In its heyday, West Colfax was the place to be in Lakewood. After World War II, the area became a popular avenue for those who were going to the mountains. Businesses along West Colfax like motels, …
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In its heyday, West Colfax was the place to be in Lakewood. After World War II, the area became a popular avenue for those who were going to the mountains. Businesses along West Colfax like motels, hotels, restaurants and clubs sprouted up that could be easily noticed at night because of their neon signs. Traffic was busy and business was booming along West Colfax.
The area is part of Lakewood's history and its future in the 40 West ArtLine, a four-mile walking and biking art experience, the 40 West Arts District, its diverse businesses and more.
The future of West Colfax includes a revitalization effort by the city that involves trying to make the area look better.
Lakewood has completed the process of refurbishing two towers that have been at West Colfax and Sheridan Boulevard for 20 years. Roger Wadnal, the city's comprehensive planning and research manager who headed the $30,000 project, said the idea of reconstructing the towers was to highlight the entry to Lakewood as well as to recognize the history of Colfax's neon signs.
“(Refurbishing the towers) is just one more element that has added to the revitalization of Colfax,” said Wadnal.
One of the towers says “Colfax” while the other one says “Lakewood” and are meant to reflect the historic neon signs that were located along West Colfax. The 26 feet tall towers were painted blue and silver, and the city added LED lights to them to pay homage to the area's history. Wadnal said there are not too many firms that deal with neon signs anymore and that neon doesn't last long.
“It is really cool. Credit to (Wadnal), he really took that project on,” said Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul. “I remember when I was first elected mayor, I wondered what was up with those (towers). (Wadnal) has worked hard. It's a great way to enter the city, so hats off to the Lakewood staff.”
Aside from the towers, Wadnal said the city is looking at pedestrian safety on West Colfax and will start a process this year to look at how to make the area safer.
Bill Marino, 40 West Arts District board chair and chief executive of the Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District, said he couldn't be more excited that the towers were reinstalled.
“To have them revitalized, re-illuminated, reinstalled — it is kind of a metaphor for what is happening along West Colfax,” said Marino.
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