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History of Congress Park

Josephine to Harrison, 6th Avenue to Colfax


Located just north of the wildly successful and very pricey Cherry Creek, this quiet residential neighborhood is bordered on the south by 6th Avenue, on the north by Colfax, on the west by York Street, and on the east by Colorado Boulevard. It varies in price ranges from the very modest to very grand homes along the prestigious 7th Avenue Parkway.

Everyone’s favorite is of course, is Congress Park itself. This great park is located on the corner of 8th and Josephine, and has offered baseball, swimming, tennis, and soccer for thousands of residents over the years. It is so nice to have our children WALK to this great gathering place. Call us at 303.744.6200 for the name of the coordinator of the soccer teams. Sign up is important as there is always a waiting list for this very popular activity each fall.

The earliest development of the Congress Park Neighborhood occurred between 1890 and 1924 along the Colfax corridor because the main trolley route downtown ran along that arterial. Close to what was then Cemetery Hill and east of Capitol Hill, the area was originally called Capitol Heights. The area’s oldest, the Presbyterian Church and what was the fire house at 11th and Clayton (now renovated into a private home), adopted the name of Capitol Heights.

The use of the name Congress Park came later, after the development of the park at Eighth Avenue and Josephine Street. Originally part of the acreage owned by the City for cemetery use, the cemetery became little used by the 1880’s. The City lobbied Congress to change the land use from cemetery to park, and in 1890 Congress agreed to the change. The area was named Congress Park in recognition of their cooperation. The area of current day Congress Park, never was used for burials, but remains a reminder of the earlier help from the Congress. During the late 1930’s the WPA (Works Project Administration) further cleared and graded the land and planted some trees, but it wasn’t until 1949 that a full scale effort was made to landscape the park. The swimming pool was constructed in 1955.

In varying phases between 1888 and 1957, a number of underground tanks that would become the largest water holding facilities within the City and County of Denver were constructed at the north end of Congress Park. The radio towers on the hill above the park is the emergency frequency tower for Denver’s police and fire departments.

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