Harvey Park | Community of the Month

Harvey Park History

Harvey Park is a slice of suburb heaven sitting just 15 minutes southwest of downtown Denver. The area is brimming with mid-century modern charm, elevating it to the status of a true Denver gem.

Until the 1950’s, southwest Denver had remained largely rural. What was once undeveloped land, became a neighborhood overnight. Over the course of three years, around 4,000 homes were built in Harvey Park. They were built so quickly that for a time the community lacked basic amenities such as parks, streetlights, and schools. Harvey Park soon became inhabited with hard-working, blue collar workers. Some residents even grew their own food and raised chickens, a trend that carries on today.

About 450 homes in Harvey Park are from the mid-century modern era. Cliff May, a California contemporary architect, designed 170 of those 450 homes. These tract homes, also known as cookie-cutter homes, became widely popular in the 50s and 60s. Prospective buyers could tour a model home and then purchase a replica. There were only three color schemes to choose from and the homes featured open floor plans, floor-to-ceiling-windows, and private courtyards.

A Renewed Interest

Today, Harvey Park is quietly experiencing a resurgence. The neighborhood is still characterized by the brick, Ranch-style homes of the 50s and 60s, despite the newly constructed homes in the area. The coveted, yet affordable mid-century modern homes are a draw for Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. Not only is it the design that is attracting buyers, but the amount of outdoor space that accompanies these homes has major appeal as well.

Over the years, Harvey Park has become incredibly diverse. There are Spanish and Asian populations, young families, and people who have lived here their whole lives. But regardless of their diversities, all the residents seem to share a common appreciation and passion for preserving the mid-century modern charm of the neighborhood. Some people in the community are even looking to get either a historic designation for the neighborhood or for the Cliff May homes within it.

For those wanting to spend time outdoors, Harvey Park offers a significant amount of opportunity. The neighborhood takes its name from the park and two lakes in the center of the community. The park also includes a recreation center, an outdoor swimming pool, a sports field, and a K-8 school. On cloudless nights and warm weekends, the park is filled with everything from barbecues and birthdays, to loungers and strollers. Sanderson Gulch and Bear Creek trails connect Harvey Park to the South Platte Trail that will lead you straight downtown.

Tagged Under: Local Content

Mara Calomino


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