Just north of Downtown Denver you'll find the Curtis Park neighborhood, a historic area developed in the 1860s and 1870s as a fashionable residential suburb. Neighbors here are quick to proudly point out that this is the oldest residential neighborhood in the city. Take a quick trip to Curtis Park today, and you'll see it remains one of the center city's most accessible neighborhoods for Downtown workers and shoppers. As you stroll down its tree-lined streets, one of the most noticeable aspects of the community is its incredible diversity. It's a wonderfully integrated mix of all kinds of housing, a variety of social and economic levels, and neighbors who are evenly split between African-American, Latino and Caucasian. Since its founding, Curtis Park has had a rich tapestry of people and cultures. It has always been a mixed-income neighborhood where, interspersed among the neighborhood's turn of the century mansions, are smaller homes built by waves of immigrants who came to Denver to join the workforce during the city's early years. Back then, residents took the streetcar to jobs downtown or strolled the 15-minute walk to the city's center. Today, neighbors can take a quick ride on light rail to get to Downtown's businesses and office buildings. 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 and are being rebuilt as market-rate apartments and condominiums alongside affordable and low-income units. The economic diversity of the community helps make Curtis Park a unique and welcome home to all types of people.
Curtis Park's housing mix is as charming and varied as its residents. Single story duplexes stand next door to recently renovated grand Victorian mansions; flat-roofed row homes reside beside classic, two-story Denver Square brick houses, and Queen Anne-style homes with second floor porches are also numerous.
The Denver Enterprise Center
This innovative small-business incubator utilizes the labor force from the surrounding neighborhood. Its mission is to assist small and start-up businesses by fostering entrepreneurship, creating local jobs, developing work skills, and promoting community businesses and their products and services.
The Women’s Bean Project
The Women’s Bean Project is an entrepreneurial business and job skills program for low-income women and is housed in a renovated firehouse. For more than 16 years, they have helped women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by teaching workplace competencies for entry-level jobs and by teaching job readiness skills in their gourmet food production business.
The oldest functioning church in the city, this place of worship was established in 1879 for Italian and Irish immigrants. Run by the Jesuits, this church is in the traditional cruciform shape. The present wooden steeple was replaced after the original belfry threatened to crash through the roof. Back in 1912, two priests in residence restored the scaffolding and repainted the whole church. The interior has a Gothic feel with ornate windows of stained glass. In addition, there is a beautiful mural of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This is the neighborhood\'s namesake open space. It lies in the center of the neighborhood, and was created in 1868 as Denver\'s first public park. Originally named after postmaster Samuel S. Curtis, the name was recently amended to Mestizo-Curtis Park to celebrate the cultural diversity of the community. The park offers an outdoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, horseshoe pits, soccer field, and a new playground.