Author Phil Goodstein decided it was time to bring one of his books into the 21st century 25 years after its original publication. “The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill” was first published in …
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The revised fifth edition of Phil Goodstein’s book, “The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill,” is available online and at the following local bookstores in Denver: the Colfax Tattered Cover, 2526 E. Colfax Ave.; the Broadway Book Mall, 200 S. Broadway; and Capitol Hill Books, 300 E. Colfax Ave.
Phil Goodstein’s Walking Tours of Denver season will resume on the Spring Equinox, March 20, with The Ghosts of Cheesman Park. To learn more about the season’s tours, visit leonardleonard.com/walking-tours.
Author Phil Goodstein decided it was time to bring one of his books into the 21st century 25 years after its original publication.
“The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill” was first published in 1996. All copies of the book had been sold, and Goodstein decided another revision was needed. Now in its fifth revised edition, the book is about 100 pages longer than the original and includes new, additional stories, new photos — some vintage and some contemporary — and some new additions to the stories included in the 1996 version.
One of the new stories in the fifth revision is about the Winbro, an art deco building at 1620 Grant St. that serves as apartment homes.
This building, Goodstein said, “is perhaps haunted by a health inspector.”
Along with stories people may have not heard before, the book also includes the old favorites, such as the tale about Cheesman Park — the city’s original cemetery.
Goodstein is the author of about 30 titles on Denver.
He has lived in Denver nearly all his life. He is a graduate of East High School and returned to Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood after college.
In the 1980s, Goodstein was a contributor to the Life on Capitol Hill newspaper, and during that time, he did a series on the neighborhood. That series eventually turned into a book, which sold out by the mid-1990s.
He believes people in Denver enjoy reading about their city.
“By having a sense of pride in place, residents naturally have a greater commitment to a flourishing commonwealth,” Goodstein said.
Goodstein also hosts walking tours of Denver and started offering his ghost tours sometime in the late 1980s.
But the “The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill” is about much more than ghosts, Goodstein said.
“It’s about Capitol Hill. It’s about the people, the place, what makes the neighborhood,” Goodstein said. “It belongs in the library of anybody who is proud to call Capitol Hill home.”
What makes Denver such an interesting topic to write about?
I turned my attention to Denver in the early 1980s, shortly after I gained my doctorate and concluded there was no place for me in academia.
In part, my interest in the city stemmed from frustration. Crucial parts of it did not seem to work. I wanted to find out why. In the process, I saw it as a civic obligation to share my research with others. I have enjoyed presenting alternative views about the nature of the city, including the workings of RTD and city planners.
What did you find most enjoyable about working on the fifth revision of “The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill?”
Revising the book was a much greater challenge than I expected. If nothing else, it forced me to review the changing nature of my writing style and how much I and the city have changed over the last 25 years. In part, I enjoyed discovering that some of the photos I had taken and notes I had accumulated since the first edition were of extreme value in orienting the book for the 21st century.
What do you enjoy most about doing the Ghost Tours, and are some of the stories in the book told during the tours?
There is an inter-relationship between conducting the ghost tours and writing the book. I joke at the beginning of my ghost tours that I am qualified to conduct them since I wrote the book on the topic. The book states I am qualified to write it since I give the tours.
Conducting the tours forces me to emphasize the highlights of the stories about people, places and folklore. It is different than writing a straight factual account in a history text. The tours also permit me to see the constant changes in the area, so preparing for necessary revisions of the book and the living, ever-changing world in which we live.
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