In 1887, Baron Alois von Winckler platted the original Park Hill development on 32 acres (130,000 m2) of land he owned east of City Park. This development was bordered by present day Montview Boulevard on the south, Colorado Boulevard on the west, East 26th Avenue on the north, and Dahlia Street on the east, placing it in what is now the western portion of South Park Hill.
In 1898, in response to the Spanish-American War, Baron von Winckler allowed land directly north of the original development to be used as a camp for the Colorado National Guard. It housed 1,400 troops in tents. Shortly after this, the Baron committed suicide, reportedly after seeing the troops leave for the Philippines.
The first homes in Park Hill were offered for sale in 1900. As the neighborhood grew, settlers from many nations, including England, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, moved in, as did African Americans. After World War II, residential development increased in the northern part of the neighborhood.
In the early 1950s, the Dahlia Square Shopping Center was built in Northeast Park Hill atop a landfill. Located between Dahlia Street and Elm Street and between East 33rd Avenue and East 35th Avenue, it was the commercial heart of the neighborhood during its time, and at its peak featured a number of businesses including a grocery store. As time passed, it fell into disrepair and was considered a nuisance by residents.
Starting in the 1990s, under efforts by then-mayor Wellington Webb, several redevelopment plans were considered, but none was successful until April 2005, after Webb left office. In that month, the site was purchased by Parkhill Community Inc., a subsidiary of Brownfield Partners, LLC, which had been chosen by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) to clean up the site and prepare it for redevelopment. In late 2005, DURA announced it would work exclusively with Alliance Development Partners, Inc., to redevelop the site when remediation was complete. Alliance was formed by Webb and partners.
Data from the U.S. Census indicate that in the year 2000, there were a total of 26,422 residents in 10,221 households in the three administrative neighborhoods comprising Park Hill. Income increased from north to south, and the number of minority residents increased from south to north. The racial makeup of Park Hill, as a whole, is 39.76 percent white (27.06 percent white alone-non Hispanic), 51.48 percent African American, 2.87 percent Asian, 1.21 percent Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race is 17.38 percent of the population.
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