HIGHLANDS NEIGHBORHOOD, DENVER
Actually two neighborhoods in one, Highland and West Highland, “The Highlands” is just 2 miles northwest of downtown Denver and is rapidly becoming one of the most popular and sought after neighborhoods in the greater metropolitan area. With views of downtown and the draw of both historic and modern architecture and features, the Highlands neighborhood is definitely worth exploration.
William Larimer, who had just founded Denver City, first established the town site of Highlands in1858. The Rocky Mountain News noted:
“No more handsome location for residences can be found than on the highlands of Highland, on the opposite side of the river from and overlooking Auraria and Denver, and a vast extent of surrounding territory.”
In May 1864, a flood wiped out parts of Denver, and many new people moved up the hill to the west and the Town of Highlands became a city in 1885. The founding fathers eventually found it difficult to maintain needed city services and in 1896, the residents voted to allow Denver to annex the town.
The redevelopment of the Central Platte Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000s, as well as increased accessibility due to construction of new bridges over Interstate 25, saw interest in The Highlands rise. Preservationists stepped in to save some of the history and architecture, and with its proximity to downtown, the area has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Unique shops, boutiques, bookstores, wine bars, restaurants, and art galleries are nestled in among Victorian-era homes, buildings, gardens and parks. This, along with the addition of high-end condominiums and lofts, has contributed to the area’s attraction and charm.
Avanti Food & Beverage – a collective of various affordable food experiences in shipping containers – is a local favorite. Other draws include the “First Fridays” art district showcase, Sloan’s Lake Park and the annual Highlands Street Fair in June.
The area currently has about 7000 households and is served by Denver Public Schools.
“I personally love the walk-ability to shops, restaurants, etc. with the neighborhood feel. It’s the best of both worlds — city and neighborhood.” – Margaret McClain, CHR Graphic Designer