Red Rocks, Colorado history, vintage photos

Historical photos from the Denver Public Library show what Red Rocks looked like before it became Colorado’s favorite place to see a show.

DENVER — Full disclosure: This post was inspired by the Denver subreddit, where folks were pumped about a photo of what Red Rocks looked like before it became … well, Red Rocks.

This led to a search of the Denver Public Library Digital Archives, which didn’t disappoint.

For context, here’s a look at what the venue looks like now (in case you haven’t been… but photos don’t do it justice).

And here it was back then.

A little different from the EDM shows that are common now, huh?

Some history: it all started with a guy named John Brisben Walker, who in the early 1900s started inviting musicians to perform on a temporary platform nestled between the park’s two famous monoliths: Ship Rock and Creation Rock.

Later, the manager of Denver Parks persuaded the city to buy Red Rocks and the land surrounding it for $54,133 (the deal of the century). He and the mayor got help from the federally-funded Civilian Conservation Corps and Work Projects Administration to make it happen.

Denver architect Burnham Hoyt finished the design of the amphitheater in 1936.

The venue was first dedicated in 1941, and it took 12 years to ultimately finish building Red Rocks. The first Easter Sunrise service (a yearly tradition) was in 1947.

Here’s what the construction process looked like:

Honestly, it doesn’t look too much different than it does now.

Even though the crowds were a little different, back in the day.

And horses are no longer a part of Red Rocks performances.

One thing that has stayed the same? Red Rocks is still one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Since 1906, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, has hosted some of the world's top musicians.  With incredible acoustics and one-of-a-kind scenery, the venue is a true Colorado sight.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS