denver mayors

From left to right: former Mayor Wellington Webb, Mayor Michael Hancock and former Mayor Federico Peña. 

Three Denver mayors will meet next month to discuss the past four decades of the city and how their work shaped Colorado’s growing capital city.

The event, “A City Imagined,” will feature current Mayor Michael Hancock and former mayors Federico Peña and Wellington Webb. It will be hosted at the History Colorado Center on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.

The mayors have served Denver for a collective 30 years. Since Peña asked Denverites to “imagine a great city” nearly 40 years ago, the three mayor's terms have included developing the city’s airport, art museum, South Platte River corridor and sports arenas. 

“Preserving and celebrating the unique character of our neighborhoods are values that transcend administrations,” Hancock said in a release. “I’m excited to join my predecessors for this conversation and I hope residents will join us.”

Denver's other living former mayors are Sen. John Hickenlooper, who served from 2003 to 2011, and Bill Vidal, who completed the last six months of Hickenlooper's term when he became governor of Colorado. Hickenlooper could not attend the event because of scheduling conflicts, officials said. 

The event is part of History Colorado’s “Building Denver” initiative, designed to help the city bounce back better after the COVID-19 pandemic. History Colorado Center’s initiative aims to encourage reflection and community dialogue, asking Denverites to envision a healthier, more inclusive and more equitable city by looking at the past, officials said. 

“At History Colorado, we believe that public dialogue is the bridge from challenging times to promising times, and that historical context is vital to that transformation,” said Steve Turner, state historic preservation officer, in a release. 

“Building Denver” features exhibits, public programs, partnerships, scholarship and educational connections to explore how civic leaders, designers and residents have brought their visions of Denver to life, Turner said.

The initiative is centered around its namesake 16-month exhibit, “Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City,” to be held at the History Colorado Center at 1200 N. Broadway through Aug. 31, 2022.

The “Building Denver” speaker series begins on Aug. 12 with a presentation by Esteban Gómez, a digital anthropologist researching the effects of transit-oriented development and gentrification on urban school segregation and enrollment decline in Denver Public Schools.

Other events include “Colorado History: Colorful or Colorblind?” with Tom Romero on Sept. 9, “The City You Don't See” with Tom Gougeon and Richard Farley on Oct. 14, and “Class Struggle in the City” with Erica Smiley on Nov. 16.

More information and tickets are available at historycolorado.org/building-denver.