The area was originally known as Cemetery Hill; named after the City Cemetery located in the area. In 1887, the city of Denver constructed a reservoir on land previously designated as part of the cemetery but never used as such, and by 1890 the cemetery had become a deterrent to growth in the eastern Capitol Hill neighborhood; so much so that Colorado Senator Henry Teller put forth a bill requesting the land be redesigned to a park. The graves were relocated and Congress Park was born. The original park encompassed lands that currently include Cheesman Park, the Denver Botanic Gardens, and the Denver Water Board. In 1903, the area south of the reservoir to 8th Ave. became the city nursery supplying the growing city with the trees and flowers for its parks and parkways.
Boundaries: According to the 1995 Congress Park Neighborhood Plan, “The Congress Park neighborhood is bounded on the west by York Street, on the north by Colfax Avenue, on the east by Colorado Boulevard and on the south by Sixth Avenue.”
Learn more about Congress Park at www.congressparkneighbors.org.
The park contains eight tennis courts, several athletic fields, a children’s playground, a picnic pavilion, and one of Denver’s public outdoor swimming pools. The Denver Botanic Gardens is located on the west side of York St in Cheesman Park.
Both Congress Park and Cheesman Park offer summer entertainment and are great places for a jog, a picnic, or some great people-watching. Capitol Hill is a very gay-friendly community and a haven for artists and bohemians.