Five Points Walk: A Neighborhood Built Before Cars

by Jill Locantore on June 8, 2016

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On Sunday June 6th about 15 people (and puppies!) gathered for the latest in WalkDenver’s community walks.  This walk, lead by Board member, Five Point’s resident, Realtor and Urban Planner, John Hayden, examined the history, future and role of walkability in one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, Five Points.  Built mostly in the 1870’s to 1890’s, Five Points was fully developed before automobiles became a common form of transportation.  As a result the original neighborhood was built for walking.  While lots has changed over the past 145 years, much of the neighborhood still retains infrastructure that is great for walking including mature trees, closely-built buildings which shortens the distance between amenities, a mix of uses, and housing for different income levels. All of these factors encourage social interaction and availability of goods and services at the walking scale.
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The two and a half hour walk was punctuated by community members stopping to talk to the group about their experiences in the neighborhood.  Marina Sousa stepped out of her home to talk to the group about living in Curtis Park and shared the history of a building where Neil Cassady once lived.  An elderly man who has lived in the neighborhood since 1953 talked to the group about the African American heritage of the community.  It’s these kinds of chance interactions that happen when you walk through a community that make walking a unique and wonderful way to see and learn about our city.
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Stay tuned for future community walks hosted by WalkDenver, including a repeat of the Five Points walk later this year. Our community walks let you experience the city, and all proceeds help WalkDenver’s advocacy for a great walkable city.
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