Boulder was settled in 1858 and formed as a town in 1859. The first schoolhouse opened in 1860, and the railroad
arrived in the early 1870s as the population reached 2,000.
In 1861, while Colorado was still a Territory, legislation was passed to place the state university in Boulder, and,
in 1875, the first cornerstone for Old Main was laid on CU campus, the University of Colorado opening in 1877.
Boulder got its start as a resort destination in the late 1800s, with both the Colorado Sanitarium (after which Mt
Sanitas was named) and Chautauqua being built in the late 1890s (the Hotel Boulderado was built a decade later as
Boulder's population approached 10,000). Boulder become even more of a destination in 1948 with the first Conference
on World Affairs at CU and in 1952 with the opening of the Denver-Boulder Turnpike as the population reached 20,000.
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival also began at CU (in 1958) and the Pearl Street Mall was constructed in 1977.
Boulder also got its start as a technology center at the same time, with the opening of the Cryogenic Engineering Laboratory
and NIST in the early 50s as well as the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory in 1967.
With the arrival of the 60s and 70s, the "People's Republic" began to acquire the unique and diverse character it's famous for
today. The Buddhist-inspired Naropa Institute opened in 1974 (Boulder's first sister city relationship would be established with Lhasa, Tibet in
1986), and the first Bolder Boulder was run in 1979. In 2006, Boulder also burnished its growing pro-environment reputation as
the first city in America to approve a municipal carbon tax. In 2008, Jared Polis was the first openly gay American elected to
Congress, to represent a district then centered on Boulder and its surrounding suburbs.
Boulder does have a commercial side, however: this city of 100,000 residents takes in 60,000 commuters on any given business day,
and the upscale 29th Street Mall opened in 2006.