Undesign the Redline Explores History of U.S. Housing Policy, Race, Segregation and Impact in Denver

Blair-Caldwell library, Webb building to host interactive exhibition Nov. 15-Jan. 2

Denver (Nov. 7, 2018) –The Denver Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), and Designing the WE are proud to present Undesign the Redline, an interactive exhibition that traces the history and legacy of housing discrimination and segregation across Metro Denver and the United States.

Undesign the Redline will be on display at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, and at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building from Dec. 18 to Jan. 2, 2019. A series of public events and programs will complement the exhibition.

Created by social impact firm Designing the WE, in partnership with Enterprise, the interactive exhibition uses powerful narratives of people and communities, maps, and other documentation to trace how government policy going back to the 30s, known as "redlining,” created racial segregation and disinvestment in communities that persist to this day.


The exhibition combines historical artifacts, storytelling, photographs, and activities to illustrate redlining’s roots and lasting repercussions. The history in the Denver neighborhoods of Five Points, Park Hill, Montbello, Globeville and many others will be explored through stories, historical artifacts, and timelines that extend from the 1800s through the present.

Undesign the Redline is being brought to Denver with the generous sponsorship from The Denver Foundation, Shift Research Lab, CHFA, Wells Fargo, The City and County of Denver and Denver Public Library.

“Our goal is to provide a tool through which we help community members understand how our living and residential patterns developed over time,” says LaDawn Sullivan, Director of Leadership & Equity at The Denver Foundation. “The exhibit spotlights the government’s role in maintaining segregation.”


“Undesign the Redline not only shows us how the discriminatory policies and practices of the past still shape our lives today, but also helps us see what we can do to build equitable, sustainable and inclusive communities,” noted Jennie Rodgers, VP and Denver Market Leader, Enterprise. “The exhibit and upcoming discussions and tours will help us create a better Denver region.”

Undesign the Redline puts into perspective the local community landscape and the history of Denver, including the stories of:

  • Clara Brown, the first African-American woman to make it in the Colorado Gold Rush
  • Mayor Benjamin Stapleton and the KKK
  • Mile High Housing Association, the first cooperative of single-family homes in the nation
  • The Denver Black Panther Party
  • The annexation of Auraria by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority

Community sponsors of the exhibit are:

  • Shift Research Lab
  • CHFA
  • Wells Fargo
  • The City and County of Denver
  • Denver Public Library

Exhibit Hours, Schedule:

Nov. 15-Dec. 15
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library
Monday and Wednesday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, closed

Dec. 18-Jan. 2, 2019
Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building
Monday through Friday, 8 am-5 pm

More information is available here: https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/news-and-events/undesign-the-redline