In February this year, a Queen Anne home from 1898 was demolished in the University Park neighborhood. Tired of seeing homes with potential for historic protection being scraped in favor of newer, larger homes, resident Rosemary Stoffel decided to take action.
Stoffel is part of the Community Preservation committee of the University Park Community Council (UPCC). After applying for and receiving an Action Fund grant from Historic Denver, she gathered community support, raising $2,250 from other residents in the neighborhood. Historic Denver is a nonprofit organization that helps to preserve important historical buildings in the city. UPCC received $9,000 in funds from the organization.
“I’ve lived in the neighborhood for a long, long time, and I feel like there is awareness that hasn’t been there before,” Stoffel said. “People are opening their eyes and saying `my neighborhood is changing.’”
The funds are going toward hiring a consultant to research the neighborhood, finding historically significant buildings and creating an architectural style guide. During a UPCC meeting on Oct. 3, Stoffel brought in Barbara and Jim Steely of Square Moon Consultants, to kick off the project.
The neighborhood also hosted an informational event on Nov. 4 The event was held at Fitzroy Place, a historically designated building, from 1:30-4 p.m. People were encouraged to bring in old photographs or any research they had done on the history and architecture of the area.
Stoffel said she is hoping that learning more about the architectural significance of buildings in the neighborhood will prevent more homes from being scraped. She feels that owners of homes that have been demolished didn’t have that knowledge.
“There was really no understanding of what an important part of the neighborhood these buildings are,” she said.
The neighborhood has several different architectural styles, such as mid-century modern homes and Queen Anne homes. Stoffel began giving historic walking tours to show some of these styles to residents and architecture lovers.
In addition to historical significance, some of the homes have cultural significance. One street of homes by Observatory Park is knows as Professors Row because a large number of teachers from the University of Denver lived on that block.
To learn more about the preservation committee with UPCC email Stoffel at email@example.com.
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