The city of Denver began with the merging of 3 fledgling communities during the Gold Rush of 1859, and was later rebuilt in brick and stone after the near total destruction by fire in 1863. While some of the original historic buildings remain, including warehouses, Union Station and the Oxford, Barth and Brown Palace Hotels, many others were demolished to make way for the skyscrapers of the Jet Age. Residents of downtown live in renovated lofts and condos and can choose from nearby amenities such as restaurants and bars, athletic clubs, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Denver Public Library, Civic Center Park and the Paramount Theater. The more recently built 16th Street Mall offers shopping and dining along a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined street. The nearby Auraria Higher Education Center offers a wide array of adult education options among its three school campus.
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