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The Pioneer Monument at Colfax and Broadway was dedicated June 24, 1911. The fountain is topped by the bronze equestrian figure of Kit Carson. The intersection of Colfax Avenue and Broadway is literally the center of Denver, for this was “Milepost 0.0” for all auto roads radiating from Denver. Here was the western end of the Golden Belt Road and the Union Pacific Highway. Here the short-lived Colorado Loop of the Lincoln Highway turned north to Cheyenne. The transcontinental Midland Trail and Victory Highway continued west on Colfax.

Even before the Colorado State Capitol was completed in 1908, the original dome’s copper coating began to tarnish. In that year, the Colorado Mining Association donated 200 ounces of 24-karate gold leaf for the new, gold-plated dome. The same company donated the gold needed for the 1949 dome restoration. It was re-gilded in 1980 and 1991.

Colfax Avenue was named for Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States from 1869-1873. It is a 23-mile-long commercial strip through Aurora, Denver, and Lakewood. Unlike the franchised sameness of the interstate, early Colfax business names and signs tried to be as distinctive, even outlandish, as possible, to stand out among the many choices. They hoped to attract the road-weary motorist by unique lights and architecture.

map, 1940