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Talk about downtown Denver and the name “Dana Crawford” most likely will pop into the conversation. For more than thirty years, she has been the catalyst for Denver’s urban revival and has inspired the return of vibrant activity to LoDo’s streets. Dana likes to “stir up the pot” and has done so many times with her unique concepts for urban renewal. She pioneered the redevelopment of historic Larimer Square in the mid 60’s and has worked with over 50 communities to help preserve the historic character of neglected main streets and neighborhoods nationwide.

Dana grew up as an only child in a very supportive environment. With a continuous loving group of her parent’s friends and their children she was shown enormous amounts of love. Dana says. “It was pretty idyllic. I lived in an adult world. As a teenager, life was pretty frantic. I was involved in a lot of extra curricular activities at school and kept up a fast pace. I have high energy and can just go…”

Everyone knows Dana’s expertise on historic preservation, but I wanted to find out about her as a person. When asked, “Who are you?” she replied, “ I’m a mom and a really hard worker. Actually, I’m afraid to look at who I am.”

Dana is proud of her relationships with her sons and their families. “ We have a great close family. My eldest son works with me and we get along famously. My family lives in Denver except for one son in New York. I have five granddaughters and one grandson and see them often.”

Do you play grandma? I’m not the babysitting type, but we do sleepovers and have pretty good communication. I’ve read them all of the Harry Potter books. I’d like to take them to Italy someday.”

What do you do on “sleepovers?” I have this wonderful Portuguese water dog, Dr. Freud. We take him for big walks by the river, get smoothies at Inks and walk downtown and discover the city. I went to Grandparent’s Day at Grayland School and the kids were talking about what they like best about Grandma and they said the sleepovers!

A personality profiler lists three categories of personalities: panthers, dolphins and owls, which do you think you are? Definitely the “panther.” They’re strong and take charge. People that get things done are always set up.

Does that bother you? No, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned to handle it. There’s a book I’ve read called The Four Agreements. I try to live by them. The agreements are:
1. Don’t take it personally
2. Be impeccable with your word, (speak with integrity, say only what you mean)
3. Don’t make assumptions
4. Always do your best

What’s important in your life? Family, integrity, spirit and generosity to the maximum of my ability

What’s in your future? Completion of Prospect Place Village

What are your volunteer activities? Denver Partnership, Colorado Historical Society and Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Which social event is your favorite? Evil Companions at the Oxford Hotel

Favorite restaurant? McCormick’s

Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Hillary Clinton

If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Rosalind Russell

Do you have any pets? A four year-old Portuguese water dog, Dr. Freud

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? Eccentric

What word describes you best? Motivated

How would you like others to describe you? Thoughtful, but that’s unlikely

What was your first job? Working for my father at Kanopolis Lake

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Laziness and lying

What is your greatest indulgence? Going out to dinner at fun restaurants

What is the best gift you have ever given? Love

What is the best gift you’ve received? Love

What or who is the greatest love in your life? John Crawford

What is your current state of mind? Positive

What do you consider your greatest achievement? My family

What is your most treasured possession? My loft at Flour Mill

What is the quality you most like in a man? Humor

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Humor

Favorite books/writers? Hemingway and Jack Kerouac

What is the best advice you have ever received? Don’t take it personally…but I do

Do you have a motto? Onward

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you? Life is tough, nothing is that funny, but I laugh a lot anyway

What are your hobbies? Other interests? Antiques and travel

Who is your mentor? Cile Bach from the Denver Art Museum…now residing in heaven

What would you most like to be remembered for? Saving some of Denver’s built environments

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? Go to Italy and learn the language

What do you like about the town you live in? People, climate and location

Hi Dana: Remember me from a long time ago? Larimer Square days. I now live in Antwerp, Belgium after losing most everything in the mid 80's. I still miss Denver however, but I still hear from John Cogswell and just spoke with Jack Anderson who lives in Paris. Hope this finds you well. Best regards, Joe Clancy
Joe Clancy
11-Nov-04