Meet Denver’s Master Historian
Phil Goodstein, the one and only, truly original (some might say eccentric), Denver historian has been giving walking tours of Denver for 35 years or more. He has long been associated with Colorado Free University, offering classes since the very beginning of its founding in 1987.
A Coloradan who graduated with a PHD from the University Of Colorado in 1981, Phil made his start in freelance journalism and writing articles about Denver. Having noticed the paucity of quality tours in Denver at the time, he became convinced he could do a better job.
Enter Colorado Free University.
In 1987 John Hand, then director and the founder of Colorado Free University, suggested to Phil that he might like to give a tour on the seamier side of Denver – shining a light on the gambling, murders, bordellos and dive bars that form a part of Denver’s early history. Later it was suggested Phil teach a class on the ghosts of Denver and so began a fruitful career guiding visitors around Denver’s spookier, and perhaps less salubrious, early neighborhoods.
In the 35 years since, between hosting his wildly popular tours, (at one time filling double-decker buses twice a night with 70 or more people), Phil has managed to find time to teach History at Metropolitan State University and write 25 or more books on the history of Denver. His latest publication,” The Denver That is No More: The Story of the City’s Demolished Landmarks”, was published in May and examines the Denver of yesteryear and the price of progress.
Wandering the Streets of Denver
Phil continues to wander the streets of Denver, sometimes backwards in his own inimitable style, relating rich and unique stories of Denver’s past to curious students. His book,” The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill”, remains the definitive guide on the subject and the basis for his ghost walks around Capitol Hill and Cheeseman Park.