Call it the Golden Age Neighborhood—Curtis Park was platted in 1871, just a year after the railroad arrived in Denver. This Instant City featured the first streetcar line, pulled by horse-drawn cars and running from 7th and Larimer to Champ at 27th. By 1879 substantial brick residences had filled the route. The arid treeless prairie northeast of Larimer Street’s development boasted a superb collection of late 19th Century homes.
The 1893 Silver Crash changed the neighborhood. In large part, the wealthy had moved to Capitol Hill and formerly grand mansions in Curtis Park became boarding houses. It’s on record that impoverished residents burned the wood trim from the interior of once-magnificent homes for simple heat. Abandoned homes were boarded up but not immune to squatters.
It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that buyers began to gentrify the zip code, falling in love with the mature bone structure and true grit of Denver’s first homes.
While there are 100+ year old trees in Curtis Park, the majority of them have been overlooked for decades. That’s a problem.