived in units behind each of these doors. The man has a nephew with the middle name of Cassady!  Dad liked the Beats and the Dead!
400 - Current Family in 411 21st.jpg

They told me that once up to six families lived in units behind each of these doors. The man has a nephew with the middle name of Cassady! Dad liked the Beats and the Dead!

410 - PV in the Cassady doorway.jpg
410 - PV in the Cassady doorway.jpg
The tallest building visible sits where an old hotel did on Broadway, across from the Brown Palace.
420 - Mr. Cassady never saw this.jpg

The tallest building visible sits where an old hotel did on Broadway, across from the Brown Palace.

Pretty and intelligent, Carolyn Robinson was studying for a Master's degree at the University of Denver.  One night a friend brought over a friend, Neal Cassady.  Neal was actually married to a much younger girl, LuAnne.  But eventually he got a divorce, married Carolyn, and took her on the ride of her life!
430 - Colburn Hotel, 10th-Grant Sts..jpg

Pretty and intelligent, Carolyn Robinson was studying for a Master's degree at the University of Denver. One night a friend brought over a friend, Neal Cassady. Neal was actually married to a much younger girl, LuAnne. But eventually he got a divorce, married Carolyn, and took her on the ride of her life!

The Colburn is now a Section 8 housing facility (government subsidies to the renters.)  Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill was already twenty years old when Jack, Neal, Allen, Carolyn, Ed White, Hal Chase, and others would come down for drinks or food.  Probably drinks, primarily.
440 - Colburn Hotel.jpg

The Colburn is now a Section 8 housing facility (government subsidies to the renters.) Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill was already twenty years old when Jack, Neal, Allen, Carolyn, Ed White, Hal Chase, and others would come down for drinks or food. Probably drinks, primarily.

Doesn't he look right out of the forties? A history buff, he shared a lot with me.
450 - Scott at front desk, Colburn Hotel.jpg

Doesn't he look right out of the forties? A history buff, he shared a lot with me.

Home to the Cassadys in 1933.  One of the few homes outside of Curtis Park, north and east of Five Points.
460 - 3117 Marion St..jpg

Home to the Cassadys in 1933. One of the few homes outside of Curtis Park, north and east of Five Points.

The house here where Neal lived in 1937 has been replaced by public housing.  Elbert School is to the right and behind.
470 - Public housing where 2320 Tremont was.jpg

The house here where Neal lived in 1937 has been replaced by public housing. Elbert School is to the right and "behind."

In 1939 the Cassady's lived here.  By now, Neal's mom was dead three years.  He had a sister and seven half-siblings. Dad was a very heavy drinker and a barber by trade.  Unknown who was with Neal at this address.  Some of the the halfs were already quite a bit older.
480 - 2519 Tremont St. NC home 1939.jpg

In 1939 the Cassady's lived here. By now, Neal's mom was dead three years. He had a sister and seven half-siblings. Dad was a very heavy drinker and a barber by trade. Unknown who was with Neal at this address. Some of the the "halfs" were already quite a bit older.

482 - 2519 Tremont St. NC home 1939.jpg
482 - 2519 Tremont St. NC home 1939.jpg