Officially, the Lower Downtown Historic District, the 25-plus square-block area that was the site of the original 1858 settlement of Denver City, is nicknamed LoDo. It's home to art galleries, chic shops, nightclubs, and restaurants ranging from Denver's most upscale to its most down-home. This part of town was once the city's thriving retail center, then it fell into disuse and slid into slums. Since the early 1990s LoDo has been transformed into the city's cultural center, thanks to its resident artists, retailers, and loft dwellers who have taken over the old warehouses and redbricks.
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