Spanning from 6th Avenue to Colfax, and from York
to Colorado, Congress Park is one of central Denver’s
most popular neighborhoods. Anchored by Congress Park,
located at 9th and Elizabeth Street, the neighborhood
encompasses a wide variety of architecture from Bungalows
and grand homes along 7th Avenue, and from early Art
Deco apartment buildings to 1960’s high
The beginning of the actual Congress Park can be
traced to the Prospect Hill Cemetery, which originally
stood at the sites of both the current Cheesman and
Congress Parks. At the time, the cemetery was divided
into three different areas—one for Roman Catholic,
one for Hebrew, and one for Jewish followers.
As Denver grew, and as the cemetery fell into disrepair,
by the 1890’s, it became considered a real eyesore.
The ownership of the land lay with the United States
by virtue of an 1860 treaty with the Arapaho. After
determining that the best use of the space would be
as a park, the U.S. Congress was persuaded to allow
the use of the land to be changed. Their reward was
having the new park named after them!
Of course, the challenge was now the removal of all
of the souls buried in the cemetery. Families were
given 90 days to remove their loved ones; after that
point, the local undertaker was given the job—and
paid $1.90 per grave. Hindered by unmarked graves,
many people (or portions thereof!) were left behind,
which accounts for many of the interesting stories
that have circulated for decades in the neighborhood.
Once the transformation of the cemetery into parks
was completed, the neighborhood began to boom, with
most construction occurring between the late 1890’s
and the 1940’s.
With a location that enables its residents to enjoy
such a variety of Denver amenities including the Botanic
Gardens, Congress Park itself, Cherry Creek, and the
quaint shopping areas found tucked into the neighborhood,
Congress Park is only becoming more popular as time