Capitol Hill

Posted on November 14, 2019

A black and white arial photo of Capitol hill form the early twentieth century

Capitol Hill can be found in the county and city of Denver. The neighborhood of Capitol Hill is surrounded by Downing Street, Broadway, Seventh Avenue, and Colfax Avenue. With all these streets nearby, it brings a lot of traffic into and around this neighborhood. Capitol Hill is considered to be found in the Eastern part of Denver because it is East of Broadway. Most people consider that Cheesman Park is also part of the neighborhood, however, the city does not consider Cheesman Park part of Capitol Hill.

Source: [https://history.denverlibrary.org/capitol-hill-neighborhood-history]

Geography

Capitol Hill is found just south of the CBD or Central Business District. It is a well-established neighborhood. It is a residential neighborhood that has many commercial centers. These centers can be found along with the major traffic areas. This would include Broadway and Colfax Ave. Capitol Hill is found East of Civic Center and the state capitol. 95 percent of this neighborhood is developed. The average home was built in 1920. This neighborhood has some of the oldest homes in the city. Capitol Hill shares many characteristics with other neighborhoods found in Denver. You can easily get to public transportation and support through the city.

Characteristics

You may know Capitol Hill because it is the most populated neighborhood in Denver. This area of Denver was home to the rich and elite group.  It was also home to the origination of the Foursquare architecture that you find in Denver today. Today you can see many apartments, condos, and best of all, historic mansions. This area is very influenced by the state capitol, as well as Downtown Denver. These are areas adjacent to Capitol Hill. Many mansions have been converted. They are now used for offices. This has been a recent occurrence. Just in the past several years, they have been converting them due to zoning. The development of offices is in the northwest part of the neighborhood. There are a few other offices that you can find throughout the area, however, most of them will be found in the northwest part of Capitol Hill.

Culture

As stated, Capitol Hill is strongly influenced by the areas surrounding it. This is a cosmopolitan area. In fact, it is one of the most cosmopolitan areas in the city of Denver. This area of Denver is known for having bohemians and artists. There are many different things that you can find in the community. You can find different stores, venues, restaurants, bars, and more. You can see many different politicians in the community bars and restaurants making deals. This part of Denver is known for being a very friendly area for lesbians and gays.

Source: [https://history.denverlibrary.org/capitol-hill-neighborhood-history]

History

For over 150 years, Capitol Hill has been an important role in the history of the state. It was at the time of the capitol’s construction that many wealthy people in Denver decided that this was the place to be. The earliest houses that were built were found around Auraria and Cherry Creek. It was in the 1870s that the governor, John Evans, had built his home in the area. After this, many wealthy people followed in his footsteps. They were building these very impressive homes along 14th street. This would later become known as Millionaire’s Row. It wasn’t very long after this that their neighborhood was being overcome. There were many different commercial buildings forming around them. At this time, they needed a new area for Millionaire’s Row. It was at this time that a wealthy banker named Charles Kountze had sold his mansion. They moved to Capitol Hill. Many of the wealthy neighbors had followed in Charles’ footsteps. A man named John Smith was a landowner in Capitol Hill early on. He was the one who would overlook the construction of the ditch that would bring the water into the neighborhood. If you wanted to be somebody in the 1880s to the 90s you would have an address on Sherman, Pennsylvania, Colfax, Lincoln, or Grant.

When transportation began developing, wealthy people did not need to live this close to the downtown area. At this time, it was better to live farther away because you had the money to drive from your home to your work. You were not living in the grime and smoke of the city. In the 1920s, Colfax was used for commercial use. It was at this time that many of the mansions were turned into apartments and offices. However, not long after, these mansions were demolished. They were being torn down to make room for bigger and better structures. These structures would include office buildings, apartments, and parking lots. Today, many people live in condos or apartments. They do not live in mansions. However, there are a few remaining older houses to provide the city with some charm.

In the 50s and 60s, much of Denver was gutted. Many people did not like this demolition. However, in the 70s many people were seeing historic groups emerge and groups to help preserve historic buildings. These groups would save different landmarks to keep them there to this day.

Paranormal

There are many different stories surrounding Capitol Hill. Much of the hauntings that occur in Denver surround this neighborhood. It is the city’s oldest neighborhood and there are some spooky sightings and stories surrounding many different parts of the area. Over the years, the many old mansions have gained some creepy reputations.

Grant Humphrey Mansion

The story of this mansion revolves around the suspicious death of the man who used to live here. The home was originally built for James Grant, the third governor of Colorado. However, in 1917, a man named Albert Humphreys lived here. He was a philanthropist and an oilman. It was said that he left the dinner table one night to clean his gone. However, he was found a few moments later with a gunshot to the head. He was not dead until the next day. No one knows if he was killed or committed suicide. Some people believe one thing and others believe another. However, the spirit is restless and haunts the third floor of the home. It is also said that there are four other spirits that have made this mansion their home as well.

Molly Brown House

This house is known for some creepy things. You can find chairs rocking without anyone in them, many energy orbs, and even the smell of cigars in the library. These are just a few small things that happen. The home was built for a socialite who had survived the sinking of the Titanic. Today, it is a museum. Many volunteers that work at the museum state that they can see figures and faces inside the home. People also state that they can see a woman looking out of a window on the second floor at three in the morning.

Croke-Patterson Mansion

The mansion was completed in 1891, however, the creepiness didn’t start then. The original homeowner who had the mansion built was getting bad vibes when the home was completed. In fact, he never spends time living in the home. However, over the years there were several owners before they were converted into six separate apartments. In the 70s is when things started to get weird.

Many construction workers in the area would report that their tools were going missing or they would have to do the same job several times. Because of this, there were several dogs assigned to watch over the homes during the night hours. One of the dogs had been frightened. No one knows what frightened the dog, however, the dog jumped out of a third-story window. The dog ended up dying on the sidewalk below.

Many people have reported that copy machines, light bulbs, and typewriters often go crazy inside the mansion. You can rent out a room for the night and check this area out for yourself.

 

Sources:

https://history.denverlibrary.org/capitol-hill-neighborhood-history

https://www.9news.com/article/life/holidays/halloween/these-capitol-hill-mansions-are-said-to-be-haunted/73-485684606

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_Hill_(Denver)