NOW & THEN
The Cheesman Park neighborhood—one of the oldest in Denver, with city plats dating as far back as 1868 and annexed by the City of Denver in 1883—surrounds the 80-acre namesake park. Its proximity to the park as well as its location less than 2 miles from both downtown Denver and Cherry Creek are among its attractions. The urban feel and walkability has drawn young nine-to-fivers and couples with kids, as well as a robust LGBTQ population.
There are plenty of rumors about the park, probably given that in the late 19th century Cheesman Park was Prospect Hill Cemetery (yes, there are bodies buried there that were never moved). Not in use since 1907, city planners believed it would better serve as an amenity to residents as land development moved east of the central city. The park was initially named for the Congress that gave permission to convert the cemetery to a park, then was renamed Cheesman Park in honor of Denver pioneer Walter Cheesman whose family donated the funds for the neoclassical pavilion on the eastern side of the park in his honor after his death.
Residents choose the Cheesman Park area for the park, the gardens, and the variety of lifestyles. The neighborhood contains not only modern, dense residential units in the form of modern high-rises, mid-rises, and condominiums, but it is also home to three of Denver’s residential historic districts: Wyman’s, Morgan’s Addition, and Humboldt Island. These districts preserve homes of a wide variety of architectural styles, from the late 19th century through the early 20th century.