Park Hill is a welcoming neighborhood that begins east of City Park, for which it was named. City Park originated in 1878 and featured an outdoor bandstand for evening concerts and a small zoo with bears and buffalo. Between the 1890s and 1920s, City Park was transformed into an urban showcase that featured the Denver Zoological Gardens and the Denver Museum of Natural History, later the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
By 1912, Park Hill had emerged as one of Denver’s most fashionable residential districts. The neighborhood is distinguished by magnificently landscaped parkways, oversized lots with wide sidewalks, mature shade trees and lawns, some of Denver’s most beautiful churches, and one of the city’s richest tapestries of early 20th century architecture.
Many of Denver’s leading architects showcased their talents in Park Hill. Queen Anne-style architecture is seen in Park Hill’s oldest homes, followed by the ubiquitous Denver Square and Arts and Crafts-style bungalows in the first two decades of the 20th century. These basic homes — with elaborate brick and stone trim, exposed rafter ends, low-walled porches, and decorative dormers — are so varied that no two Park Hill bungalows are alike.
As Park Hill spread eastward, the neighborhood’s Tudor style became predominant. The look is characterized by steep, pitched roofs, front and side gables (often with false half-timbering), multipane casement windows, tall chimneys with elaborate brickwork, and uncovered, arched entryways.
Other architectural styles found in Park Hill are French Eclectic, Colonial Revival, Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne, International, and post-World War II brick ranch houses. Today, Park Hill’s nationally recognized neighborhood organization sponsors an annual tour of its many historic homes.