Curtis Park- Denver’s Historic African American Community

I expanded the traditional boundaries of Curtis Park to touch North Capital Hill to the south at 20th Ave and Park Ave.

Curtis Park is one of Denver’s oldest district and developed mostly in the late 19th century. The district was first developed by the rich but this did not last long as waves of immigrants settled in the neighborhood by the late 19th century leading to row housing nestling next to mansions ad the wealthy moved on to Capitol and other areas. One of Curtis Park’s first immigration waves was by Jewish immigrants in the turn of the 20th century. By the 20th century Curtis Park became know as the “Harlem of the West” due to a major influx of African Americans. From the 1920s to the 1950s the community thrived anchored along the Welton Corridor. Yet, like with most 20th century African American neighborhoods, Curtis Park fell into decline starting around 1960 with White flight. Things started to turn around in the 1990s and now Curtis Park is booming.  This of course has lead to a rapid rise in housing prices and made homeownership out of reach for many of its legacy residents yet the district retains a very health economic and racial diversity.

From an urban perspective Curtis Park also excels as a highly walkable neighborhood thanks to great public transit/bike access and convenient local biz districts and Dwtn. The district also has great cultural and retail amenities, wonderful historic and modern urban architecture, and a decent # of walkable schools. While this is already a top Denver neighborhood, for it to became a premiere urban district Curtis Park needs better tree canopy, more parks and schools, better generational diversity, and improved safety. 

Click here to view my Curtis Park on Flickr


* Excellent public transit and bike infrastructure
* Great and convenient access to Dwtn among all modes of transport. Only a mile away from most parts of the district.
* Excellent racial and economic diversity.
* Quality sidewalk infrastructure and about 70% of all curb cuts are up to modern standards.
* Solid access to walkable schools which generally have good ratings.
* Hsg on the pricey but a ton of moderately price condos. 1 beds sell anywhere btwn 350K-600K, 2-beds 400K-low 1Ms, 3 & 4 beds btwn 600-1.5M with condos being on the cheaper end.
* Lots of rentals priced in line with other inner City Denver districts.. Studios 1-beds lease anywhere from 1K-the low 2Ks, 2-beds 2K to 4K, 3-beds range anywhere from 2K-5K. Decent about of affordable hsg here as well.
* Decent but not great park amenities with 3 small-medium sized parks well distributed in Curtis Park.
* Solid Tree canopy.
* Great cultural amenities including plenty of food & beverages businesses, several art galleries, many live music venues & night clubs, a couple theaters and local museums. Also great access to all the cultural amenities of Dwtn and the RINO District.
* Solid retail amenities as well including a supermarket, a couple drug stores, lots of boutiques and creative stores, several home goods stores & banks, plenty of dessert shops & gyms, a local public library, tons of churches, and St. Joseph Hospital.
* Overall great urban architecture both historic and new.


* Limited children living here but still pretty good age diversity.
* Lack of tree canopy near Dwtn.
* Generally good urban form with the exceptions of the parking lot rich areas next to Dwtn and some autocentric development along Downing and N. Broad.
* Some safety issues but not bad.