Neighborhood in the Highlands could be headed for historic designation

Packards Hill in the Highlands is home to a brand new, modern looking apartment complex. The question now is whether the rest of the neighborhood should be scraped away in the name of progress.

The "not in my backyard" chant has made it to the Highlands.

A section of the north Denver neighborhood, anchored by a brand new, modern apartment complex, is being considered as an historic district.

There are 173 homes in the area, which could become the city's 53rd historic district; it's the Packard's Hill neighborhood, the boundaries of which run from West 32nd Avenue and West 35th Avenue, and Lowell Boulevard to Osceola Street.

Historic districts essentially mean the homes can't be demolished, and some changes to exteriors need added approval. There are about three dozen homes that are new or modified so much that they wouldn't have to follow all the same rules.

Aside from keeping giant apartments and modern houses from showing up here, the push for historic designation here is to preserve an area of Denver where influential women made their roots.

"It's the history. It's the integrity, and the character, and the feel of the neighborhood. And it's this piece about women expanding their opportunities, their political power and their role in society," said Marie Benedix, a Packard's Hill resident. 

The proposal for historical designation says Packard's Hill's development coincided with a "great period of growth" for Denver, between 1880 and 1893, as well as when women secured the right to vote. Women living in this neighborhood often worked, and owned property, and made substantial contributions to the culture.

Several women are listed by name in the proposal as significant influencers in the neighborhood -- women like Doctors Mary Ford and Helene Byington, who were both champions for women professionals. 

You can read more about these women and other influencers on page 4 of this proposal

"We think women were drawn to this area because of the cleaner air, purer morals, etc. that the town of Highlands purported and that also applied to this area here," Benedix said.

The proposal must take one more step before it ends up in front of Denver City Council.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment