A Little High Brow-ing through Regis Neighborhood

High Brow-ing through Regis Neighborhood's Urban Hike


Sitting on the hill just north of I70 is Regis, a neighborhood that broke itself off from its southern celery farmers in Berkeley. Bounded by 52nd St to the north, Federal to the east, Harlan to the west and I70 to the south, Regis separated from Berkeley in order to become its own enclave of higher society. Regardless of the reasons to live in Regis, it's a great neighborhood for an interesting urban hike of over 4 miles.

Custom Homes and Homes for Everyone

Originally, William Lang, who designed many houses in Denver including the Molly Brown House and Castle Marne, built 35 beautiful custom homes to attract the middle class away from the smokey bottoms of the Platte River and away from snooty Cap Hill. Although only a few of those original homes still stand, the neighborhood's big features now are the Willis Case Golf Course and Regis University.

And a University, Too!

The Jesuit school, Regis University, attracts students from all backgrounds and religions. Although it was originally Las Vegas College in New Mexico and the College of the Sacred Heart in Morrison, it eventually found its home here by way of a land donation from the controversial and fantastical  John Brisben Walker (who started Red Rocks Park.) Upon its move north of Berkeley, the school became Regis College and then Regis University, ultimately becoming the namesake of the neighborhood. It also swallowed up several programs from competing colleges, including the nursing program from Loretto Heights College, which was in Loretto Heights.

But Wait, There's More!

Also within the neighborhood is the old El Jezbel Shrine (now turning into condos) and a Buddist monastery as well. Around every corner is a surprise. There's even found a shoe garden!

Across from Regis sits the antique-school-turned-housing, Berkeley School apartments. At one time, a tunnel ran from the main school building to its northern expansion, and the children practiced bomb sheltering in the tunnel. Each class had its own spot along the wall to gather to wait out the bomb drills.

Fun and Frivolity

To the very west end of the neighborhood is Inspiration Point Park--known by many Denver teenagers. During the day, the views across the front range hold imaginations of adventure and travel. Mayor Speer created the area as part of his City Beautiful campaign. At dusk, you can catch a great sunset view. Be sure to check out Inspiration Park's gardens on the east end and historical markers on the north side.

This walk takes you through some of the major and a few minor features of this interesting neighborhood.

The Route (click for interactive map):

Start at 5000 Tennyson. Walk to the west along 50th where it ends at the El Jezbel temple, now becoming a condo complex and is across from the Willis Case Golf Course club house. Return back to Tennyson and head south.

Pass some of the original homes built in the former North Denver nee Berkeley Hills nee Regis. Take a left on W 49th Ave, walking past more beautiful, original homes. At Newton St, take a left, heading north.

At W 50th Ave, take a right then a left on Lowell Blvd. Notice the old Berkeley School on the left and then cross over Lowell into the Regis University Campus.

Make your way to the center of the campus to look north at the original Regis building. Read the various plaques, then make your way behind the building. Just to the north and west of the building is a small foot path that takes you to a secluded, private area. In this area is a small table and a statue of Jesus Christ. The statue has a very different perspective of how Jesus appeared. When finished, return to the south of the historic building.

Make your way easterly across the main campus courtyard to the Admissions Building. Just to the north of the building is a statue to James Joyce, and it's worth an interesting stop.

When finished thinking about the Dubliners and other Joyce novels, continue south to the front of the campus and enjoy additional religion-inspired artwork. When finished exploring the campus, exit it on W 50th Ave, continuing to the east.

Take a right on Grove St, then a right on W 49th Ave.

Take a left on Julian Street then a right on W 48th Ave. Pass the monastery. At the end of 48th, there is a little sidewalk path that sneaks to Lowell Blvd.

At Lowell, turn north (right). Pass the famous Goldspot Brewing Company and the Noshery. As you continue north along this street where the trolley once ran, also notice the old and older gas stations along the way. Take a left on W 50th Ave.

Take a right on Meade St. Take a left on W 51st St. You'll be walking in the newer section of Regis, dating from the 1950s or so. Take a left on Raleigh St. Watch out for pirates!

Take a right on W 50th returning back to your start.

High Browing through Regis and Supporting DenverByFoot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

What did you like about this walk? Post it on Facebook and tag your posts with #denverbyfoot so I can find them.

See you on the trail!

~Chris

 


Getting Happy along Sunnyside's Urban Hike

Sunny on This Side, Sunnyside

One of Denver's oldest neighborhoods that grew up around sugar beets, the railroad and the smelting industry, it grew out of its "Little Italy" history into a tight-knit community adjusting to a new identity. Taking an urban hike through Sunnyside provides an interesting and engaging opportunity to see how diversity and variety can co-habitat. Feeling a little gloomy? Brighten up in Sunnyside. From streets named after Native American tribes to an annual music festival, you'll find something for everyone in Sunnyside.

 

Sunnyside, with boundaries of the Union Pacific Railroad lines on the east, Interstate 70 on the north, Federal Boulevard on the West and 38th Avenue on the south, has a mix of housing, with everything from income-qualified blocks of homes to restored large turn-of-the century homes and WWII cottages intermingled within.

Good Neighbors Helping Good Neighbors

A good community has good neighbors. In Sunnyside, the neighbors have created the Sunnyside Music Fest, held in Chaffee Park in September. Began in 2000 in the backyard of two residents who wanted to have friends over for music 2 bands played, 2 kegs drank, 50 people danced and about 20 dogs howled. The festival folder in the mid 2000s when the original couple moved away. But soon, neighbors organized again and revived the festival with the help of local musicians like Mollie O¹Brien. The Sunnyside Festival is now a mainstay, found the second Saturday in September, and it even raises enough money to provide grants to local kids wanting to play music.

Neighbors also formed the Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden, in response to gang violence, to provide local kids with healthy after-school activities. The Garden provides peaceful locations to connect, while the Foundations raises money to help kids pay for school supplies and learn computer skills. Within the garden, you'll find local art reflecting on Aztec and Mexican culture.

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In addition, Sunnyside's downtown area thrives with the excellent Sunny's Cafe (get the Hipster!) and new breweries opening in several locations. Also on its main street, you'll find Common Grounds Coffeehouse, a happening place to find everyone in Sunnyside hanging out. Their vibrant bulletin board tells the story of what to do in Sunnyside. Be sure to pick up some flowers at the very cute Diz's Daisies--they also deliver. Get some hydrangeas! And throw in some gerbera daisies with your order to keep up your happy Sunnyside smile.

Why Native American Street Names?

From income-qualified homes to old treasures, Sunnyside's growth has waxed and waned. But it remembers its past, embraces its present, and thinks about its future. The artwork in alleys honors Sunnyside's Native American street-naming conventions. But why Native American tribal names? Back when Sunnyside finally annexed to Denver in the late 1880s, there was a movement to standardize Denver's naming convention for streets. Antelope, Bison, and Deer Streets, for example, change to tribal names, including Pecos, Navajo and Zuni. While walking in Sunnyside, be sure to see the entire neighborhood, not just some of its more popular areas.

Restored Gas Stations and Great Public Art

Along the route, you'll pass Chaffee Park, not to be confused with the neighborhood of the same name. This park,

This community park, punctuated by Mark Lansdon’s lively steel flower sculpture, ‘Garden of Flowers’, is the heartbeat of the neighborhood and where the community organizes its annual Sunnyside Music Fest. Whether you’re here for the music or not, enjoy a game of pick-up basketball, toss a ball on the ball fields, or let you kids play on the playground that has a climbing wall, rope bridge and tractor!

The Route (click for interactive map):

Start at 4202 Lipan St. Head north, enjoying the artwork on the dumpsters around the income-qualified housing. Take a left on W 46th Ave. At Tejon St, head south.

You'll pass Chaffee Park on the left. Drop down and see Artist Mark Lansdon’s ‘Garden of Flowers', then come back up and go west on W 44th Ave.

Drop in on Common Grounds for a cuppa or if you need to use the restroom. They might even be roasting some coffee beans while you're there. Continue toward Zuni, walking through the small commercial area, Sunny's Cafe, and the darling, restored, auto shop on the side side of the street. Take a left on Zuni.

Take a right on W 43rd Ave then a left on Bryant St. At W 39th Ave, turn east (left).

At Tejon, take a right and then a left into the first alley. Walk in the ally until you come to the Troy Chavez Garden. Walk through the garden, reading the signs and artwork, making sure you see the tiles on the columns at the entry.  These tiles were made by the families of several of the victims who've fallen to neighborhood violence. Exit the garden at Shoshone, turning north.

Take a right on W 40th Ave, then a left on the alley between Osage and Navajo, then a right on W 41st Ave.

At Navajo, head north, noticing the artwork in the street and the gorgeous Horace Mann school, now Trevista. At W 42nd St, take a right and return back to Lipan where you began this 3.5-mile amble.

Getting Happy in Sunnyside and Supporting DenverByFoot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

What did you like about this walk? Post it on Facebook and tag your posts with #denverbyfoot so I can find them.

See you on the trail!

~Chris

 



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Liberating Change on this Urban Hike through Berkeley

Liberating Change on this Urban Hike through Berkeley

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Cesar Chavez sets the tone for this urban hike in Berkeley. Despite the scrapping of old homes, the transition from old to new, and the attempt to keep Berkeley from morphing into the something it's not, the Berkeley neighborhood has always been about people. Berkeley's Tennyson business district, the neighborhood's heartbeat, screams out to the locals to maintain Berkeley as a cool, hip, interesting place to be. The veritable Feral anchors the shopping district, making sure to provide local-oriented events and invites for people to hang.

Where's Berkeley? It's a rectangularly shaped neighborhood with the boundaries of  I70, W 38th Ave, Sheridan and Federal.

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The Times, They Are a'Changin

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From Cesar Chavez' workers' park, where moms drink chai and lattes while babies play-date, up the business district of Tennyson, and on into Rocky Mountain Lake Park, transition is a foot. The closer to Tennyson Street you get, the more home scrapes and rebuilds you'll found. The buzz of Berkeley balances the old with the new on your amble toward Berkeley's outskirts.

Cesar Chavez Park, named after the American labor leader and civil rights activist, oozes with thoughts about workers rights. You’ll find murals along the outer perimeter of the park and stamped concrete with sayings such as, “The fight is never about grapes or lettuce…” You’ll even find a bust of Chavez overlooking Tennyson.

 

 

In 1966, Corky Gonzalez founded the Crusade for Justice, sparking the Chicano movement right here in Denver. Together with Cesar Chavez, Paco Sanchez, and La Alma’s Benevidez family, the world started to listen to the Hispanic community. There are at least five places in Denver to learn about its history by foot; Cesar Chavez Park (see video), La Alma/Lincoln Park, Corky Gonzalez Library, Paco Sanchez Park (see video) and Columbus/La Raza Park (see video).

The small but mighty Cesar Chavez park has basketball, bocce and soccer fields plus ping pong tables and a great playground for kids.

Two Lakes and a Dog Park, Too

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You'll head up Tennyson to 47th, and meander along Rocky Mountain Lake while waving hello to Berkeley Lake and its dog park to the west. Berkeley Lake has always attracted the neighborhood. John Walker originally used the lake to irrigate alfalfa, and eventually a race track around the lake popped up. By 1906, the City purchased the property, adding it to George Kessler’s Denver Park and Parkway System. From there, the city’s first public golf course appeared, cobblestone restrooms and a bathhouse were added, and the William H Smiley Branch of Denver Public Library opened. In 1927, the park got a bit of a face lift and S.R. DeBoer rerouted the roads to limit commuter traffic through the park. Cedar, oak, pine, birch and cottonwood provided shade for lake goers, and ultimately, after I70 settled the northern boundary of the park, it entered the National Register of Historic Places.

From original homes with bikes piled in their front yards, to newly minted, tall duplexes, the co-mingling of tastes and styles jump from every corner. Berkeley is on the move.

If It Isn't Nailed Down...

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Towards the end of this walk, you'll come upon old bungalows with new facades. The giant Skinner Middle School shouts from the past, and new builds on top of old foundations exemplify Berkeley's desire to blend the old with the new. Not one home is safe from rapid change coming this neighborhood's way.

 

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And Character Persists

None the less, many signs of how Berkeley is adapting to change come from examples like the Oriental Theater. Adjusting to the demands of its new neighbors, the Oriental's sign always expresses what's happening in the neighborhood. You'll find locals telling jokes, shows, burlesque shoes, movies, and family entertainment. Every night something changes.

 

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Yet on your way back to the start of your walk, you'll come across a pair of homes, probably from the 40s, built by the same builder. With matching rear turrets, they each still maintain their own personalities, adjusting and growing with the times. One has turned into a duplex with fancy roofing, while the other continues as a single family home. Both fit nicely in the neighborhood, while still maintaining their personalities and originality.

 

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The route (click for interactive map):

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Start at Cesar Chavez Park, whose closest address is 4131 Utica Street. Walk east through the park, stopping to look at the bust of Chavez and the interesting quotes stamped into the concrete walls. Continue north, left, on Tennyson. Enjoy the quaint, independently owned shops.

At W 44th Ave, take a right. Admire the Oriental Theater, then take a left on Stuart St. Continue north to W 46th Ave, take a quick left on W 46th Ave and then a quick right on Tennyson. Notice Berkeley Park to the left with its lake and its dog park.

Take a right on W 47th Ave, enjoying a sidewalk-ed amble through the neighborhood. Notice how the interstate runs right along the north side of the neighborhood. While walking we could barely hear it. Continue along 47th until you get to Rocky Mountain Lake Park. Walk along the edge of the lake, stopping at the original bathrooms, if necessary.

Take a right on Grove St, heading south through the neighborhood. Enjoy the variety of homes and their different ages and styles. At W 40th Ave, take a right, passing the giant Skinner Middle School built in the early 1900s. Also notice the two homes on the south side of the street with matching turrets.

Take a right on Perry and then a quick left on W 42nd Ave. Continue until you return to Cesar Chavez Park.

Liberating Change in Berkeley and Supporting DenverByFoot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

What did you like about this walk? Post it on Facebook and tag your posts with #denverbyfoot so I can find them.

See you on the trail!

~Chris


Twirl among Carousels on this West Highland Urban Hike

Twirl among Carousels on this West Highland Urban Hike

The story of West Highland neighborhood is very similar to that of Highland neighborhood (notice no "s", according to the official list of Denver neighborhoods.) Like its eastern neighbor, West Highland formed out of the desire for folks to get out of the smokey bottom lands of Denver and to find cleaner air. So it's no wonder the neighborhood is filled with turn-of-the century Victorians, a few TB sanitariums, and smaller homes that filled in where the larger homes gave way.

The boundaries of the West Highland neighborhood are W 38th Ave to W 29th Ave, Sheridan Blvd to Federal Blvd. West Highland's most famous landmark is the original location of Elitch Gardens.

The First Female Zookeeper

Also "out in West Highland" where the apple orchards grew, rose the famous Elitch’s Zoological Gardens built in 1890. Run by Mary Elitch, the first female zookeeper, botanic gardener, and theatre owner in the US, Elitch was once a booming entertainment complex with live shows, amusements, carousels, and concerts.They built many buildings to house all of the entertainment.

Now, only a theatre and famous labyrinth remain. The theatre was restored in 2014 and now hosts a steady stream of performers. The labyrinth's floor is inside where carousel PTC No 6 once twirled. The carousel moved to the Kit Carson Fairgrounds in Burlington where it was restored; you can now ride and enjoy it during season for $.25. It was replaced here in the Pavillon by PTC No 51, which was moved to its current location on the new Elitch Garden's grounds on the South Platte downtown. If the Pavilion is open, you are welcome to walk the labyrinth.

Sadly the gardens are gone. The Elitch Gardens Theatre Foundation now owns and runs the current venue.

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Elitch remains, still, if only for a short time. The amusements and rides are now in downtown Denver off the Platte River, also known as LoDo. The famous Elitch roller coasters relocated along the Platte; their future is uncertain. The City recently announced that they will build hundreds of residential units on the Elitch property. It's not clear where Elitch Gardens will be moved.

Tony Lived Here!

While walking the neighborhood, be sure to pass through what the locals hope is the future Packard Historic District between Lowell and the alley between Perry and Osceola, 32nd and 35th. This area is where many famous women used to live, including Antoinette Perry, namesake of the “Tony Awards." In 2004,  the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inducted Mary Antoinette Perry-Frueauffe. Tony successfully broke down barriers to get women into the world of directing. Encouraging young talent, she was in charge of 7,000 auditions for young people. To boost morale during WWII, she did her best to help with the cause by presenting and acting around the world (including in Elitch's Theatre!) Now, the Tony Awards are televised annually in her honor to acknowledge merit on the Broadway stage.

Other role models from this neighborhood included:

  • Minnie Ethel Luke Keplinger, an artist active in the movement to establish Denver’s first art museum
  • Spring Byington, an acclaimed actress of stage and screen
  • Dr. Mary E. Ford who provided more than a half-century of medical service to Denver
  • Eva Bird Bosworth who worked as a writer and reporter for several Denver newspapers, and was active in women’s rights and temperance groups (from the Packard's Hill website)

Need a good pair of walking shoes? Get them at REI, where you can return them for a year.

The Alleys Are Fun, Too, and Don't Forget to Shop!

You'll find some treats along this walk, including a bedpost art display, hanging tapestries, and fanciful painted homes. You'll also want to enjoy some of the cute shops along Tennyson, especially the tasting The Inventing Room, which is open in the summer. If you head north on Tennyson, you'll leave the West Highland neighborhood, and enter Berkeley, which is a jaunt for another day!

The Route (click for interactive map):

Start at 3271 Wolff St. Walk north to W 36th Ave, take a right. At Vrain St, take a left and walk up through the playground. Pass by the old lady in a shoe piece on the playground, making your way to the Sprouts parking lot.

At the parking lot, turn right and see the large green building on your right. This is the old Elitch Theatre. Continue walking to the west and see the old pavilion where the carousel once was. If it's empty, go in and walk the labyrinth while also reading the instructions for enjoying it written on the wall. Exit onto W 37 Ave.

Walk easterly to Quitman St, take a right. Take a left on W 35th Ave. At the alley between Perry and Osceola, turn right. Enjoy the historic and restored garages in the alley. At W 33rd Ave, turn left. Cross Irving St and walk southeasterly along W Fair View Place to Highland Park.

Walk a few steps along Grove St at the park then take a right on Green Court. Cross Speer on to W 32nd.

Enjoy the shops on W 32nd, keeping your eye out for the Ford House, which is west of Lowell Boulevard, between Osceloa and Newton streets. It is the home of the famous female physician, Mary Ford and her partner, Helene Byington — whose daughter, Spring Byington, was a Hollywood actress from 1930 to 1960.

Take a right on Perry St and then a left on W 33rd. At Wolff St, take a left, returning you back to the start.

Twirling through West Highland and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

~See you on the trail

Chris




An Artsy, Jazzy Urban Hike through Five Points Denver

Five Points Neighborhood. Filled with Pride

"Five Points isn't a neighborhood," said our guide, "it's a location manufactured by Denver's Tramway and made up of several neighborhoods who didn't want to be called Five Points."

Okay, got it.

Thus, if you look at the City of Denver's list of 78 neighborhoods, the City does, in fact, call the area Five Points. Yet it doesn't call it by the many neighborhoods within, including RiNo, Curtis Park, or Ballpark. Never the less, on this walk through Five Points (bounded by roughly a triangle shape of N Downing St, 20th St, and the Platte River) you will manage to cover the Curtis/Metizo Park area, the actual "Five Points," and a titch of RiNo.

I want to thank John Hayden, a long-time resident and local realtor who joined me on this walkk. We concentrated on the theme of preservation and protection in a neighborhood that at one time was burned-out and almost burned down.

Jazz, Jack, Neal Were Here

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Notice the art piece to the right of the door. This artist grabs the pieces for his composition from around its installation and creates the work on the spot!

The City of Denver has a love-hate relationship with Five Points that, over time, has morphed it into an interesting eclectic set of homes filled with the rich and the poor living right next to each other. On one street you'll find Neal Cassady's father's barber shop across the street from what was once the Snowden, his boyhood home, that has been replaced by million-dollar town homes. Across from it you'll find a refuge for homeless women which is diagonal from an actors' studio. No matter which block you walk in Five Points, there is a story to tell.

Love and Flavor Everywhere

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In perhaps a defensive move, the owner of this home snapped it up before Deep Rock could. It's the only "water front" property in Five Points.

Sandwiched on blocks full of residences, you'll find fabulous places to eat. The Curtis Park Deli has the best smoked trout sandwich I've ever eaten, and around the corner is the restored Curtis Park Creamery, a long-standing, dine-out only, Mexican cafe serving up the neighborhood's best tamales. The name is left over from the days when the locals kids licked up soft-serve ice cream.

Where the Music Plays

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Keep watching the news. The Rossonian is under renovation and will open soon to once again be the living room lounge of Five Points.

At the "Five Points" intersection, the area where five streets come together as a by-product of Denver's two street grid systems clashing, the beat of the neighborhood is itching to drum again. The Rossonian, once the heartbeat of Five Points and filled with be-bopping jazz and energetic sounds that attracted some of the best jazz musicians of the '20-60's, sits across from a wonderful mural telling Five Points' story. You can also read many excerpts about the area from Jack Kerouac's, On the Road, or Neal Cassady's, First Third.

Artesian Water, Too

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You can stop in the Visitors Center at Deep Rock and see the old water dispensers.

Around the corner from the Five Points, which was actually the name of the bus stop (all five street names wouldn't fit on a sign), you'll find Deep Rock Water, a company that has been pulling artesian water out of Denver's aquifer for over 100 years. Its success has often clashed with the neighborhood. As it has wanted to grow, it bought homes and replaced them with bottling shops and parking lots. In response, the Five Points residents organized to outmaneuver Deep Rock's growth by working with each other to establish their homes and blocks as historic landmarks on the National Historic Landmark Register.

Saving the Past, Loving the Future

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The historic board that oversees the neighborhood isn't opposed to modern homes, but those modern homes must hearken to the old Victorians of the time, nicely carrying forward the architectural elements of the past. In block after block, you'll see old Victorians next to a moderns. Notice how the shapes of the windows and the facades of the newer homes compliment those of the older homes, with window shapes and placements similar in style.

You're Welcome Here

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New energy is afoot everywhere in the neighborhood, but here in Five Points, that momentum takes energy from its past. The Puritan Pie Company will open soon as the urban extension of the Rocky Mountain Land Library. The red brick just up from the five points intersection with the restored Coca-cola mural will soon become a brewery. Five Points, learning from its past, wants earnestly to keep its color and flavor.

8/2019 Update: The Rocky Mountain Land Library decided to open its urban location in Globeville.

Crush Me

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Finally, a trip through Five Points isn't complete without a walk through the Crush alley. A four-block group of alleys housing some of the world's best street art invites walkers to glimpse at world-class street art and graffiti. Now grown to over 100 murals throughout RiNo, look for its annual Crush festival in September of every year.

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And as a final note, "...gentrification poses challenges to the character of Five Points as housing prices and property taxes increase. In 2010 whites outnumbered blacks and Latinos in the neighborhood, and the median price of a house soared 31 percent from 2009 to 2013. For now, longstanding local institutions like Zion Baptist Church, popular community celebrations like Juneteenth and the Five Points Jazz Festival, and the adaptive reuse of historic buildings continue to keep the rapidly changing neighborhood connected to its past (https://coloradoencyclopedia.org/article/five-points)."

Go Walk Five Points

With such history, interest, and variety, your walk through Five Points could take all day. Below is a shorter-than-normal route at only 2 miles. It's packed full of everything mentioned above. Be sure to stop for lunch at any of the great places to eat, which you'll find sprinkled throughout the neighborhood or joined together at the five points intersection.

The Route (click for interactive map):

Start at 2501 Stout Street, be careful to park where you're not limited to two hours. Walk northwesterly to Champa Street, take a right.

Pass the Curtis Street Deli on your right. The short, little one story building that is in need of restoration is Neal Cassady's dad's barber shop. Opposite the barber shop is where the Snowden was.

Continue along Champa street past the Puritan Pie Company. The smell of the baking pies once masked the moonshine Kerouac and Cassady made next door.. Take a right on 27th Ave.

Continue along 27th, past Deep Rock Water to the original five points intersection. Take a 360 view of the intersection, noticing the Rossonian, the mural and the new places to eat. Walk northeasterly to the left along Welston to the Yuye mural on the side of the forthcoming brewery.

Take a left on 28th St. Notice the changes in architecture and successful salvage and restoration as you make your way to Champa again. Take a right on Champa.

Continue to 30th street and take a left. At Curtis take a left. Continue to 27th and take right. Cross Larimer, noticing the new Central market, then take a left into the alley.

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You'll be in Crush alley. It technically goes for several blocks, and the artists have expanded their work all over RiNo, including Blake St, Walnut St, and Broadway. If the art hasn't made you veer off the route, take a left on 26th, crossing back over Larimer.

At Curtis Street, take a right. At 25th, take a left and return back to Children's Park where you started.

A huge thank you to John Hayden for sharing this route and his thirty plus years living in Five Points with me.

A Jazzy Urban Hike through Five Points and Supporting Denver By Foot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

Wasn’t this a fun walk?

See you on the trail

~Chris