Harvey Park Harvey Park South Urban Hiking Denver - Urban Hiking Denver

Harvey Park Harvey Park South Urban Hiking Denver

First, Let’s Have Fun

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Cartoon by Ryan Grange. Used with permission.

You’ve got to love a neighborhood that will poke fun at itself. Even though Harvey Park (and its southern neighbor Harvey Park South) could easily take on airs, it doesn’t. Rather, it’s a fun, welcoming neighborhood full of variety situated west of College View. The two neighborhoods split at Yale, with a northern boundary of Jewell, a southern boundary of Hampden and western and eastern of Sheridan and Federal.

More than Mid-Centuries

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Harvey Park and Harvey Park South have local reputations for having the best collection of mid-century homes. Think George Jetson meets California. Influenced or actually designed by architect Cliff May, you can find gorgeous original, mostly single-story homes graced by carports and jutting angles. But what many people don’t know is that the Harvey Parks have several lakes, an historic college campus, and homes ranging from the 40s to now.

Merry-Go-Rounds and Teeter Totters

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The last time I saw a merry-go-round was 2006 in Scotland. I didn’t think any existed in the US anymore until we stumbled upon the Lakeside private playground. Tucked into Harvey Park’s southwestern corner sits Wolcott Lake and its own private park with merry-go-round and even a teeter-totter! Plus, there were horse swings from the 60s. I personally hope the entire playground gets preserved as an historic district because it certainly was a journey to my childhood.

The Church Calls Polynesia

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Also playing the mid-century architectural game was the local Trinity Lutheran church. Throwing a shout to Kon-Tiki and Polynesia, the church fits right into the overall feel of the neighborhood.

A Comfy Time Warp

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Even though many Denver neighborhoods claim certain decades–and many of them are from the 40s–it was a treat to find a neighborhood only about the 50s. Yes, there were some homes from the other decades, but the entire feel and heartbeat of the ‘hood was 50s, maybe a few 60s, and a bit of the 70s. A roadside diner would fit right in, and it would be a place to grab a shake and spin a record.

See below for the route, map and turn-by-turn directions.

The Route:

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Start at the Loretto Heights Park, across from 3603 W Linvale Place. Walk to the high point in the park, checking out the amazing views to the west. Then walk southerly toward Colorado Heights University, built in the mid 1800s. Once called Loretto Heights College and home to Catholic nuns and female students, the college eventually became a liberal arts school. Just last year, the decision was made to close the college.

Take a left on S Julian Street. Take a left on W Amherst. Cross over S Meade, staying on Amherst.

Continue on Amherst to S Patton Court. Take a right and then a left on Yale. Continue to S Tennyson Way, where you’ll take a right

At W Lakeridge Rad, take a left and pass the Wolcott Lake private park. Have fun reminiscing about playgrounds of yesteryear. Take a right on Wolff St.

Take a right on West Warren Ave. At S Tennyson Street, take a left. Meander through Harvey Park, and around Harvey Park Lake to the east. Turn southerly, going down S Patton St. Take a left on W Warren Ave.

Take a right on S Osceola St, a left on W Illiff Ave, and then a right on S Meade St. You’ll be in the heart of the mid-century homes with plenty of great examples to admire.

Take a left on Yale and then a right on Lowell, continuing your walk through mid-century mania. At Amherst, veer slightly to the left onto Amherst, returning you back to the Loretto Heights Park parking lot.

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