Displaced Aurarians memory project hero

Displaced Aurarians Neighborhood Memory Project

The Displaced Aurarians Memory Project is a community-based public memory project that shares the memories of those who lived in the former Auraria Neighborhood in Denver, in what is now part of the shared Auraria Higher Education Campus. From the voice and perspective of community storytellers, the project explores the history of a diverse and tightly-knit community forced to grapple with displacement and urban renewal.

After having to leave the neighborhood in the early 1970s, and witness the demolition of homes and businesses, Auraria’s former residents have persevered and preserved their stories and spaces. Periodic reunions, the relocated St. Cajetan Parish, and a community-led non-profit advocacy council connect the now dispersed community. In 2022, Aurarians convened again in partnership with History Colorado to collectively remember. 

Throughout the Museum of Memory workshops participants shared how important it is for these stories - their stories - to be visible on the campus today, and that their descendants feel a connection to Auraria and have access to scholarships intended specifically for those directly impacted by the displacement process. The shareback projects include:

  • The “I am Auraria” exhibition on display at the Auraria Library, featuring photos, oral histories, and artifacts. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 
  • A community mural that will be painted on the Plaza building in the heart of the Auraria Higher Education Center to increase awareness of this history. 
  • A robust database and map of the Auraria Neighborhood and its residents between 1955 and 1973, which has been digitally mapped by partners at the University of Colorado Denver 
Members of the Auraria community participating in a memory workshop

Members of the Auraria community participating in a memory workshop. March 2022. 

Coverage of this project by 9news →

Check back soon to access the full collection of oral histories.

This project was made possible with our partners:

Auraria Library
Auraria Higher Education Center
Auraria Historical Advocacy Council
Community College of Denver
Denver Arts and Venues
​​​​​​​Denver Public Library
Historic Denver, Inc.
Metropolitan State University
University of Colorado, Denver