The Humboldt Street Historic District [†] is a residential area of large homes situated in Inslee's Addition to the City of Denver. The district, made up of 24 residences, covers a facing two block long area on Humboldt Street bounded by East 10th Avenue on the south (photo #25) and East 12th Avenue on the north (26). The west boundary is the alley between Humboldt and Lafayette Streets running north and south from East 12th Avenue to East 10th Avenue (27). The east boundary is the property line of the houses on the east side of the street and the western boundary of Cheesman Park.
The district is a residential island free of the modern high rise intrusions that have invaded the surrounding areas to the south, west and north. East 10th and llth Avenues dead-end at Cheesman Park, the east boundary of the district, giving the neighborhood a sense of seclusion and privacy.
Other than the installation of sodium vapor street lights, the area retains its original residential character and continues to be a desirable place to live. The streetscape of facades in the district present architectural variety and individuality that is unified by a high quality of design and materials. Along both-'.sides of the peaceful-tree shaded street, the residences are well set back each within its own grassed yard, landscaped with well tended mature plantings and shade trees.
The architectural styles of the residences in the district range from Georgian Revival and nineteenth century Italianate to early 20th century eclectic. In addition, there are a number of houses known as "Denver Squares", a local term given to a basically plain, rectangular, brick house with a hipped roof, usually with dormers and a porch or veranda across the front. These otherwise plain houses gain individuality through the use of decorative details in the porches, dormers, and around the openings. The majority of these houses are of a light colored brick with a brick trim of a darker color or decorative brickwork.
The numerous city parks throughout Denver have long been a source of great pride for the residents of this city. Cheesman Park, one of the loveliest, is located on the east boundary of the Humboldt Street Historic District. It was the development of the park that stimulated the residential growth along Humboldt Street. Before 1900, there were only five houses in the district, but with the landscaping of the park in 1904, there were fifteen residences constructed between 1903 and 1907. Between 1909 and 1920 there were only three constructed.
The Humboldt Street District is the first residential district in Denver to be designated an Historic District by the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission in 1972. It is a well preserved residential neighborhood with examples of Denver's domestic architecture from 1895-1920. The styles in the district reflect the general architectural trend throughout the nation at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century toward solidarity and simplicity after the exuberance of the Victorian era.
These fine homes represent some of the best work and craftsmanship, both interior and exterior, being done in Denver just before and after 1900. They were designed by some of Denver's most distinguished architects who were responsible for many other fine landmark buildings throughout the city. They are the type of residences owned and occupied by some of the city's more prominent, influential and wealthy citizens. For the most part, the people who lived in Humboldt Island were important to the development of Denver and Colorado in government, law, mining, ranching and cattle, and commerce and industry. The Stoiber-Reed-Humphreys Mansion, constructed in 1907, was designed by the eminent architectural firm of Marean & Norton. Albert J. Norton and Willis A Marean had both worked for one of Denver's most prominent architects, Frank E. Edbrooke, before forming their partnership in 1895. The more outstanding of their works are the Cheesman-Boettcher Mansion, the Cheesman Memorial Pavilion, The Greek Theater in Civic Center, the Chamber of Commerce Building (demolished), and Mayor Speer's home at 300 Humboldt Street.
† Barbara Norgren, Preservation Consultant. Historic Denver. Inc., nomination document, 1976, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.,npgallery.nps.gov. accessed December, 2021.
10th Avenue • 11th Avenue • 12th Avenue • Humboldt Street