Washington Park at over 100 years old is one of the largest park in Denver. About a century before Wash Park began to burgeon, it was one of Denver's first suburbs. The 162-acre Park itself was designed between 1899 and 1908 by Reinhard Schuetze, and includes an exact replica of Martha Washington's garden at Mount Vernon. Also within the park are Smith and Grasmere lakes, 54 flowerbeds, a recreation center, a lawn bowling/croquet field, and two playgrounds.
The area grew as a natural expansion southward from Denver in the 1880s. There was a good water supply for small farms and gardens, and there was an excellent view of the mountains. When land for the University of Denver was donated in 1889 by Rufus "Potato" Clark, more people began traveling through South Denver, and building commenced in earnest. Many churches were built between 1890 and 1910. Lincoln Elementary School was built in 1891.
In 1886, citizens group tried to close what they felt were unsavory roadhouses and saloons by imposing a $2,500 liquor license. By 1892, the area was annexed by the City of Denver. Around 1900, the South Side Improvement Society met to petition for sidewalks and grading. Another group prevented Marion Parkway from going through Washington Park early in the century.
Several streets are unique to the neighborhood. Exposition Avenue was named after the National Mining and Industrial Exposition of 1882-1884 which was located at Broadway and Sherman, Virginia and Exposition. City Ditch (providing water for both Washington Park and City Park) was enclosed along Marion Parkway in 1933, and Buchtel Boulevard was built in 1935, both as WPA projects.
The park is the heart of the neighborhood. With a well-laid out plan and beautiful setting, Wash Park attracts those who like to exercise, people-watch or just stroll. Open lawns are popular spots for soccer and volleyball tournaments in the spring and summer. The park is very popular among dog owners. Towering old oaks and blue spruce trees line the park's trail system. The many paths are are designated for walkers and cyclists.
City Ditch, a National Historic Landmark, flows across the park and provides water for irrigation. One notable statue is Wynken, Blynken and Nod, a memorial to Denver poet Eugene Field who wrote "Dutch Lullaby" depicting three children who "one night sailed off in a wooden shoe of crystal light." Not too far from the statue is a small white-frame cottage which was the home of Field during his residence in Denver, 1881-1883. The house was purchased for the city by Mrs. J.J. Brown and moved to Washington Park. It is now the home of The Parks People, a non-profit organization.
Located in South Central Denver, Washington Park's eastern edges are flanked by tall, 70's style condos and apartment complexes. The West side of the park has Victorian-style brick homes.
Mean Household Income:
East Washington Park: $109,786
West Washington Park: $69,444
East Washington Park
• Number of families:1,562
• Population Under 5 years old: 4.90%
• Population Aged 5 to 18: 8.98%
• Population Aged 19 to 64: 73.47%
• Population Aged 65 and older: 12.65%
• Residents with college degrees: 74.70%
West Washington Park
• Number of families:1,562
• Population Under 5 years old: 4.64%
• Population Aged 5 to 18: 7.56%
• Population Aged 19 to 64: 79.98%
• Population Aged 65 and older: 7.82%
• Residents with college degrees: 69.52%
Denver Average household size: 2.3
Denver Percentage of people 25 years and older with a bachelors or graduate/professional degree: 34.5 %