Former Denver school site becomes historic district

City council designates six bungalows near Harvard Gulch Park as historic

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A row of six homes constructed from the pieces of a former school that used to stand in their place has been named the 54th historic district in the city of Denver.

Property owners and Councilmember Paul Kashmann submitted an application in June to make the homes off of Vassar Street a historic district. The properties, now called the Vassar School Bungalows Historic District, are just south of Harvard Gulch Park in the Rosedale neighborhood.

The homes were built from 1925 to 1926 and are historically significant because they represent the growth of south Denver during the pre-Depression era, according to the Landmark Preservation staff brief on the site. Companies and businesses such as the Gates rubber factory, which was located at 1025 S. Broadway, brought working class people to the area.

The land was also formerly home to the Vassar School, which was built in 1892, according to the brief. The school served children in the area from kindergarten through eighth grade. The Vassar closed in 1924 after the nearby Rosedale School was built. It was demolished, and pieces of the building were used to build the six bungalows now standing there, which are built in the Spanish Revival style.

Some recognizable features of Spanish Revival buildings are stucco over brick, red clay barrel tiles, decorative downspouts and more. The district’s building style filled the architectural criteria needed for historic designation as well.

The Spanish Revival style also gives the district a distinct appearance, which helped to fill the geographical criteria for historical designation.

Landmark staff as well as staff from the City Planning Department voted to bring the application before City Council. At the end of October, council approved the district.

For more information on the Landmark preservation office, visit: https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/community-planning-and-development/landmark-preservation.html

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