lakeside amusement park, lakeside, co

lakeside, photos — May 17, 2008

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Lakeside Amusement Park is a historical time-capsule treasure, located in it’s very own city, Lakeside, CO, bordering Denver, Wheatridge & Arvada. It is one my favorites places in the world!

The Tower of Jewels, shown above, is now 100 years old and is built in the original Beaux Arts style from when the park was first created by Denver brewer Adolph Zang and friends in 1908!

Many cities across the nation created their own local versions of the 1893 World Exhibition and Fair of Chicago, all dubbed White City. They were all painted white
and covered head to toe in electric light bulbs, which would have been quite a sight
in that era!

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But what makes Lakeside great is that is was purchased in the 1930s
by Benjamin Krasner, who then updated the park in elaborate
Art Deco & modernist styles which continued through to the 1960s.

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It is amazing that this Krasner family still owns the park today and
has left the historical beauty of this park intact!

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The ticket booths, the signs, the lettering are a treasure trove of
beautiful modernist designs.

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Many of the late-1940s & 1950s era designs are by important
modernist architect Richard Crowther.

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Richard Crowther designed some beautiful modernist homes around the Denver area, along with the Cooper Cinerama Theatre on Colorado Blvd.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The Crowther House (401 Madison St), a gorgeous Cherry Creek modernist masterpiece, seems to be in constant danger of being scraped!

This is absolutely ridiculous, considering it is one of the most impressive buildings of it’s type in the state, on par with the Flying Saucer House in Gennessee, or the Mushroom House in Boulder!

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Lakeside has an original Eyerly Aircraft Company Satellite ride!

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Eyerly Aircraft Company also created the Loop O-Plane, the Roll O-Plane, the Rock O-Plane, & the much loved Octopus!

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Even small gardening features at Lakeside look wonderful.

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And Lakeside has plenty of shade from the hot Colorado sun. Look at this wild shade roof located in front of the Satellite.

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This beautiful ghostly skeleton appearing through the trees is the original
Staride Ferris Wheel, from the old White City days.

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Though this ride will probably never be restored, we can all thank the Krasner family for leaving it intact for those of us in later generations to appreciate!

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22 comments

  1. I am a hopeless Romantic of Lakeside. (White City) I have many old Photos from the 20s and even an original Post Card Stamped 1908. Two years ago I sneeked behind the old Ballroom and had a look around. From what I could tell, there was no visible way to enter but did find the remains of some of the Old Fun House stuff, along with a few old firetrucks rusting away. I also tried to gain access into the casino but was laughed at. Personally I think it a tragedy that this Park is in such decay. Email me if you would like to share some of these old picures I have.

    Max

    Comment by Max — February 5, 2009 @ 1:40 pm
  2. Thanks for your comments, I emailed you!

    Comment by admin — February 9, 2009 @ 9:16 pm
  3. I think Lakeside needs a good face lift, with some old attractions reopened. The dance hall, cassino, fun house, spook house, along with some new rides.

    Comment by Anonymous — February 24, 2009 @ 1:55 am
  4. Well, I agree we would all like to see the return of the Funhouse, and the main building with the Casino restored. I bet this WILL happen someday, as the city of Lakeside owns the mall property next to it, and they are doing a major rebuild on that as we speak. Hopefully, the income from that gives Lakeside the freedom to do as they please!

    Comment by admin — February 28, 2009 @ 8:36 am
  5. REDIT - she will return.

    Comment by Max — March 22, 2009 @ 1:26 am
  6. I remember spending hours in the funhouse as a kid. Nothing like being the last one left on the spinning disc or running through the barrels without falling. A lot of those things would be a liability nightmare now. I glad I was around to see it.

    Comment by Rob — March 30, 2009 @ 8:30 pm
  7. I was just there last weekend for the first time since I was a child, and the park is still very cool. It feels like a local amusement park, and not like a corporate-style resort park. The neon is just awesome, and I love that they still let you bring in food and picnic there…it is like a regular park with rides. Lots of trees and greenery everywhere.

    Comment by Jeff — June 2, 2009 @ 3:03 pm
  8. I remember when I was a kid in the 60’s. Whenever my mom and dad mentioned going to Lakeside, it was like a dream come true. I haven’t been there for about 10 years but when I was there all of the memories of being young came flooding back. I remember the laughing lady at the fun house. She scared me to death! I loved riding the trains around the lake and still remember the speed boats out on Lake Rhoda. I also remember feeding the carp from the pier. I have a lot of good memories but I get a little meloncholy when every I see the place.

    Comment by Tom — December 30, 2009 @ 10:45 pm
  9. I love Lakeside and spent many Sundays at the races and then over to the rides. Recently met someone that knows Ms. Krasner so we are going as soon as it opens to learn all the history. I know my parents danced there many times and at Elitch Gardens on Tennyson. Which park had the Trocadero? I remember the speed boats at Lakeside just barely. The Matterhorn went forwards and back so that was our best ride because you got your monies worth. I do remember the ‘monkey cage’ in the Fun House, first one to the middle pulled everyone else in to hold on. And the tall silver inside slides were wicked; rolled head over heels a few times. The ‘pancake’ ride where you had to get to the center before any one else because sliding off to the sides was painful. We did it over and over. My brothers were way better. The walkways that bucked up and down were my fav. and walking thru the spinning barrel. The big barrels stacked high when you first walked in that swayed too close for comfort now would probably seem silly to kids.The ride I don’t remember the name was the one that you climbed up inside and then came out on the platform and got into rocket ships that seemed to go out over the lake, so scary. MAX if you are still on this site will you please e-mail me any pictures I would be so appreciative. I sit across at Berkeley Park sometimes just looking at the old amusement park, I must have had many good times there. Thanks !!! niki5122009@live.com

    Comment by Niki L. — May 25, 2010 @ 2:27 am
  10. The amusement park sold off the land for I-70, for the office park on the northwest corner of the lake, and for the mall on the southwest corner of the lake in the 1950s. The park has not been involved in the operation of the office or mall areas since. The mall has been demolished and the site will be redeveloped but the amusement park will not have anything to do with the new use.

    Comment by Wilbur — July 29, 2010 @ 1:04 am
  11. Wow. This posting took me back. I grew up about 10 minutes from Lakeside and when we weren’t at Elitches down the road we were here. Great pictures and commentary..

    Comment by Robb K — August 18, 2010 @ 10:04 am
  12. Wow!! What a great night I had Labor Day with my sister whom I used to go to Lakeside with as a kid. Neither of us had been back in years and we brought her 23 year old daughter and younger boys. We simply have always Loved Lakeside and it’s history. We also love having had one of the recordings of Laughing Sal as our very own grandmother in early 1960’s. It was always sooo eerie as a kid but somehow Fantastic!! I just want to say that I’m so thankful that this family who keeps the park going in all it shinning historical excitement are truly making us Native Coloradans proud!! And also, keeping the pricing all throughout the park as affordable as it is in Every way allows people the ability to REALLY enjoy being there, unlike other city attractions. No One let’s folks bring picnic food and drink into ANY place anymore simply due to greed. And I just really appreciate the thought that these owners have put into keeping the “Traditions” alive at Lakeside. I hope it never ends. Thank You!!

    Comment by Paige — September 8, 2010 @ 12:58 am
  13. I used to live a few miles away in Edgewater when I was a boy. I would ride my bike to Lake side every other weekday after stealing pop bottles from behind the drugstore and selling them back to them. It only cost 15 cents for admission and you could always find a wrist band for unlimited rides in the parking lot.
    Even as a boy I used to imagine what it must have been like to go inside the Riviera and there was a building there called Moonlight Gardens back then.
    My father taught me to swim at that nasty pool. Is it still there? I remember riding the Star Ride– it was like a Ferris wheel but with big suspended buckets that up to ten people could sit around the perimiter on a round bench.I also rode the Hurricane.
    Thanks so much for posting these wonderful photos. I wish someone would restore this park.
    It is the last example of a “White City” park in the world.

    Comment by ron — December 12, 2010 @ 2:51 pm
  14. Thanks for the great website honoring one of my favorite amusement parks! Although in various states of disrepair, it was well attended yesterday, and just as beautiful at night. I’d like to see you include pics of the classic bumper cars with the scary electric ceiling, and the amazing flying plane things that I think are the hurricane itself. There are some fun maybe 50s flying saucers still working. Both coasters were in full swing with long lines. The massive, ancient trees provide nice shade to pair with a breeze off the lake, ah to speak what they have seen!

    Comment by daisyf — July 3, 2011 @ 11:48 am
  15. I found some great photographs of Cooper Theatre. I can send them to you, if you like. It is such a shame this gem was torn down.

    Comment by Corey — September 13, 2011 @ 12:32 am
  16. The Art Deco in the 1950s and 1960s made the park quite magical. The fun house was a rite-of-passage for Denver kids.

    The old lady is now worn, badly scarred and really but a shell of herself - but at night a little of the magic still comes out to flirt with visitors.

    Comment by Mike A — December 29, 2011 @ 7:35 pm
  17. The 3 story structure that was on top the main casino building between circa 1920 to 1930.?
    I have pictures…. please respond…

    Comment by Max Bollinger — March 29, 2012 @ 12:50 am
  18. yep, we took the street car to lakeside with my mom and dad twice a year…it was like going to Disneyland
    my mom and dad would dance in the ballroom …….. it was called el patio ballroom before
    it was the moonlight ballroom
    wow does that age me……….good job max,!

    Comment by Claudia hallock — March 29, 2012 @ 12:14 pm
  19. Barnes & Noble is where the Cooper used to be.

    Comment by Todd — June 12, 2013 @ 12:33 pm
  20. I just bought a house in this area because it was mid-century and still had so much 50’s character still in tact. I am fascinated by the history of this amusement park! I grew up in Northeast CO so we only ever came to Elitches when we made the trip. My dad would always talk about Lakeside but hadn’t taken us. Now I am wishing so badly that they would do a full restoration. I can’t imagine how much it would improve the neighborhood and surrounding areas to have a wonderful dance hall and restored rides. Such a gem. I’ve been reading a lot on the internet and have looked back at public library historic photos. The fact that people would go swimming and diving in Lake Rhoda (I had no idea it had a name!) and there was an actual indoor pool. I bet the people who owned my house in the 50’s had a ball there. Jealous is an understatement.

    Comment by kd — June 18, 2013 @ 11:54 am
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