|History||The Denver Federal Center was originally part of a large ranch known as "Down Dale" owned by Major Jacob Downing (1830- 1907). The Thomas S. Hyden Realty Company purchased the ranch in 1913. Lakewood's quiet rural setting continued to exist until World War II. A few farmsteads and homes dotted the otherwise undeveloped landscape, and Sixth Avenue was a two lane gravel country road. The Hyden Ranch was selected as the site of the Denver Ordnance Plant and in January 1941 the federal government purchased the 2,100-acre parcel. At the end of the war the facility was declared as surplus and urned over to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
The growing need for additional federal office space eventually led government officials to convert the ordnance plant to offices. The first agency to move in was the Veteran's Administration in February 1946 followed by the Bureau of Reclamation. Today, 27 agencies with over 8,000 employees have office or storage facilities on the Federal Center grounds. Although many changes have occurred over the years, the Denver Federal Center retains many reminders of its rural and manufacturing past.
Prepared by Christine Pfap, Historian, and Roy Winigate, Historian, with the Bureau of Reclamation. August, 1991.|