Significance – Cowboy wisdom adds a dose of dust and horse dung practicality to all that high faluttin’ thinkin’ …Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. That’s how they do things in Colorado; it’s that Western Philosophy that has made Denver such a fine city.

Inscription – When you threaten a Westerner, you better put up or shut up. If you have a problem, ask for help. But if you threaten me, our response is, The hell with you.

Mayor Wellington Webb

On doing business in Denver

Location – 39°44’41.5″N 104°59’22.1″W

Details – World wisdom in a nutshell – Western Philosophy refers to philosophical thinking which seeks to find and prove “the truth.” Eastern Philosophy accepts the truth as a given and is more interested in finding the balance. Westerners put more stock in individual rights; Easterners in social responsibility.

Over the centuries, Western Philosophy has become infused with Western religion, science, mathematics and politics. In the time of Socrates, the word “philosophy” described ALL intellectual endeavors. Even as late as the 17th century, the natural sciences (physics, astronomy, biology) were considered branches of “natural philosophy”.

Cowboy wisdom adds an earthy purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains to all that fancy philosophy stuff. Heres a sample, If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

Mayor Wellington Webb understands Colorado Philosophy as well as anyone. All-conference basketball in Sterling, B.A. and M.A. in Greeley. Hes a master in the way people think around in these parts and has the diploma to prove it. Or, you can admire his distinguished career in public service which began when he was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1972. He was chosen as Denver’s first African American mayor in 1991 and served three terms. Mayor Webb spearheaded the city’s renaissance into one of the more dynamic downtowns in the U.S.

If you’re going to do it, do it right – theres another one of those sayings. During Mayor Webb’s tenure in Denver, the administration focused on four major areas:

  • parks and open space
  • public safety
  • economic development
  • children

Understanding the Western way was the path to great success success. The Webb administration boasted a record 40% decrease in crime and almost full employment. There was investment of more than $7 billion in infrastructure. Development projects included Denver International Airport, a football stadium and expansion of the Denver Art Museum.

Mayor Webb believed that the arts are a cornerstone to community and a quality life, and arts projects were laced throughout Denver’s redevelopment plan. As a result of good urban planning, more than $200 million was allocated for the Denver Zoo, the Denver Art Museum, and Red Rocks Amphitheater.

“I believe deeply that my administration’s commitment to the arts is simply a reflection of our community’s desire to reaffirm its artistic vibrancy,” Webb noted.

They say, If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya. Denver has been hailed by magazines such as Newsweek, Fortune and Ebony for cultural and cosmopolitan excellence, It is one of the few cities that can boast that total arts attendance exceeds home game attendance at all of the city’s major sports teams combined. To its credit, Denver is the home to many nationally recognized museums, the second largest performing arts center in the nation (after Lincoln Center in New York City), and dynamic neighborhoods such as LoDo (lower downtown), laden with art galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Thanks to the Colorado philosophy, Behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town, or something like that, Denver is one of the Best Places for Business and Careers according to Forbes. The city’s relatively central location makes it a natural setting for a distribution hub for the American West. Mountain adjacent, Denver is an enthusiastic choice for mining and energy companies. Additionally, Colorado’s capital making the energy industry another staple of Denver’s economy. Denver has a significant foothold in aerospace, aviation, bioscience, energy, financial services, information technology, healthcare and telecommunications.

Industries benefit from Denver and neighboring Boulder because the area boasts one of the most educated workforces in the country. The people who move to Denver will call home a vibrant city surrounded by the majesty that inspired the cowboys and Colorado’s unique brand of Western Philosophy.

Quiz Questions

  1. What is your Western Philosophy?
  2. Why is Denver a celebrated city?
  3. Do you prefer sports or culture? Whats your favorite and why?
  4. Who was Denvers first African American mayor?
  5. If you were mayor of your neighborhood, what three issues would be your primary focus?