Award-winning preservationist Dana Crawford initiated a concept of urban renewal that was one of the first of its kind in the United States. She pioneered the redevelopment of Denver’s historic Larimer Square in the mid 1960s, creating a festival shopping area from the neglected and abandoned buildings of Denver’s original main street. Today, Larimer Square serves as a prototype for the revitalization of forgotten main streets and architectural landmarks throughout the country.

Since the 1960s, Mrs. Crawford has redeveloped more than 800,000 square feet of historic property in the city of Denver including the Oxford Hotel, the Acme Lofts, the Edbrooke Lofts and Cooper Flats Condominiums. She completed Phase One of the Flour Mill Lofts project, converting an abandoned flour mill into unique loft spaces designed for the sophisticated urbanite. Mrs. Crawford has been steadfast in her belief that core cities can be made livable again. Today, in partnership with her son Jack Crawford, she is developing Prospect Park, a mixed-use, master planned village in Denver’s Central Platte Valley.

In addition to her many business accomplishments, Mrs. Crawford has given much of her time to both local and national concerns. She served nine years on the board of directors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, six of those years on its executive committee. In 1995 the National Trust awarded her their highest honor, the distinguished Louise duPont Crowninshield Award. For fifteen years she worked with Preservation Action, serving as president for two years. She presently serves on the national board of Project for Public Spaces.

Mrs. Crawford’s contributions to the Denver community are many. She has been on the board of the Downtown Denver Partnership for more than thirty years and has been active with the Platte River Greenway Foundation, the Denver Art Museum, Historic Denver, Inc., the Colorado Historical Society and Foundation, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She is an honorary member of the Colorado Chapter of A.I.A., and has been awarded a Doctorate of Humanities by the University of Colorado. In recognition of her civic contributions, business successes, and the positive influence she has had on the architectural character of Denver, she was inducted into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame in 1997. That same year, in honor of her many years of community service, she was presented with the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award, also known as the “Colorado Nobel Prize.” In 1998, the Denver Business Journal recognized Mrs. Crawford as one of twenty people who have made a difference to Denver’s business success in the twentieth century.

Dana Crawford’s energy and commitment continue to be the spark for the ongoing revitalization of Denver’s Lower Downtown Historic District (LoDo). She is often called upon to assist others in their own revitalization efforts and has served as a consultant for over fifty communities to help preserve the historic character of neglected main streets and neighborhoods nationwide.

  • lifetime member of Downtown Denver Partnership Board
  • 25 year board member of Project for Public Spaces (PPS)
  • 9 year board member of National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • A founding member of Historic Denver
  • Founding group for Friends of Union Station
  • A founder of Platte River Greenway Foundation
  • Originator of Larimer Square and Developer of lofts
  • A board member with national launch of Main Street Program
  • Speaker/Consultant in some 60 American communities
  • Active public sector/private sector developer
  • Doctorate of Humanities, University of Colorado
  • Memberships ULI, IDA, and ICSC

    Recent Work

  • Downtown Denver new 20 year Master Plan Steering Committee
  • Mayor’s 2007Bond Issue task Force
  • Consulting for Commerce City, Brighton, and Broomfield Civic Center Master Plans
  • Colorado Preservation Inc.
  • Colorado Business Hall of Fame
  • Historic Preservation Fund Committee since 1991. $200 million in gifts to all Colorado counties


  • 1988-Present: Chairman, Urban Neighborhoods, Inc., Denver, Colorado
  • 1980-Present: General Partner, Oxford Hotel, Ltd., Denver, Colorado
  • 1991-1998 General Partner, Market Center Associates., Denver, Colorado
  • 1965-1986 General Partner, Larimer Square Associates, Denver, Colorado

    DEVELOPMENT HISTORY (Project Start Dates)

  • 2006: Tomboy Lofts, Red Cliff Lofts, Smuggler Lofts
  • 2003: Jack Kerouac Lofts
  • 2000: Ajax Lofts
  • 1999: Flour Mill Lofts Phase II, Prospect Square
  • 1998: Flour Mill Lofts Phase I, Cooper Flats Condominiums
  • 1992: Acme Lofts
  • 1990: Edbrooke Lofts
  • 1980: Oxford Hotel
  • 1974: Federal Fiber Mills, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1965: Larimer Square


  • The Market at Larimer Square
  • Antonia Tsai Chinese restaurant
  • Victoriana Jewelry Store
  • Crawford Department Store
  • The Cabaret
  • The Criterion
  • The Oxford Club Spa and Salon
  • Urban Neighborhoods, Inc.
  • Urban Neighborhoods Real Estate Co.



  • Board, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1972-1981
  • Board, Project for Public Spaces, 1985-Present
  • Board, Preservation Action, President 1985-1987
  • Full Member, Urban Land Institute, 1981-Present
  • Honorary Member, American Institute of Architects


  • Colorado Historical Society, 1983-2006, Vice President ten years
  • Colorado Historic Preservation Fund Committee – Ten years


  • Board, Denver Art Museum, 1976-1982
  • Board, Platte Valley Greenway Foundation, 1973-1980, still active
  • Board, Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1994-1997
  • Founding Member, Historic Denver, Inc., 1970-1980
  • Founding Member, Lower Downtown District, Inc., 1984-1992
  • Chairman, Downtown is the City Program, 1990-1991
  • Advisory, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1984-1990
  • Member, Mayor’s Housing Task Force, 1991
  • Founding Member, Friends of Union Station
  • Founder, Evil Companions Literary Award
  • Union Station Advisory Committee (USAC)
  • Conservancy – Civic Center


  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Monticello College, Alton, Illinois
  • Harvard-Radcliffe, Cambridge, Massachusetts – Business Administration Program


    2003 - Present:

  • Jack Kerouac Lofts, 3100 Huron Street. 60 new lofts are complete with 80% sold. The project follows Urban Neighborhoods 21st Century concentration in the Central Platte Valley and transit oriented design.

    1999 – 2004:

  • Ajax Lofts, 2955 Inca Street. The Ajax Lofts is the first mixed/use loft building to be developed in the new urban village, Prospect Place located in the Central Platte Valley. Ajax Lofts consists of 49 units with floor plans ranging in size from 650 to 2600 square feet. This four-story building represents a contemporary style of architecture, called “Industrial Chic.”
  • Prospect Place Village, Central Platte Valley. A new urban village, located just west of Coors Field in the historic district of the Central Platte Valley. The Village encompasses 5.5 acres of land zoned to create a mixed-use residential/commercial neighborhood with special emphasis on the landscaping as well as the European designed pedestrian plaza.


  • Flour Mill Lofts–Phase I and Phase II, 2000 Little Raven Street. The Flour Mill was the first new housing in Denver’s Central Platte Valley. The former “Pride of the Rockies” mill, designed by prominent Denver architect Frank Edbrooke, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. The renovation of the mill resulted in fourteen loft units ranging in size from 1,190 to 5,300 square feet. The three original silos on the north side are incorporated into unique round rooms. The 9-by-16 foot windows on the south side afford panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and the downtown Denver skyline. The Flour Mill is conveniently located near Coors Field, Six Flags/Elitch’s, the Pepsi Center and the Denver Bronco’s new stadium.
  • Flour Mill II, completed and sold out, is new construction with 27 loft units north of Flour Mill I.


  • Cooper Flats Condominiums, 325 E. 18th Avenue. This Capitol Hill Building had been derelict for over 15 years. It was converted to 24 small condo flats to help start the revival of another historic neighborhood. Cooper is within walking of the Central Business District, shopping, transit and the Civic Center. The building was gutted to the studs and flooring. It has a new roof and all new systems and finishes. The project included an affordable housing component, and was completed in October of 1998.


  • Market Center, Market Street between 16th and 17th Avenues. Purchased by Market Center Associates, Ltd., a Colorado limited partnership, in 1991, Market Center is a 121,000 square foot office complex located in the heart of Lower Downtown Denver. The property is composed of five buildings which were connected in 1980 to create 103,482 square feet of office space and 17,211 square feet of restaurant space. The space within the building is imaginatively designed with an emphasis on natural brick surfaces and exposed wooden beams. Antique doors, light fixtures and bathroom fixtures have been used throughout the building. Market Center was sold in 1998.
  • Acme Lofts. Also completed is the Acme Upholstery Supply Company Building located at 1333 Wazee Street in the Lower Downtown historic district on Cherry Creek. The project consists of thirty loft-style condominium housing units of approximately 1,200 square feet each. The design includes exposed brick walls and post and beam members, high ceilings, wood floors and large six foot tall windows. The original owner of this building was Gustavius A. Brecht who used the property as a warehouse for the Brecht Candy Company beginning in 1909. By 1923 the company’s output was three million pounds of candy per year with a staff of 225 people.
  • Edbrooke Lofts Located at 1450 Wynkoop Street, the Edbrooke Lofts was the first condominium loft warehouse conversion to be located in Metropolitan Denver. The Edbrooke consisted of 44 loft residences in the historic (1880) Edbrooke Building. Each loft features high ceilings, brick walls, large windows and timbered construction. Condos range from 1,485 to 3,500 square feet and were originally sold for up to $750,000.


  • The Oxford Hotel Lower Downtown’s futures took an upward trend in June of 1983, when the landmark Oxford Hotel, cornerstone building in the historic district, reopened. It was renovated elegantly to reflect western hospitality of yesterday and today. The 80 room hotel (circa 1891) was painstakingly renovated according to early photographs and the original architectural plans of Frank Edbrooke. Antique furnishings for each guest room were selected in England and France. The public areas include McCormick’s Fish House and Oyster Bar, as well as the famous Cruise Room, which opened in 1933 and is listed on the National Register as an outstanding example of art deco design. Connected to the hotel on four upper levels is the Oxford Annex (circa 1912), which has been converted to executive offices. It is the home of the Denver Oxford Club Spa and Salon. The spa has been recognized as one of the top city spas in the nation. Today the Oxford Hotel has been selected as the best local hotel in Denver and one of the top 50 hotels in the world. The Oxford Spa has been recognized as one of the top three day spas in the nation.
  • Larimer Square Introduced to Denver in May 1965. Larimer Square in the 1400 block of downtown’s historic Larimer Street grew gradually as financing became available. Retail shops, galleries, restaurants and fashionable offices emerged to create a destination landmark recognized nationally for its innovative redevelopment of downtown property. The original ownership group sold the Square in 1986.