|Curtis Park was developed
in the 1860s and 1870s as a fashionable residential suburb north of Downtown Denver.
Today, Curtis Park remains one of the center city's most accessible neighborhoods for
Downtown workers, characterized by its tree-lined streets, its broad range of housing
types, and its social, economic and ethnic diversity.
Curtis Park's housing mix is wide ranging: single story duplexes
stand next door to recently renovated grand Victorian mansions; flat-roofed rowhouses next
to classic, two-story Denver Square brick houses; Queen Anne-style houses with second
floor porches are also numerous. There are three designated historic districts in the
Curtis Park neighborhood: Clements, San Rafael and Glenarm Place.
Since its founding, Curtis Park has
always been a mixed-income neighborhood. Interspersed among the neighborhood's turn of the
century mansions are smaller houses built by waves of immigrants who came to Denver to
join the workforce during the city's early years. Throughout the neighborhood's history,
many of Curtis Park's residents have worked in Downtown Denver, which is only a 15-minute
walk or a quick ride on RTD's light rail--or, in past decades, on streetcars--from
Downtown's businesses and office buildings.
Curtis Park is also a remarkably diverse
neighborhood. Approximately 30% of the residents are African-American, 30% are Latino, and
40% are white.
A current effort that is changing the
landscape of Curtis Park is the rebuilding of the neighborhood's housing projects through
a $26 million federal HOPE VI grant. Four blocks of two-story apartment buildings that
were built for public housing in the 1950s were demolished in 2000. The area is being
rebuilt to accommodate market-rate apartments and condominiums alongside affordable and
low income units, creating a more economically diverse community. Construction of the new
housing is underway, remarkably transforming the neighborhood.
Curtis Park's landmarks include the
Denver Enterprise Center (3003 Arapahoe Street), an innovative small-business incubator
that utilizes the labor force from the surrounding neighborhood; the Women's Bean Project
(3201 Curtis Street), an entrepreneurial business and job skills program for low-income
women that is housed in a renovated firehouse; and Sacred Heart (2760 Larimer Street),
Denver's oldest Catholic parish whose church recently completed significant renovations.
The neighborhood's namesake open space--Mestizo-Curtis Park--lies in the center of the
neighborhood, and was created in 1868 as Denver's first public park.
Broadway, Downing Street, 23rd Avenue, 38th Street. Note: The boundaries between the
Curtis Park, Five Points and Ballpark neighborhoods overlap. Census tract authorities
apply the name "Five Points" to all three areas, while other authorities call
the entire area "Curtis Park." This profile treats Five Points, Curtis
Park and Ballpark as distinct neighborhoods.
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