Pearl Street is a four-block pedestrian mall in Boulder, Colorado, one of a growing number of pedestrian-only places in the U.S.
The Pearl Street Mall is a popular destination for tourists visiting Boulder and for students attending the nearby University of Colorado at Boulder. The mall hosts a blend of locally-owned businesses and national chain stores and restaurants. It is also home to much of Boulder's nightlife. During the summer months, Pearl Street Mall is the stage for a number of street performers, including musicians.
The Pearl Street Mall is filled with public art, including numerous fountains and sculptures as well as a sandbox for children, a stylized map of Boulder County and a number of small gardens which are planted with a variety of flowers and trees, most notably tulips in the spring.
It’s shops and restaurants account for only 30% of its square footage, all on the ground floor. 52% is devoted to private offices, mainly on the second and third floors, while the rest (18%) is government offices and other civic uses as churches, the bus depot, and police station. This means there’s a constant daytime population (e.g. office workers) to not only patronize the restaurants and shops, but just as importantly to provide a sense of life on the streets to attract visitors.
New condos are being developed around Pearl Street, providing the 24/7 population that helps ensure a high level of street vitality.
History: As a Planning Board member, Carl A. Worthington began working on the project in 1966 in an attempt to revitalize Boulder's downtown. In 1973 he prepared a Master Plan which was approved by an 86% majority. The Pearl Street Mall was constructed between June 1976 and August 1977 and was officially dedicated on August 6, 1977.