In 1896, the Town of Highlands, which included the area surrounding present-day Jefferson Park, was annexed by Denver. In the early 1900s, a park was created when a former city dump site was filled and landscaped. As was the custom in the day, the park was named after a president — President Thomas Jefferson in the case of Jefferson Park. Once the park was established, the neighborhood began to distinguish itself from the larger Highland neighborhood, namesake of the former Town of Highlands. Initially a retreat for Denver’s wealth from the city, Jefferson Park increasingly became home to European immigrants beginning in the 1890s. During the 1960s, Jefferson Park began to show signs of city blight as people left for the suburbs. As real estate values and rents dropped, artists and other creative personalities started to move-in.
Young people looking to avoid the suburban-commute of their parents are moving to the Jefferson Park neighborhood because of its proximity to Downtown. Jefferson Park remains one of the smallest neighborhoods in Denver. Jefferson Park is the center piece of the neighborhood with lush green expanses of grass and old grow shade trees. If you are a sports fan, Mile High Stadium is only a few blocks away.
A series of pedestrian bridges opened between 2002 and 2006 created pedestrian access to Riverfront Park, LoDo Lower Downtown, and Downtown. The Millennium Bridge spanning the central rail yard of Denver was completed in 2002. The Platte River Bridge spanning the South Platte River opened in 2004. The Highland Bridge spanning Interstate-25 was completed in 2006.
With the completion of these series of bridges, real estate developers followed with newly constructed condominium buildings and the conversion of older buildings into residential lofts. Jefferson Park offers an affordable alternative to the more expensive neighborhoods as you travel east toward the Downtown area. The views west toward the Rocky Mountains are among the best available.
Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon at Jefferson Park. The neighborhood may surprise you!
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