Perhaps Congress Park should be renamed BungalowVille. Sitting in the shadow of the ghastly tales of its northern neighbor, Cheesman Park, there’s not much that sticks out about Congress Park. But if you love bungalows and an occasional spark of difference in a stable and walkable neighborhood, Congress Park is for you. Here are the tales of our Congress Park urban hiking adventure.
From the Turn-of-the-Century to 1950s
Making a solid rectangle shape along York/Colfax/Colorado/6th Ave, a walk through Congress Park is more about taking a left and a right when you feel like it than a particular route. Perhaps a turn-of-the-century church in the distance looks interesting, or someone’s landscaping draws your eye, but no matter which way you turn, you’re sure to see pretty much the same thing street after street. It’s the land of bungalows built as a way for folks to escape the smoggy bottoms of Denver.
A Grocery, A Pizza Shop, A Fine Restaurant, and a Home Goods Store
Once billed as Capitol Heights by clever developers, but never did it become a depository for the graves of Cemetery Hill, Congress Park (named after the body that named it, the US Congress) appealed historically to middle-class folks who wanted easy transit along the trams and trolleys. Eventually, cars won out, single car garages seeped in, and the trolleys went away. Not much has changed in Congress Park since the mid 50s, except for the official naming change, and a turn over of the original grocery stores in the business center.
A Few Mansions Say Hello
There are a few surprises in the neighborhood. Colfax always morphs something new, and an occasional larger house pops up along the Avenues. The E 7th Avenue Parkway invites walkers and runners with babies, strollers and dogs to exercise along the larger homes of the area. And Signal Hill, at the height of the neighborhood, fields Denver’s 911 calls.
So if you love bungalow architecture, a stable environment, and the view of a few larger homes, take an urban amble through Congress Park. See below for the route, map, and turn-by-turn instructions.
Start in the parking lot on Josephine just southeast of the Denver Botanic Gardens on the east side of the street where the closest street address is 889 Josephine. Walk east past the 911 center and the pool. You’ll come to an alley.
Go north in the alley to E 10th Ave, where you’ll go east. Take a left (north) on Fillmore Street. Pass by the block after block of bungalow homes making your way north to Colfax.
Turn east (right) on Colfax and smell the many wonderful Greek places to eat all owned by the same Pete. At Steele St take a right (south) to E 14th Ave. Take a left, then take a right on Adams St.
Go south to E 12 Ave, take a left. Go south on Madison Street to 11th Ave where you’ll take a left.
Take a right on Monroe and walk all the way south across 7th Ave Parkway to 6th. Notice how the neighborhood homes get just a bit bigger. Take a right on 6th, then take another right on Monroe St.
Take a left on 7th Ave Parkway, enjoying a nice long amble along the Parkway, admiring the biggest houses in the neighborhood. At Josephine, take a right and return back to Signal Hill where you started.