Oldest Structures in
The history of East Colfax is at least partly contained in the built structures that have been here the longest. Aside from architectural style, there's a way that everything that has happened in and around these structures is of interest, and they are our only material, everyday reminders that such a history exists.
But older structures are also very much part of the future we might imagine for East Colfax, or for any city or city neighborhood. Without them, we lose one of the defining elements of diversity a city can offer. As Jane Jacobs wrote back in 1961 in The Death and Life of Great American Cities:
Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. . . . [The] value of old buildings is irreplaceable. . . . It is created by time. This . . . diversity of [old and new buildings] is a requisite that vital city neighborhoods can only inherit, and then sustain over the years.
In fact the "need for aged buildings" is one of only four primary guidelines Jacobs lists as crucial for vital and livable city places, saying places "must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones."
Taking a cue from Jacobs, and with the help of ECNA summer intern and former East Colfax resident Cornelius Bankston, we are keeping a running list of the oldest structures in the East Colfax neighborhood.