The Civic Center Conservancy is dedicated to restoring, enhancing and activating downtown historic Denver's Civic Center Park, elevating and sustaining this National Historic Landmark as an iconic and vibrant cultural and community hub.
In his book "The City Beautiful Movement," William H. Wilson writes that Mayor Robert Speer - the father of Civic Center - "was a civic idealist who argued that one way to improve humanity was to offer it an uplifting urban environment." Mayor Speer originally championed Civic Center in 1906 to become our region's premier public gathering space, believing it would be a powerful way to "advertise Denver... stimulate civic pride and encourage prosperity to abide with us."
With the exception of a few large annual festivals and sporadic-yet-momentous community gatherings, however, Civic Center stood largely empty for decades - plagued by a lack of amenities, poor connectivity, insufficient programming, safety challenges and a bad reputation.
Conservancies are outgrowths of citizens wanting to do more for public spaces than government can do on its own. As private, non-profit, park-benefit organizations, they partner with government but raise money independently to invest in parks under mutually agreed-upon action plans. Inspired by the successful transformations of such important public spaces as New York's Central, Bryant and Battery Parks, a group of concerned citizens founded the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy in 2004 to help the City and County of Denver restore, enhance and activate Civic Center Park.
Testimonials included in the Civic Center Conservancy's 10th Birthday Video, produced in February 2015: https://vimeo.com/121057991