The park is named in honor of Civil War Colonel James Platt who was an area resident and businessman. The Town of South Denver was formed in 1886 and included the present-day Platt Park neighborhood. The good people of the area wanted to enact town laws to curb the “scandalous” ways of the area saloons and roadhouses.
The Denver Tramway Company expanded its streetcar lines along South Pearl Street in the early 1900s fueling the population and business growth of the area.
The Stock Market Crash followed by the Great Depression took its toll on Platt Park businesses. They rebounded, only to have the construction of Interstate-25 in the 1950s cut the South Pearl Street business district in half. The surge of big-box retailers in the 1970’s hurt local mom-and-pop businesses again. As property values and rents dropped, artists and bohemians discovered South Pearl Street.
Today, the shopping district offers cafes, coffee houses, boutique shops, restaurants, and more. The Old South Pearl Merchants Association has overseen the installation of old-fashioned street lamps and paving bricks.
The Platt Park neighborhood is filled with old historic houses along tree-lined streets. The park is a nice gathering place for a picnic and the summer street festivals along South Pearl Street are charming. A seasonal Farmers Market and Friday Art Walk add more charm.
While Platt Park may seem like a time capsule of sorts, the RTD light rail has stations in the neighborhood making for a modern-day commute into the city to work or visit. Platt Park offers the best of small-town living in the city.
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