For five years I had gallery nrc which was located on the 4400 block of Tennyson Street in Northwest Denver. In 2011 when we upgraded the sign on the building, I captured this image looking north on Tennyson Street. On the right of the image is Metro Frame Works followed by Tenn Street Coffee next door, this was a typical spring day along Tennyson. The area which we will focus on today in our Then and Now series is looking north along the street.
Earlier this month on a Sunday morning I visited Tennyson Street and took the following photo from the driveway of the former gallery building. To put it in perspective from the Then image, I am about 30 feet north and standing a little in the street.
While it doesn’t exactly match the initial reference photo there is still enough to give a context of the change along this block in a short period of time. Almost all of the old houses on this block have been scrapped and replaced with multi-tenant townhomes.
When I closed the gallery in 2014 I could sense the change which was coming in the area and thought it would take around five to ten years, it did come much sooner. The Tennyson Street area had been “found” and the streetscape project in 2011 contributed, but it was also the ability to find a better value about a little more than a mile away from Highland Square and a ten minute drive to downtown Denver. Property owners who in some instances lived in the neighborhood for decades were willing to take the money being offered by developers and move elsewhere.
There is definitely a debate on how this change has impacted the small business owners who were formally in the area. I have seen some of the older businesses move elsewhere and new businesses come and go. However, quite a few of the established businesses have flourished as well as new ones to the area. This did not all happen overnight, and as I mentioned even when I had the gallery I was starting to see this change in the area and also the context of First Friday Art Walk on Tennyson.
Even though it is not in the image from this month, the sign remains on the gallery building with just the website we used for marketing all of our art galleries in the building painted over at this time. Not all of the businesses there are galleries, however five small businesses still exist in the building and contribute to the local economy.