Northeast Park Hill / Greater Park Hill
Park Hill traces its origins as a community to Baron Allois Gillaume Eugene A. von Winckler, who arrived in Denver in 1884. Like his contemporary and fellow Prussian, Baron Walter von Richthofen, Winckler established himself in east Denver. Taking Richthofen's Montclair neighborhood as his inspiration, Winckler purchased land east of Denver's City Park and north of his countryman's development, and platted Park Hill in 1887. For a developer, the eccentric baron was surprisingly intolerant of his neighbors, and preferred the company of Walter Cox, Denver's pound master and dogcatcher. After Winckler took his own life in 1898, his property soon became available to other developers.
Creation of a Residential Neighborhood
Those developers began the creation of Park Hill as a residential neighborhood, making over what had been a setting for dairies and brickyards into tree-lined streets with attractive homes, offering a quiet life removed from the city. Early developers presented the immediately adjacent City Park not merely as a place of relaxation and leisure, but also as a buffer between residents and a city often characterized as a place of noise, hustle, and iniquity. Developers also drew a contrast with Capitol Hill, which they represented as a neighborhood then in decline. In most respects, Park Hill's early development was similar to so-called streetcar suburbs established in other turn-of-the-century American cities. As urban populations increased, public and private interests built transportation systems to communities at the edges of cities, allowing urban centers to extend their bounds and pursue growth rather than address the problems of density. The Park Railway Company, established in 1888, operated until 1899 when the Denver Tramway Company absorbed it. By the early 1930s, Park Hill had become an automobile suburb, as the majority of Denver commuters now made their way to work by private car.
Diversity in Streets and Architecture
The development of Greater Park Hill over the course of several decades ensured a significant diversity in its streets and the architecture of its homes. The twentieth century would see the most significant building in Park Hill during the 1920s and 30s, and again in the 1940s and 50s to meet the post-World War II demand for housing, especially in the vicinity of Stapleton airport. Consequently, Park Hill's residential styles range from various Victorian forms to the Arts and Crafts homes of the early twentieth century, to modest mid-century homes constructed for new postwar families.