South Marion Street Parkway

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Denver, CO
United States
South Marion Street Parkway

Stretching four blocks between Alameda and Virginia Avenues, this linear parkway passes through a residential neighborhood before it terminates at the north edge of Washington Park. Appearing as a component of George Kessler’s 1907 plan for the Denver Park and Parkway System, the land was acquired in 1909 and the parkway was largely completed four years later. With the City Ditch providing the parkway’s central organizing feature, the median was planted with flowering shrubs and vines to soften the concrete-lined canal. Landscape architect S. R. DeBoer bordered the parkway with an allée of deciduous trees: Elms lined the parkway at its northernmost extent where it connected with Speer Boulevard, red oak and honey locust paralleled the central segment, and sycamore trees were planted to create a dramatic formal entrance to Washington Park.

City Ditch was filled in the early part of the twentieth century but today occasional remnant cottonwoods indicate its historic alignment. Hawthorn, crabapple, and golden rain tree were added to the median as part of DeBoer’s Flower Trail in 1913. The east side of the half-mile-long parkway is abutted by single-family homes, condominiums, and an elementary school while the west side is planted with a wide expanse of turf, flowering shrubs, and a naturalistic coniferous forest of pine, spruce and fir. South Marion Street Parkway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 as a contributing feature of the Denver Park and Parkway System.