Only minutes from Downtown Denver, the University Park neighborhood is situated close to the prestigious Denver University. The neighborhood can trace its beginnings to the 1880s when famed potato farmer Rufus “Potato” Clark donated 80 acres of his land for the use of what was then the Colorado Seminary (today Denver University.) As a condition for his donation, Clark requested that the main buildings of the school be built as soon as possible. As such, 200 acres of a town site would be platted within six months, and 1,000 forest trees would be planted along the streets and in the parks. The product of these stipulations can be seen today, as this area enjoys some of the most beautiful and mature landscaping in the Denver area (1).
Amenities in the area include the benefits of living close to a college campus, and a well-known one at that. As a result, frequent lectures, concerts, and theatrical productions occur daily right in the neighborhood. Examples include the Summer Academy and Orchestra performing a wind ensemble and choir concert, lectures by the Holocaust Awareness Institute, and events put on by the Museum of Anthropology and Center for Judaic Studies. Sporting events are also held at Denver University’s Ritchie Center, in addition to youth programs, adult hockey and skate programs, and adult aquatics.
Many different parks are also nearby including the famed Observatory Park (which is home to the historic Chamberlin Observatory and the Observatory Park Community Garden), McWilliams (aka Dinosaur) Park, Buchtel Centennial Park, Harvard Gulch East, and the Harvard Gulch Trail and historic Buchtel Boulevard Trail at Prairie Park. The East Harvard Gulch Trail spans 1 mile, and ranges from 56th Avenue to Memphis Street, while Buchtel Park is a simple area that complements the larger Observatory Park and offers picnic tables and bathrooms. Prairie Park features 14 acres of some of the most gorgeous native plants in Colorado, and paved trails for walking, biking, and running. McWilliams Park is often referred to as Dinosaur Park because of its centerpiece, a large pink dinosaur that is a great play destination for kids.
The University Park neighborhood is defined by the special dynamics of a historic neighborhood enhanced by the high mindedness of academia. Today, the stately homes are diverse, and range from Victorian homes with carriage houses on huge lots, to frame ranches built in the 1950s. A sense of community and gracious living make this upscale area appealing to people of all different backgrounds.
University Park – Real Estate Snapshot
Modest homes, condos, and townhomes near University Park can be found near the low $300,000 to $400,000s. Stately mansions and newer homes as a result of a “lot scrape” can be typically be found starting in the $800,000’s, while some historic mansions in the area can run up to $2,000,000.