From containing the residence of the
Summer White House during the Eisenhower administration
to being home of the inventor of the ice cream soda,
the East 7th Avenue Historic District is one of the
most interesting and beautiful in Denver.
Primarily built from the 1890’s to the 1930’s,
the East 7th Avenue Historic District is the largest
in Denver with its boundaries stretching from Logan
Street to Colorado Avenue, and from 6th Avenue to
8th Avenue. Between Steele and Harrison Streets, the
district is limited to the 7th Avenue Parkway. Because
Downing Street was a main thoroughfare in the late
1890’s, the earliest construction in the district
is found nearby on the 700 Blocks of Corona and Marion.
7th and Williams Street contained a stable for horses
that used the Cheesman Esplanade, or “Little
Cheesman”, for their exercising. Additionally,
the 700 Blocks of Franklin and Gilpin housed early
greenhouse businesses that flourished as development
began on the barren prairie land.
The parkway itself was created in 1912 and rose from
the peak of the City Beautiful movement. Mayor Speer
hired well-known landscape architect Saco DeBoer to
plan the plantings for many of the parks and parkways
in the city. Charles Mulford Robinson, a city planner,
and George Kissler, a Kansas City landscape architect,
consulted with Frederick Law Olmstead, creator of
New York’s Central Park, to construct plans
for an entire system of city parks and parkways. Upon
completion, by way of the East 7th Avenue Parkway,
Cheesman Esplanade, and Williams Street Parkway one
could travel all the way from City Park to Washington
Early residents of the 7th Avenue Historic District
were a mix of both wealthy and middle class citizens.
As development continued, larger mansions were built
on corners and facing the parkway while more modest
homes, including duplexes and flats, were built to
the north and south. William E. Fisher and Glen Wood
Huntington designed many of the residences within
the district. Pre-WWI construction styles were primarily
Mediterranean Revival, Neoclassical, and Colonial
Revival, though the district is home to quite a variety
of architectural styles that lend to its unique character.
The Governor’s Mansion, at 8th and Logan, is
housed within the 7th Avenue Historic District, and
was planned by Walter Scott Cheesman. Later purchased
by the Boettcher family, the residence was donated
to the state for the Governor’s Mansion in the
late 1950’s. 750 Lafayette was the childhood
home of Mamie Doud (Eisenhower), and was the location
of the Eisenhower’s wedding as well as the working
White House in the summers during his time in office.
2700 East 7th Avenue was first owned by Marie Baur,
the widow of Otto Baur, who came up with the idea
for the ice cream soda!
Today the East 7th Avenue Historic District retains
much of its original character and charm and continues
to thrive as one of the most desirable neighborhoods
in the city.