Two Schools, Two Seminaries, and One Log Cabin

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In a neighborhood named after schools and containing several other religious schools and two seminaries, it’s no surprise that at one time it was dry–as in no alcohol allowed. Here’s the story of our walk on our Cory-Merrill urban hiking adventure.

A “Town” of Boom But Not a Lot of  Bust

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Cory-Merrill sits in a rectangle shape with the boundaries of I-25, Mississippi, Colorado, and University. Originally part of the “Town of South Denver,” it was dry. No one wanted the noise and hoopla of saloons in their town. It was eventually annexed to Denver, the local hero Mr Armstrong donated land for Cory Elementary and Merrill Middle (named after two influential Denver educators) to be built, and Les Tramblay built rows and rows of soldier housing for the post-World War II boom.

Open Spaces, But No Parks

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The largest landowner in the new town is definitely the church. Sitting right in the middle of the ‘hood is the Archdiocese of Denver with its two seminaries, a church, and even the 12 Stations of the Cross. Second closest land owner must be the schools, with not only the large Cory Elementary and Merrill Middle, but there are several smaller religious schools dotted throughout the neighborhood. Interestingly, there is no Denver Park anywhere in the neighborhood.

A Variety of Architectural Decades

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Like other Denver neighborhoods near downtown, Cory-Merrill’s cheapest homes have fallen victim to scraping and rebuilding. But it’s a little different here. It seems that in the late 90s/early 2000s, many homes disappeared, making way for larger redos. Then its seems time stood still for a while, and now the developers are back.

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Overall, the architectural history is varied. Many 1940s homes still stand. There are a few from what appears to be the 60s/70s, then there’s a jump to 90/2000’s, and then a gap again until now. What nicely anchors the neighborhood is the Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture of Cory Elementary. The again, there is a log cabin smack in the middle of the residences.

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Walking Cory-Merrill’s rectangle requires a good jig and then a jag. Make sure to spend time on the Archdiocese grounds.

The Route:

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Park near 1117 S Columbine. Walk south to E Arizona, go right, passing St Vincent de Paul School on the right.

At South Josephine, take a left. At E Florida Ave, take a left. Enjoy the log cabin!

Take a right on Columbine, then take a left on Iowa.

Take a right on Elizabeth. Take a left on E Mexico Ave.

Continue along Mexico to Monroe. Take a left on Monroe. Notice the house at 1695 S Monroe. Once a Les Tremblay soldier home like many of the neighbor’s homes across the street, it originally was 623 square feet and sold for $8200. Times have changed!

Continue north on S Monroe to E Iowa Street. Go left (west) to Steele St. On Steele, to right (north).

In few blocks, you’ll come to the entrance to the Archdiocese on the right. Enter the grounds and meander over to the left of the church to see the 12 Stages of the Cross and the large tower of the church.

When you’re finished at the Archdiocese, continue north on Steele. At Arizona, take a left. At Columbine, take a right, returning you to your start of this 3-mile, Cory-Merrill urban hike.

Click here to see the route, map, and turn by turn directions.