Congress Park, bordered by 6th Avenue, Colfax, York, and Colorado is one of Denver’s most well-known and beloved neighborhoods. Developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by expanding Denverites looking to get away from the city, this community has its origins as a “streetcar suburb”- when streetcars were able to reach it, people started building (1). Today, this classic charm is still evident in the winding streets lined with mature trees.
The biggest draw to the neighborhood is the actual Congress Park, which has a long and storied history beginning in the early twentieth century. During World War II residents dedicated the park as “Victory Park” and many community gardens were planted. The famous Denver mayor Benjamin F. Stapleton declared the project to be “the most important community project we have seen undertaken,” but the gardens only lasted for three years before being declared “a nuisance and an eyesore” by residents (1).
The gardens were then re-landscaped and re-purposed, and have evolved to become what we see today as the current Congress Park. The park boasts multiple gardens, a swimming pool, 8 tennis courts, and baseball/soccer fields. It’s a very family friendly park that’s perfect for basking in the sunshine that Denver enjoys for 200+ days of the year.
Congress Park is located near the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Gates Planetarium, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Cherry Creek shopping area. Locally acclaimed restaurants include the upscale Barolo Grill and Truffle where you can find a variety of outstanding, fresh food. The seafood tasting menu is widely appreciated, as is the Panna Cotta, a must-have dessert option for anybody who appreciates carefully-crafted sweet concoctions. Shells and Sauce is a slightly more affordable option in Congress Park, yet is renowned for its funnel fries, bloody mary’s, and meatballs. On the edge of Congress park is the colorful hot dog joint Steve’s Snappin Dogs. An inexpensive destination for elaborate hot dog concoctions as well as burgers and shakes has made this destination a local favorite. However, it’s not just a run-of-the mill joint specializing only in hot dogs; the fresh limeade and fried green beans have attracted much praise as well, helping Steve’s to make a name for itself as a beloved restaurant, and not just another hot dog stand. There are also many different shops sprinkled throughout the park ranging from local florists to antique markets. Some notable examples include Lambe Shoppe, a knitting and crocheting destination with an in-house coffee shop, Wild Flowers, a trusted stop for houseplants and gifts of the gardening variety, The Mindful Bike, a bike shop with knowledgeable employees and extensive products, and Under the Umbrella Cafe and Bakery, a cozy stop for coffee and baked goods.
Recently, there has been a wave of restoration and landscaping on the older, historic homes in the neighborhood, and it has become a popular area for families and young professionals alike. With the many different types of housing available, there’s something for just about anyone who is looking for a slice of Denver living with a side of Colorado charm.
Congress Park – Real Estate Snapshot
Congress Park homes are usually of the bungalow, “Denver Square”, or Victorian variety. Apartment and condominiums are also available. A small 2 bed/1bath can occasionally be found for under $300,000, though home price homes are usually $300,000- $800,000.