Washington Park, or “Wash Park” as it’s called by the locals, is a vibrant community best known for being the home of the sprawling 165 acre park that is home to Smith Lake to the north, and Grasmere Lake to the south. In addition to paddle boats and other water activities, the Smith Boathouse has a capacity of 150 people and is rentable seven days a week. That, combined with its open space and view of Washington Park’s many flower beds, makes this a prime location for weddings and receptions. Located just minutes from downtown Denver, this area is steeped in urban culture while remaining one of the top outdoor recreation areas.
The neighborhood is filled with gorgeous historic and newly constructed homes, but perhaps the most cherished aspect of the neighborhood is the actual park, which was developed by famed Denver city architect Reinhard Scheutze in 1899. The park’s design was influenced by a number of local and national figures including city planner George Kessler, the Olmsted Brothers, and renowned philanthropist “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown. If you were to visit today, you’d see 54 flower gardens, one of which is a replica of Martha Washington’s flower garden at Mt. Vernon. In 2012, the park was given the honor of being one of the American Planning Association’s “Great Places in America, Public Places” (1).
Possessing a crushed granite-path outer trail and paved inner trail for walking/running/ biking, two lakes, a large meadow for lawn sports (including soccer, volleyball, and lawn bowling), two of the city’s largest flower gardens, a playground, and a busy recreation center, millions of local and tourists flock to this park every year for its abundance of activities. The recreation center features pools and a host of year-round activities for all interests and ages, and the park is also home to many clubs and groups (2). Multiple celebrations and festivals are also held at the park every year.
Residents of this active area are also close to a number of fine shopping and dining options. Many local favorites take up residence on South Gaylord Street, which includes restaurants like the Washington Park Grille, Reiver’s, and Max Gill and Grill. Washington Park Grille has famed lobster mac, ahi tuna, and the overwhelming favorite bottomless mimosas. With long hours and modest to mid range price levels, Wash Park Grille is great for brunch and dinner in a casual atmosphere with a plethora of fantastic outdoor seating. Max Gill and Grille has a similar price range, and also features the neighborhood favorite bottomless mimosas, yet offers a completely different style of cuisine. Recommended menu items include the Parmesan Truffle Fries, and lobster roll dinner, which offers a large portion size in an unheard of price range for such a delicacy. Furthermore, there’s Reiver’s, a bar which is good for lunch and features sports at every turn and a loud atmosphere. Unlike most sports bars however, Reiver’s has a delicious array of menu items, including various wraps, fish tacos, and tasty green chili.
Washington Park – Real Estate Snapshot
Residential real estate includes Tudors, 1900s-style bungalows, renovated pop-topped bungalows, and new construction resulting from “scrapes”. Prices vary from the low $400,000′s for a small 1920′s style bungalow to several million dollars for larger estates and newly constructed homes.