Join ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) in partnership with the Women’s Development Collaborative (WDC) for a fireside chat with Denver’s award-winning developer and preservationist Dana Crawford. In conversation with Laura E. Aldrete, Executive Director of Denver Community Planning and Development, Dana will share provocative insights from her long history in developing beautiful buildings that make Denver such a special place and from advising on historic revitalization efforts in more than 50 communities.
Beginning her development career in the 1960s when women were even less visible in the real estate industry, Dana took bold steps to restore buildings to their original glory at a time when urban renewal meant destroy and build new. Her vision to revitalize a key downtown block led to the establishment of Denver’s vibrant Larimer Square and the city’s first historic district designation. While now commonplace in many urban hubs, Dana was the first developer to bring loft living to the Mile High City, converting former factory buildings as a way to provide housing for the future while preserving history. Dana continues to develop projects and inspire women across the globe, including inspiring the formation of WDC. In honor of her legacy contributions to Denver, her stunning hotel restoration in Union Station was renamed the
Laura Aldrete has participated in development and city building projects in the private and public sector throughout her career. As an urban planner with redevelopment expertise, she applies her comprehensive understanding of the land use and transportation knowledge to redevelopment projects. In a world that no longer operates in isolation, the application of Laura’s knowledge on many urban-infill development projects renders a more robust and successful project for the agency, developer and the community. In addition to her past work in the private sector, Laura served as the assistant director of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA), special projects director in Denver’s Office of Economic Development and the Stapleton project manager in the Denver Mayor’s Office. Born and raised in Denver Laura is a graduate of the University of Colorado, and advanced to receive a Masters of Arts in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.