Neighborhood Guide

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Alamo Placita/Arlington Park

The Arlington Park neighborhood is appealing for its central location, small but charming single-family homes and beloved Alamo Placita Park.

Named to the National Register of Historic Places and designated as an official Denver Landmark, Alamo Placita Park was voted Denver’s Best Park in 1993.

Development of Arlington Park originally began in 1891 but, with the Silver Crash of 1893, residential construction did not begin in earnest until the late 1890s and early 1900s. Victorians and bungalows make up just some of the architectural styles that are being lovingly restored and maintained. With its appealing character, its enviable location near restaurants and shops along 6th Avenue and its easy access to downtown, the Arlington Park / Alamo Placita neighborhood is hard to beat.

With easy walking access to Denver’s Downtown as well as the popular 6th Avenue hotspots, the Alamo Placita and Arlington Park neighborhoods offer both a residential and urban atmosphere in one coveted locale.

 

Baker

Referred to in the early 1800s as South Side or South Broadway, the Baker neighborhood is a mix of urban convenience and historic charm.

An eclectic historic and modern mix, the Baker neighborhood is one of the oldest in the Denver area, as well as one of the most up-and-coming locations for development.

Bounded by Sixth Avenue, Lincoln Street, Mississippi Avenue, and the South Platte River, the area was first plotted and developed in the 1870s. Due to recent urban renewal, the area has become a mix of Victorian-style homes, modern condos, and arts-and-craft dwellings.

With a cozy neighborhood feel, the Baker area is a located close enough for easy access to the urban heart of Denver, and the thriving Broadway Main Street development features a mix of galleries, causal and upscale dining, funky boutiques, bookstores, and antique shops.

The recently constructed luxury development Watermark features 90 luxury condominiums and brownstones at West 4th Avenue and Acoma Street features Denver’s only “infinity edge” swimming pool, a decadent roof-top pool that appears to disappear over the horizon.

The Baker Commons, located directly central Broadway corridor at 3rd Avenue, feature three stories of loft spaces above street level high-end commercial developments. Developed in 2001, the Baker Commons feature a mix of contemporary and vintage design that fits the Baker aesthetic ideally.

 

Bonnie Brae

One of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city, Bonnie Brae (meaning “Pleasant Hill” in Gaelic) was originally designed in the style of a small Scottish village…

…with curving streets, circular central park and stately homes. Architectural styles include English Tudors and Cape Cods as well as brick ranches — a mix resulting, in part, from multiple development booms. The creation of Ellipse Park in 1936 sparked construction of homes in the 40s and 50s. Bonnie Brae Boulevard showcases an interesting collection of architectural styles, including International Style and Art Moderne.

Much of Bonnie Brae’s appeal comes not only from being a short walk to local eateries, boutiques, spas and the library, but also its proximity to Washington Park and the Cherry Creek shopping district.

Local development along University Boulevard has seen a spark in recent years, with the completion of the nearby Cherry Creek Mall and shopping centers, as well as several condominium and luxury apartment complexes along the Boulevard. In Bonnie Brae itself, new developments give way to renovation and preservation of the classic and historic homes that make up the community neighborhood.

 

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is one of the most diverse and eclectic neighborhoods in the city.

Elaborate mansions built in the 1880s by some of Denver’s early millionaires were later joined by upper-middle class homes and mid-century high-rises. Nestled between 10th and 11th Streets on Sherman Street is Poet’s Row, a block of historic apartment complexes named after poets such as Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost. The many studio and one-bedroom apartments on Capitol Hill are home to an eclectic mix of residents, including the hipsters that add a vibrant energy to the area. Places to eat and shop – both funky and refined – are within easy walking distance, as are the gold-domed Capitol building, the Denver History Museum, and nearby Cheesman Park.

 

Cheesman Park

While Cheesman Park has a charming mix of homes, those looking for a high-rise view condo with easy access to parks and downtown will find this neighborhood hard to beat.

Named for the park that occupies 80 acres and includes a neo-classical pavilion donated by water baron Walter S. Cheesman in 1910, the Cheesman Park neighborhood is home to one of the real gems of the city, the Denver Botanic Gardens. Enjoy its lush gardens, summer outdoor concerts and holiday events. Quiet residential streets belie this neighborhood’s proximity to the state capitol building and the heart of downtown.

 

Cherry Creek

The upscale and mixed-use Cherry Creek neighborhood is tucked right next to the very popular Cherry Creek shopping district, including Cherry Creek’s indoor mall and outdoor shopping district of over 600 boutiques, salons, cafes and shops.

Whole Foods Market and the local farmer’s market are nestled in this district and are within easy walking distance. The neighborhood is home to more than 100,000 residents who live in a mix of spacious single-family homes, town homes and condos. Though the population includes empty nesters and singles, families with children will favor the easy walk to highly-rated Bromwell Elementary School.

Both residents and visitors alike enjoy a wide variety of cultural activities, including the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the Taste of Cherry Creek, the Cherry Creek Sneak and the Films on Fillmore series each summer. In the winter, take a spin on the Fillmore Plaza ice rink. Along 6th Avenue to the north, take advantage of the rich mix of restaurants, pubs, yoga studios and shops. For some outdoor fun, the 22-mile Cherry Creek path is popular for runners, bikers, walkers and in-line skaters. Access to downtown is easy from Cherry Creek, but residents enjoy the ease with which they can walk to just about everything.

 

Cherry Hills

For lovers of golf and beautiful scenery, Cherry Hills Village has great appeal.

Nestled in rolling hills, affluent Cherry Hills Village includes the distinct neighborhoods of Cherry Hills North, Old Country Club, Cherry Hills Farms, Glenmoor, Charlou, Covington, Cherry Hills Park, Sunset Drive and Buell Mansion. The gem of the neighborhood is the prestigious Cherry Hills Country Club, created in 1922 and host to several major golf championships. Residents also enjoy access to the Glenmoor Country Club as well as an extensive trail system and tennis and swim clubs.

Founded in 1945 under the ideals of maintaining large residential lots and a private, countryside atmosphere, the average home price in this exclusive neighborhood is well over a million dollars. Most homes are on one- to ten-acre lots, which more than accommodate these custom luxury homes and estates. Residents benefit from the high quality of the Cherry Creek School District for public education as well as from top-notch private schools such as Kent Denver Country Day School and St. Mary’s Academy.

 

City Park

The City Park neighborhood, including City Park South and City Park West, is named for the 320-acre park modeled after New York’s Central Park.

Work on City Park began in the 1870s and serves as an important example of Denver’s City Beautiful movement. The 1913 addition of the golf course just north of 23rd Avenue expanded the park to 480 acres. The park not only includes the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science, but also welcomes visitors to the lake, playgrounds, and walking paths. A free jazz concert series is held every summer.

Residential development started to take place early on to the south and west of City Park (with the Park Hill neighborhood immediately to the east). Many of the old Denver Squares and bungalows built in the late 1890s and early 1900s remain, including the elegant Frank Smith mansion at 18th and York.

The southern border of City Park is Colfax Avenue, Denver’s longest avenue and home to an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, galleries and businesses. Home buyers seeking a good deal may find it in this neighborhood, though Colfax Avenue’s ongoing revitalization and introduction of hip new hangouts may make those deals disappear. The renowned and beloved Tattered Cover bookstore recently opened its Colfax store in a refurbished theater.

The neighborhood’s rare combination of expansive park space and excellent proximity to downtown make it a popular choice for Denver residents.

 

Congress Park

One of Denver’s most popular older neighborhoods, Congress Park began its residential boom between the late 1890s and the 1940s.

The actual Congress Park, which serves as the anchor of the neighborhood, was created on the site of an old cemetery that had fallen into disrepair. Because the land was owned by the United States by virtue of an 1860 treaty with the Arapaho, the change of land use from cemetery to park required approval by Congress, which is how the park and neighborhood got their name. This park, located at 9th and Elizabeth, now features beloved green space as well as a playground and renovated outdoor swimming pool.

That initial boom in residential development yielded a variety of architectural styles, including Denver Squares and brick bungalows as well as Mission, Mediterranean, Dutch Colonial and charming Victorians along the historic Seventh Avenue Parkway. Early Art Deco apartment buildings and 1960s high-rises round out the mix. Charming stores and restaurants are within walking distance, and the Cherry Creek shopping district is also quite near. The Denver Botanic Gardens is just west of the neighborhood, offering a garden oasis, summer concerts and holiday events.

 

Country Club

With its huge lots and impressive architectural masterpieces, Country Club is one of the most private-feeling and exclusive neighborhoods in the city.

Development began in 1905, with several additions to follow. Beautiful homes of Colonial, French Chateau, Tudor, Santa Fe and Georgian styles along with Denver Squares, Victorians and large bungalows make this neighborhood an architectural treat. The Park Lane Square (Circle Drive) subdivision, designed in 1926 by renowned landscape architect Saco DeBoer, includes some of the neighborhood’s most exquisite homes sited on massive lots and beautifully curving streets. The Spanish gate at 4th and Franklin sits at the original entrance to the Denver Country Club and conveys the beauty and exclusivity of the neighborhood.

The Country Club North area, with its smaller homes but equally charming diversity of architectural styles, is highly desirable for its proximity to good schools and shopping in the Cherry Creek shopping district.

 

Crestmoor Park

Located just east of the Hilltop neighborhood, Crestmoor is known for its central location, expansive park, and eclectic mix of architecture.

Lot sizes tend to be large and house styles abound in an easy blend of everything from 50s-style ranch homes to English Tudors to million-dollar mansions. The beautiful Crestmoor Park is the crown jewel of this neighborhood and offers recreational pursuits or just a solitary stroll. Walk to local eateries or take a short drive to the Cherry Creek shopping district and downtown.

 

Curtis Park

Curtis Park, established in the 1860s and 1870s, was one of the first fashionable “suburbs” in Denver and was in the heart of the city’s population boom in the late 1800s.

Though the neighborhood enjoyed close proximity to downtown and was serviced by a streetcar line, by the turn of the century the neighborhood experienced the first of several economic cycles. Like many urban neighborhoods, Curtis Park deteriorated during the 1960s and 1970s, but even by the mid-70s new residents were drawn to revitalize these older homes.

Curtis Park, which includes the Clements, San Rafael, and Glenarm Place historic districts, has a variety of architectural styles. One can see Queen Anne, Victorian and Italianate homes, as well as an engaging melding of styles built by residents lacking formal architectural training. With over 500 late 19th century homes and a large portion of the neighborhood named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, Curtis Park has great appeal for those working to restore the luster to this important urban neighborhood.

 

Downtown

The triangle formed by Broadway, Colfax, 20th and Speer encompasses downtown Denver and what is also known as the Central Business District.

The city of Denver began with the merging of 3 fledgling communities during the Gold Rush of 1859, and was later rebuilt in brick and stone after the near total destruction by fire in 1863. While some of the original historic buildings remain, including warehouses, Union Station and the Oxford, Barth and Brown Palace Hotels, many others were demolished to make way for the skyscrapers of the Jet Age. Residents of downtown live in renovated lofts and condos and can choose from nearby amenities such as restaurants and bars, athletic clubs, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the Denver Public Library, Civic Center Park and the Paramount Theater. The more recently built 16th Street Mall offers shopping and dining along a pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined street. The nearby Auraria Higher Education Center offers a wide array of adult education options among its three school campus.

 

Highlands

Just west of downtown Denver is the diverse and charming Highlands neighborhood.

Initially founded in 1858 by Scottish, English and Welsh immigrants, the neighborhood is distinguished from others in Denver by the unusual square platting of blocks. These square blocks allowed each home to face all adjacent streets and provided for a carriage turnaround in the center of the block. While some of these center blocks have been distributed among adjoining properties, other center lots remain and provide a communal feel to the residents. Some mansions were built to attract buyers early on, but most homes in the neighborhood — constructed between 1893 and 1939 — are a more modest mix of Victorian, Queen Anne, bungalows, and later ranch-style homes.

The preservation and continued enjoyment of some of the Highlands’ original shopping districts, including at 32nd and Lowell, lend this neighborhood its historic sensibility and charm. Art galleries, book stores, coffee shops and cafes on quiet streets give the neighborhood an intimate feel despite its proximity to downtown.

 

Hilltop

One of Denver’s more prestigious neighborhoods, Hilltop enjoys a central location, well-kept streets and a growing collection of affluent homes.

Development started in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the neighborhood now includes English Tudors, 50s ranch style homes, and custom homes worth well over a million dollars. Cranmer Mansion, an aristocratic architectural masterpiece, sits at 200 Cherry Street, Hilltop’s highest point. George Cranmer, the original owner of the mansion and credited for developing many local parks – including Red Rocks and Winter Park – developed Hilltop’s Mountain View Park and what became known as Cranmer Park. With a city ordinance that will never allow building to block the western view, the 23-acre Cranmer Park has a magnificent view of the Front Range.

With highly rated schools and convenient access to downtown and the Cherry Creek shopping district, Hilltop remains a favored choice for Denver’s well-established citizens.

 

Lodo

In the span of just 10 years, this area has gone from abandoned turn-of-the-century warehouses and buildings to one of the hippest locations in town.

Thanks to the opening of Coors Field and the allure of loft living, this 20-block district of 19th century brick buildings now known at LoDo (short for Lower Downtown) is a hub of restaurants, pubs, art galleries, entertainment, shopping and sophisticated urban living. With 125 designated historic buildings, LoDo has one of the largest concentrations of Victorian and turn-of-the-century architecture in the country.

The Riverfront area of LoDo, located behind Union Station and along the east side of the South Platte River, is the site of several thousand new housing units built as lofts in old industrial buildings or as freestanding units that are in keeping with the urban style of the neighborhood. Landscaped paths along the South Platte River and Cherry Creek give walkers, joggers and cyclists access to one of the most extensive urban trail systems in the nation, while kayaking and rafting chutes are available at Confluence Park. Locals gather in the park for summer movies and concerts.

 

Lowry

Built on the site of a former Air Force base, Lowry is a modern, mixed-use community.

Recipient of the Governor’s Award for Smart Growth, Lowry is a model for city planning and extends historic elements of Denver such as the grand homes along 6th Ave. Residential development includes everything from traditional single-family homes to more urban-style lofts. Parks and walking paths give residents easy access to enjoy the outdoors. Lowry is also home to a variety of businesses, many of which have transformed existing structures such as airplane hangars.

At nearly 800 acres, Lowry’s parks and recreational areas will be equal in size to 20 percent of all park space in Denver. Demonstrating respect for Colorado’s environment, Lowry’s parks are built responsibly, with 35 percent of the total acreage devoted to native plants and grasses, and less than half slated for sod, some of which include low water grass varieties. Lowry’s parks and recreational areas include neighborhood parks, regional parks, a sports complex, golf course, natural areas, a community recreation center and an ice arena.

 

Mayfair

Designed and promoted after World War II as urban living with a suburban feel, Mayfair continues to appeal to families with its bungalows, Tudors, ranch style homes as well as wide streets, large lots and park spaces.

Several areas with shopping and dining are within easy reach, including Mayfair’s own shopping center at 14th and Krameria Street as well as establishments along Colfax to the north and Colorado and 8th to the west. Several hospitals are nearby, including National Jewish Hospital and Rose Medical Center.

Mayfair also is home to Mayfair Park, located at 10th and Jersey, and Lindsley Park along Hale Parkway, near the Health Sciences Center. City Park is located just northwest of Mayfair near the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science.

Mayfair will continue to evolve in the years to come. With the planned re-development of the Health Sciences area at 9th and Colorado, and the planned communities at Lowry and Stapleton, Mayfair will continue to grow and mature.

With its easy access to downtown and location nestled among other fine neighborhoods such as Park Hill, Montclair, Crestmoor and Hilltop, Mayfair will continue to thrive for years to come.

 

Montclair

Montclair is a popular neighborhood with an interesting history on the east end of Central Denver.

Baron von Richthofen, uncle of the “Red Baron”, came to Colorado from Germany in 1877 and co-founded the Montclair Town and Improvement Company in 1885. Development struggled until the Baron built a castle for his own use at 12th and Olive, created a lateral ditch off the Highline Canal to bring a water supply to grow more lush foliage, and also pushed for four new streetcar lines on 6th, 8th, 17th and Colfax. With the convenient access to downtown and the promise of clean, healthy air for tuberculosis patients, the Montclair neighborhood started to thrive. To ensure Montclair’s reputation as a prestigious place to live, the Baron used strict building requirements for exclusive use of brick or stone houses and for building on double-size lots.

The somewhat hilly neighborhood includes a charming mix of bungalows, cottages, Tudors and ranch style homes. With a variety of schools, parks, churches, and a creation center as well as easy access to downtown and the newly developed Lowry neighborhood to the east, Montclair is a sought-after place to live in Denver.

 

Observatory Park

The Observatory Park and University Park neighborhoods enjoy not only easy access to I-25, nearby movie theaters, organic markets and cafes but also the architectural and cultural influence of their location near the University of Denver campus.

The history of this neighborhood is linked with John Evans, who was named Colorado’s 2nd territorial governor by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Evans developed Northwestern University in Illinois in the 1870s, which served as his model for what became the University of Denver (DU) in the late 1800s. The mansion homes and wide, tree-lined streets that were constructed in these neighborhoods at that time took their cue from the “conscience and culture” atmosphere associated with DU. While other architectural styles have joined the mix, the neighborhood retains this storybook, upscale feel.

Observatory Park, named for the historic Chamberlin Observatory on East Warren Avenue, offers a green haven for strollers, picnickers, rugby players and more.

 

Park Hill

One of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods, Park Hill is anchored by its grand homes and stately boulevards and parkways.

This diverse neighborhood is also home to bungalows, Tudors, brick ranches and everything in between – a mix that can only be understood through its development history. Baron von Winckler left his country in disgrace over a faux pas involving the Kaiser Wilhelm I and bought and developed a tract of land just east of City Park, an expansive park that was created during The City Beautiful movement. Despite the Baron’s clever marketing efforts, he deemed his development a failure and committed suicide in 1898. This led to a syndicate that later bought and subdivided the land further. These subdivisions had their own lot sizes and architectural styles, which accounts for the diversity. With all of these subdivisions, some of these early developers worked to unify the neighborhood by extending streetcar lines and created more tree-lined boulevards and parkways than exist in any other Denver neighborhood. Later development in what is now known as North Park Hill resulted in the construction of more modest ranch style dwellings.

In addition to groupings of stores and cafes tucked throughout the neighborhood as well as a beautiful public library, Park Hill has a charmed location right across from City Park. Included in this picturesque park is the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a golf course, a small lake and expansive greenspace, walking paths and playgrounds.

 

Platt Park

With its namesake park, its quaint shops and hip eateries along Old South Pearl Street, and its proximity to the University of Denver, I-25 and the new light rail line, Platt Park is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Central Denver.

This 100-block square is a peaceful blend of everything from brick bungalows to historic Tudors. The extension of the Denver Tramway Company’s trolley car line along Pearl Street and east to the University of Denver cause a boom in development in Platt Park and surrounding neighborhoods. A majority of the residences are turn-of-the-century Victorians and bungalows from the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

While the neighborhood suffered economically at various times this past century, artisans, residents and an active merchants association have preserved and transformed this neighborhood into a charming haven.

 

Polo Club

One of the most exclusive and secluded neighborhoods in the city, Polo Club was developed on the 160-acre site purchased in 1920 for the purpose of creating grounds where the local polo club could keep their horses and play.

The stables were built near the polo field at the southwest corner of Alameda and Steele, and a clubhouse was built in 1926. The equestrian game was played 3 times a week throughout the 1920s and 30s while residential development began. Polo play ceased by 1936, and the Polo Club closed in 1941 and sold much of that property. One of the original land owners created a Polo Club Home Owner’s Association in 1946 to protect the remaining residents, and in 1958, following his death, 34 acres were sold to create the Polo Club Place Subdivision. Condominiums and custom built homes were built in the late 70s on the former site of the stables. Custom home construction continued into the 1990s.

Today, Polo Club is known for its spacious upscale homes on larger lots with lush landscaping and quiet streets. Privacy and seclusion are a hallmark of this neighborhood despite its close proximity to the Cherry Creek shopping district and busy thoroughfares. Residents have easy access to the Cherry Creek bike path.

 

Stapleton

With the decision to close Stapleton Airport came the opportunity to create the nation’s largest infill development – the new urbanism community of Stapleton.

While the new Denver International Airport didn’t open until 1995, planning by Denver’s civic and business leaders began years earlier. By the spring of 2001, master developer Forest City began developing a mixed-use community on 4,700 acres of land and promoting the vision of a walkable community with sustainability as a core value. The first residents began moving into the neighborhood in 2002 and the total population is expected to reach 30,000 residents. Single-family homes are in more traditional styles such as Tudor, Mediterranean, Craftsman and Victorian, while some of the town homes and lofts have a modern flair.

Adjacent to older communities and with an enviable location just 10 minutes to downtown and 20 minutes from the new airport, Stapleton was an immediate success. A new 80-acre Central Park, outdoor pools, and over 30% of the total land devoted to parks and open space encourage an active lifestyle among residents and visitors. Summer outdoor movies, concerts, festivals and open-air markets are just some of the amenities of this popular and award-winning neighborhood.

 

Washington Park

Washington Park (or “Wash Park” as it’s referred to by locals) is an in-demand neighborhood that came from less-than-auspicious beginnings.

Mayor Thomas McMurray viewed Smith’s Lake as an ideal location for a new park and began purchasing land and condemning properties. With a total of 160 acres, the park design and transplanting of trees and shrubs from the mountains began on what was previously bare land. When streetcar lines with access to downtown were extended south on Franklin and South Gaylord, the improved accessibility sparked interest in residential development. Construction began in the early 1900s and came to include duplexes, bungalows, small apartments and pop-tops. The original Smith’s Lake and the newer Grasmere Lake provided for additional water – and swimming holes — that allowed the park to bloom and the neighborhood to flourish.

Now one of the most beloved and frequented parks in the city, Washington Park is the key draw for living in this neighborhood. Additional amenities include close proximity to Old South Gaylord, the quaint shops and cafes in Bonnie Brae, and the Cherry Creek shopping district.   Today, Washington Park has great access to downtown, Cherry Creek, Denver Tech center and easy access to 1-25 and light rail.

 

Wellshire

The Wellshire neighborhood is known for its serene, meandering streets, the 18-hole Wellshire Golf Course and its 13.4-acre Skeel Reservoir.

Designed by Donald Ross, the Wellshire Golf Course was built in 1926 and features mature cottonwood trees and an English Tudor-style clubhouse. In addition to single-family homes and ranch dwellings, Wellshire also includes parks, churches and the highly ranked Slavens Elementary school.

Nearby University Hills Plaza includes the popular and organic Sunflower Market, the Chez Artiste movie house, the upscale Garment District and BeauJo’s pizza. And to the south within easy driving distance is one of the area’s largest Whole Foods stores. With so many amenities, peaceful surroundings, and convenient access to downtown and the Denver Tech Center, Wellshire is a terrific place to call home.