Congress Park - Denver

CongressPark_feature_BrianThomson_2014
Denver, CO
United States
Congress Park - Denver

Landscape Information

This rectangular 10-acre park is located across from the Denver Botanic Gardens in the southwest section of the streetcar suburb that shares its name. The park occupies a portion of the former Prospect Hill Cemetery, established by William Larimer in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1898 the U.S. Congress relocated the buried remains and converted the cemetery into dedicated parkland and a reservoir. Surrounded by a diverse combination of Victorian-style and “Denver Square” (vernacular brick bungalows popular in mid- to late nineteenth century ) homes and paralleled by the Seventh Avenue Parkway, the parcel served as a plant nursery for the cityunder the care and supervision of landscape architect Reinhard Schuetze at the turn of the century. 

By the 1930s the nursery was cleared and graded for recreational uses by laborers from the Works Progress Administration and terraced walls and trees were introduced. During World War II, community members cultivated Victory Gardens on the parcel, precipitating a brief renaming to Victory Park. In the 1950s the City of Denver installed recreational facilities, including a swimming pool and play fields. Today, active recreational amenities occupy the northeastern corner, while the southeastern corner contains mature tree groves and expanses of lawn. The terraced stone wall bisects the western half of the park, bridging a steep grade change and providing spectator seating for the recreational fields. Street trees lining the park’s perimeter meld it with the tree-lined streets of the surrounding residential neighborhood.