Curtis Park

   

Curtis Park is bordered by Brighton Boulevard/ Blake Street  to the North, Welton Street to the South, Downing Street to the East,  and 20th Street to the West.

Land for Curtis Park at 30th Avenue and Champa Street, Denver’s first  public park, was donated in 1868, while the city was still in its  infancy. The Curtis Park neighborhood was also the first of Denver’s  many “street-car” suburbs; by 1871, horse-draw streetcars ran on rails  that stretched along Champa between Downtown and 27th Street. Other  lines soon followed on nearby Larimer, Curtis, Stout, and Welton  Streets.

As area boosters never tired of pointing out, several of the city’s  early movers and shakers lived in the neighborhood, among them, Mayor  Wolfe Londoner, merchant Jay Joslin, and Colorado Governor William  Gilpin. Ornate front porches, high ceilings, elongated windows, and flat  roofs featured prominently in the Italianate-style brick homes that  were popular at the time.

Many of Curtis Park’s stately Victorian-Era homes underwent extensive  renovations in the early 1980’s, kicking off a renaissance that  continues to this day. The very favorable location, immediately north of  the central business district, continues to play a significant role in  the neighborhood’s persistent allure — that, and housing prices which  represent some of the best values in the city.

Curtis Park encompasses three designated historic districts,  Clements, Glenarm Place, and San Rafael, and an eclectic mix of historic  homes including grand Victorians, Queen Anne’s, Denver Squares, and  Brownstone-style row houses.

Following a decades-long hiatus, “streetcars,” in the form of light  rail trains, once again traverse the neighborhood, running out to 30th  Street on Welton. New residences, including lofts, condos, and  townhomes, seem to crop up daily along with shops and bistros such as  Blackberries Coffee Lounge, a spacious and sleek looking coffee house  located in a recently completed loft-style building across from the  historic Rossonian Hotel.

Once a Mecca for jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker,  and Duke Ellington, who would jam all night during stopovers on  coast-to-coast tours, Curtis Park, now home to a diverse mix of blue  collar workers and young professionals, is enjoying an exciting cultural  renaissance.

RiNo is anchored by the Forney Museum, the National Western Stock  Show Complex, and the Denver Coliseum on the north and Coors Field on  the south.Twenty-two galleries and studios along Curtis Park’s northwest  edge have banded together as River North Art District (RiNo, pronounced  “rhino”), a stimulating new creative center rooted in the railroad and  mining industries that featured so prominently in the area’s history.

Each summer, the lively Juneteenth festival (Juneteenth stands for  June 19th, the day that Union soldiers arriving in Texas announced the  end of slavery) draws crowds from around the metro area to celebrate  Black cultural heritage with great food, music, arts-and-crafts booths,  and carnival rides. Special exhibits run concurrently at the Black  American West Museum and throughout the year.