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 was donated in 1868 while the city was still in its infancy. As such, Curtis Park is Denver’s first public park. 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.
Several of the city’s early movers and shakers lived in the neighborhood; Mayor Wolfe Londoner, merchant Jay Joslin, and Colorado Governor William Gilpin. Ornate front porches, high-ceilings, elongated windows, and flat roofs all exemplify the Italianate-style that was 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 area immediately north of the central business district, continues to play a significant role in the neighborhood’s 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. The area highlights an eclectic mix of historic homes which include grand Victorians, Queen Annes, 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. Today lofts, condos, and townhomes seem to crop up daily as the area continues to grow. Anchoring the neighborhood is the historic Rossonian Hotel.
Curtis Park was once a Mecca for jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington. These amazing artists would jam all night during stopovers on coast-to-coast tours.
Curtis Park is now home to a diverse mix of artists and young professionals who are enjoying an exciting cultural renaissance.
Twenty-two galleries and studios along Curtis Park’s northwest edge have banded together as River North Art District (RiNo, pronounced “rhino”). It is a stimulating new creative center that has grown from the railroad and mining industries. 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.
Each summer, the lively Juneteenth festival draws crowds from around the metro area. The festival celebrates Black cultural heritage with great food, music, arts-and-crafts booths, and carnival rides. Juneteenth stands for June 19th, the day that Union soldiers arriving in Texas announced the end of slavery.