All of Denver is comprised of separate historic districts depending on the neighborhood that you find yourself in. From simple streets that hold significance to entire neighborhoods that have been established, historic districts and streets hold charm, character, and history to many parts of Denver.
In University Park, there are no historic districts in the neighborhood boundaries but the University of Denver holds enough history of its own! To refresh, check out our previous blog on the history of University Park here. However, there are a handful of historic streets just a 10-minute bike ride away from your front door at Arboretum. The two that stick out, not just in popularity but for the community and lifestyle that they provide is South Pearl Street and Old South Gaylord Street. These wonderful historic streets add charm to the neighborhood and boast eclectic shops and dining.
South Pearl Street
South Pearl Street has been home to mom and pop shops since the late 1950s after World War II. As time went on, the mom and pop shops were left in the dust when large strip malls and regional shopping malls became more popular in the Metro area. A life cycle of different locally-owned shops had their time on Pearl Street and many have stayed while others have been replaced, but the community around Pearl Street has not changed.
South Pearl Street consistently caters to the needs of the neighborhood and has greatly adapted to the changes over the last couple decades. With an increase in traffic and popularity, Pearl Street has developed new ways to cope with the higher amounts of traffic by being the first shopping district in Denver to install bike corrals! There are 3 bike corrals that have been installed on Old South Pearl Street since 2016. This thoughtfulness allows for more people to reach their destination on a bicycle which has started to be a growing trend in University Park as well as other urban neighborhoods surrounding Denver.
South Pearl Street is home to signature events such as the Pearl Street Farmers Market and Winterfest. The events are around to support the small, local business that make up the community. Winterfest is an awesome winter filled weekend that is usually put on in the first week of December, you can find Box Elder Horse and Wagon rides, a Saturday Holiday Market featuring gift and food vendors, and a photo opp with Olde World Santa.
South Pearl Street Farmers Market
Sundays — May 17th through November 15th — 9AM to 1PM
Dates announced soon! (Guaranteed Friday/Saturday in December)
Old South Gaylord Street
Old South Gaylord Street is located in the heart of the Wash Park neighborhood and a 10-minute bike ride away from your home at Arboretum. Just shoot up University and cut over 2-blocks to the West and you are right on Old South Gaylord Street. The historic district is 6-blocks from Washington Park emerged within the charm of the traditional houses and mature trees.
By the early 1920s, a business district started to emerge on South Gaylord Street due to the heavy traffic that flowed into Denver from Alameda Avenue. The largest, most popular businesses in the 1920s were movie theaters— the Washington Park D & R Theater was the hot spot on South Gaylord Street for a number of years and is rumored today to be Washington Park Methodist Church.
Old South Gaylord Street has grown with Wash Park, year after since it was first zoned in 1925. From store front businesses such as boutiques to real estate offices, Old South Gaylord Street blends the perfect mix of business and play. Come on down and enjoy the old time street any time of year and for any occasion! If you find yourself there at the right time you can enjoy the small festivals and other events.
Memorial Weekend Festival
Every Memorial Day Weekend
Food & Drinks, Live Music, Local Vendors, & Rides
Trick or Treat Street
Enjoy a safe night out of trick or treating with your little ones