Announcing the University Park Historic District

Unanimous Approval

On April 15, Denver City Council voted to unanimously approve our neighborhood’s first historic landmark district – the “University Park Historic District”. This designation honors our neighborhood’s historic legacy and ensures the preservation of those properties for future generations. It is comprised of the properties shown on the map below. 

Each property and information on each one can be seen here: https://www.denvergov.org/files/assets/public/v/1/community-planning-and-development/documents/landmark-preservation/designation-applications/university-park/university-park-hd-inventory-forms.pdf

Project History and Timeline

UPCC’s Community Preservation Committee began work on the project 5 years ago. The committee applied for and received funding from Historic Denver, and hired preservation consultants who researched and wrote the history of the neighborhood (University Park: Utopian Colony and Suburb on the South Denver Plains) and helped identify our neighborhood’s most historically significant properties. The result is Denver’s first residential discontiguous, or “thematic” historic district.

Together these properties tell the story of our connections to DU, our early founders and developers, progressive women, and notable architecture. All properties had to meet a high bar to qualify. Forty three properties were eligible for inclusion, and committee members provided information about designation to each property owner. For various reasons, not every owner chose to have their property included at this time. However, these properties remain eligible and owners can choose to join the district at a later date.

Denver’s Landmark Ordinance was created in 1967 with the understanding that the city’s historic resources are finite and deserve protection. In recognition that these resources have value to the entire community, it does not require owner consent. UPCC, along with the support of Councilman Paul Kashmann, made the difficult decision to include Buchtel Bungalow, owned by the University of Denver (DU) despite the desire by DU leaders not to be included. The house is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but that does not protect it from demolition.

The historic significance of Buchtel Bungalow made it pivotal in our thematic district, and its inclusion had the support of Denver’s Landmark Preservation Commission and Planning Board, as well as Councilman Paul Kashmann, who explained the rationale for inclusion at the City Council hearing. DU did not attend the City Council hearing and after final approval said that they “respect the process and decision made by the Landmark Commission.”

Additional Information

Stay tuned for a walking tour of our new historic district, and don’t forget that you may still purchase copies of the History Book. Contact Janet Bardwell at jkbardwell@gmail.com or visit our webpage for more information.

If you’re interested in learning how to research your own house, Historic Denver will offer a session if there are enough participants. Contact Rosemary Stoffel at rosemary.stoffel@gmail.com

To see the application for designation of the University Park Historic District:

https://www.denvergov.org/files/assets/public/v/2/community-planning-and-development/documents/landmark-preservation/designation-applications/university-park/university-park-hd-designation-application.pdf

To view the City Council public hearing on the designation application, which starts at approximately the 1 hour 39 minute mark:

https://denver.granicus.com/player/clip/16043?view_id=180&redirect=true

Questions? Contact Rosemary Stoffel at rosemary.stoffel@gmail.com

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