Campus & Community / News

University Park celebrates 125th anniversary

In the 1880s, when the University of Denver announced plans to move its campus from downtown to south Denver, developers started planning University Park, a colony that would be home to scholars and to serious religious men and women lured by the promise of “pure air, no smoke, no saloons, excellent streetcar service” and “an ideal place to bring up a family.”

The neighborhood became official in 1886, and to celebrate its 125th anniversary, the University Park Community Council has planned a day of activities for Sept. 25.

The area around the University’s original home on Arapahoe Street near 14th Street “was becoming kind of a red light district; it was run down and there were brothels springing up,” says University archivist and Denver historian Steve Fisher. “These were good Methodists who had founded the University, so they started looking at sites and they wanted to be away from the evils of the city. A potato farmer named Rufus Clark donated several hundred of acres of land so we could move.”

The free anniversary celebration commemorates the neighborhood’s farmland origins and features short talks by Fisher and DU astronomer Robert Stencel, as well as a walking tour around the neighborhood, historical exhibits, musical performances, kids’ activities, a potluck dinner and food from area restaurants.

The walking tour begins at 3 p.m. with other activities to follow; visit the council’s website for more information. University Park is bordered by University Boulevard on the west, Colorado Boulevard on the east, Interstate 25 on the north and Yale Avenue on the south.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *