Capitol Hill, Denver’s First Bohemian Neighborhood

Capitol Hill was originally home to Denver’s elite who constructed many elaborate mansions here. When the Denver economy crashed after the Silver Crash of 1893,  Capitol Hill’s housing transition to more modest homes and apartment buildings.  The neighborhood remained  middle-class until the 50s. At that time Capitol Hill became pretty seedily with lots of transients. Colfax Avenue also suffered in the 50s & 60s with the construction of I-70 and went into a downward spiral.

Fortunately Capitol Hill’s fabric remained intact and its  affordability, urban character and eclectic architecture appealed to young bohemians, artists, musicians leading to a gradual gentrification that reached its height during the 2000s. Rents have increased significantly over the past decade but Capitol Hill still retains many of its moderately priced rentals and condos thanks to more many dated mid-century multi-family bldgs. While Colfax Ave has certainly improved, it still retains much of its historic grittiness and some blight. Many urban in-fill opportunities exist along Colfax Ave.

Capitol Hill is one of Denver’s most dense neighborhoods and is conveniently located about 1.5 miles from Downtown. This has created a very mixed-use and culturally vibrant community where one can get around easily by any mode of transit. The two main areas I’d especially like to see improve are better schools and a larger multi-generational population. Capitol Hill is very much a young professional district. There are also some surface lots on the western edge that need urban in-fill and park amenities could be better.

Click here to view my Capitol Hill neighborhood on Flickr


* One of Denver’s most dense districts.
* Overall excellent ADA infrastructure.
* Excellent public transit close to Colfax. Decent further south in the neighborhood.
* Great connectivity in the street grid.
* Good array of bike shares but only one dedicated bike lane in the neighborhood.
* Very convenient access to Dwtn across all modes of transportation.
* Great economic diversity. Decent racial diversity.
* Hsg on the pricey but a ton of moderately price condos. Studios & 1 beds sell anywhere btwn 200K-700K, 2-beds 250K-low 1Ms, 3 & 4 beds btwn 350-1.5M with condos being on the cheaper end.
* Tons of rentals and comparatively moderately priced comparted to other Denver neighborhoods. Studios 1-beds lease anywhere in the 1Ks, 2-beds 1.5K to 2.5K, 3-beds are limited and lease around 3K. Good # of dedicated aff. hsg here.
* Great cultural amenities including many food & beverage businesses, several art galleries, plenty of night clubs, a couple local theaters, lot of live music venues, tons of museums and historic homes (esp. when you include the Golden Triangle).
* Good retail amenities including a couple grocery stores & drug stores, several boutiques, home good & creative stores, a bookstore, some banks, and gyms, & dessert venues. There is also a Children’s hospital and many churches here.
* Great mixed-use fabric including lots of office space near dwtn.
* Overall quality urban architecture both old and new.
* Some auto centric spots along Colfax, Lincoln, and Broadway but overall very good urban form


* Generational diversity is limited. Most residents are childless young adults.
* Good # of schools here but very mixed ratings.
* Parks are limited to a couple parkettes, the State House/Civic Center Park, and decent access to Cheesman Park.
* Generally a safe district but it does have some grit and sketchy spots on Colfax and 13th Street.
* Decent tree canopy but below average for Denver.
* Some surface parking lots on the western edge of Capitol Hill.

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