Downing Street Parkway - Denver

DowningStreetParkway-Denver.jpg
Denver, CO
United States
Downing Street Parkway - Denver

Landscape Information

Stretching between East 3rd Avenue and East Bayaud Street, this 0.4-mile-long parkway is bounded on the east by the Denver Country Club and on the west by single-family homes and the Country Club Garden Apartments. Planning for the parkway began in 1909, although its creation had been discussed by Mayor Richard Sopris and civic leader Jacob Downing in the 1880s. In 1912 the Board of Public Works commenced development of the South Denver Improvement District, which would create linkages—such as this one—between Cheesman and Washington Parks and the Cherry Creek and Speer Boulevard corridors. 

In 1913 Olmsted Brothers designed a planting plan for Downing Street Parkway, as well as several others within the District. A year later, the parkway was planted with informal groupings of pine, with fir, red cedar, golden willow, and hawthorn used sparingly as accents.  Rhythmic plantings of mature elm and linden along the parkway are interspersed by cottonwood, relics of the City Ditch that once flowed nearby. Between East Bayaud and East 1st Avenue, a wide, landscaped median separates the north and southbound lanes. After crossing Cherry Creek at East 1st, northbound traffic remains on Downing Street Parkway and southbound traffic is diverted to Corona Street. An expanded planting area to the east of this section creates a screen between the neighborhoods on either side. Downing Street Parkway is a contributing feature of the Denver Park and Parkway System listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.