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John Lewis Denver Mural

John Lewis Denver Mural

To see the new John Lewis Denver mural over at Denver Rock Drill, I had to sneak into a fenced-off construction zone. So worth it.


John Lewis sees you. He’s watching. Here at yet another development site, Denver Rock Drill in the Cole neighborhood, northwest of Five Points, south of the National Western Complex and Swansea, cranes all around, clamor and dust from the ongoing 39th Street Greenway construction.

To pay John Lewis a visit, you’ll need to get in good trouble by climbing a fence and slipping through a metal barrier and waving at the construction foreman as you dash by. His hands on his hips. Behind him masked workers digging deep in the midday swelter.

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair,” John Lewis is telling you. “Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Stand with him for as long as you are able. See what he sees, watch the wisdom in his eyes. Pay your respects. While you’re there, also say hello to John Prine and take a moment to reflect upon our big old goofy world.

Then wave to the workers who keep on keeping on under the sun’s unblinking glare, hop the fence, run back to your cruiser bike, and pedal home.

Born in 1940, John Lewis died in 2020. The John Lewis Denver mural is located near the intersection of the 39th Street Greenway and Franklin Street in Denver’s Cole neighborhood. The work celebrating the civil rights icon was created by artist and University of Colorado Denver alum Thomas “Detour” Evans, @IAmDetour303


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