DIY walk - "To the Lighthouse"
This 3-mile walk starts at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and traces the geographic history of that literary beacon all over Capitol Hill through a series of memory-driven writing exercises interspersed with plenty of time to think and explore the neighborhood. You'll need at least two hours for the full adventure.
1515 Race | First Prompt: You'll be walking from the Lighthouse Writers Workshop on 1515 Race St. to the organization's previous home at the Ferril House at 2123 Downing St. Take this time, about 30 minutes walking, to relax and pay close attention to the homes you pass on our walk (we recommend travel by alley!). That's all. Just look, listen and settle in.
2123 Downing | Second Prompt: This is the former home not just of the Lighthouse but also of Thomas Hornsby Ferril, the first poet laureate of Colorado who lived in the house for 88 years. Ferril drafted poems on the walls of his pantry. His verse is written on the city from the State Capitol's rotunda to Confluence Park. Take 15 minutes to write a short piece from the perspective of a house, either Ferril's or one that caught your attention on the walk. Try to work the expansion or compression of time. Can you encapsulate the 120-plus years of a house's memory into a single page? Can you expand a single moment so that it stands for the whole?
Bonus: As you head South towards the next stop on the tour, 1355 Pennsylvania, you can take a quick detour to the State Capitol (under gold dome) to read some of Ferril's work on the rotunda walls.
1355 Pennsylvania | Third Prompt: Now the site of a government building, this location was once the home of the Lighthouse's current Milheim House. For the sake of preservation, the structure was moved down Colfax back in the 1980's in what's been called the "biggest lift" west of the Mississippi. Preservationists say that moving a landmark home from its original location is always a last resort. To that end, this prompt looks at the slipperiness of memory. Take 15 minutes and have your character, or nonfiction narrator, remember an event in Denver. Then have them remember the same event differently. Very quickly you've achieved a character that feels real, well-rounded, and slightly unreliable.
Bonus: The Milheims were dear friends of a certain unsinkable Molly Brown whose historic house, now a museum, stills stands opposite 1355 Penn.