• Denver Skyline by Tomasz Stasiuk

Historic Denver Neighborhoods

Written by Ysmay.

16th Street in 190616th Street in 1906

Auraria

Formerly a small mining community in the Kansas Territory, Auraria was founded three weeks before William Larimer platted "Denver City." Named after Auraria in Georgia, modern Auraria survives within the city of Denver along the west bank of Cherry Creek and is home to the University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver, and Metropolitan State College of Denver. Bounded by Colfax to the south, Auraria is not to be confused with the Colorado city of Aurora.

Arapahoe Acres

Located just south of Denver, this post-World War II neighborhood was developed by Colorado native and self-taught architect Edward Hawkins, who moved to Chicago and studied Frank Lloyd Wright's work. Arapahoe Acres is the first post World War II neighborhood to make it onto the National Register of Historic Places. Arapahoe Acres is defined as the area between Bates, Dartmouth, Franklin and Marion.

Capitol Hill

A old and eclectic neighborhood, Capitol Hill is situated southeast of downtown centered around the gold-domed Capitol Building. This neighborhood between Broadway and York, and Colfax Avenue and 6th Avenue, is seeing an improvement in the northern portion after years of neglect. Now home to a vibrant bar scene and the Fillmore Auditorium, there are several smaller districts nestled amongst Victorian houses and modern lofts.

City Park

Denver's largest green space, City Park is 330 acres and home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. City Park is bounded by York Street, Colorado Boulevard, 17th Avenue and 23rd Avenue. While in City Park make sure you check out the Shakespeare Tree which was planted in 1916. Under the tree is a plaque that reads "Shakespeare Elm: The scion from which this tree was grown was taken from the tree at Shakespeare's grave at Stratford-on-Avon."

City Park West

This racially diverse East Denver neighborhood is bounded by 23rd Avenue, Downing, York and Colfax. Home to two of Denver's major hospitals, Exempla Saint Joseph and Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, City Park West is composed mostly of single family homes.

Cheesman Park

Bounded by Downing, Colfax, York and 6th-8th (depending on the source), this park has a grisly history. In 1890 the city decided to close down Prospect Hill Cemetery that was originally at this location to make way for a park. Families were given 90 days to remove the bodies of their loved ones, but not many did. The Chinese bodies were mostly sent home to China, but after several years, more than 5,000 bodies remained. It wasn't until 1902 the graves were actually filled in after a scandal involving relocating the bodies. The neighborhood surrounding Cheesman Park is now a growing gay community with an urban feel, and Cheesman Park is home to the Denver Botanical Gardens.

Platt Park

Bounded by Mississippi, Downing, Broadway, and Evans, Platt Park was originally named "Platte Park" but the "e" was eventually dropped. Some suspect it was to alleviate any confusion about whether the neighborhood was named after the South Platte River. Annexed into Denver in 1894, this is a quaint community with shops along Old South Pearl Street.

Speer

Bounded by 7th Avenue, Broadway, Alameda Avenue, and Downing Street, Speer is home to the historical neighborhood of Alamo Placita which grew substantially after World War II. Currently undergoing a revitalization effort, Speer is home to parks and family friendly recreational activities.

 

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