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Facts
About Cheesman Park
  • Pavillion design: Cheesman Pavilion designed by architects Willis A. Marean and Albert Julius Norton in 1910.

  • Pavillion purpose: Cheesman Pavilion was built as a memorial to Denver water baron Walter Scott Cheesman who died in 1907. It was then given to the City of Denver for public usage, in exchange for the city naming part of the once-larger Congress Park as Cheesman Park. Hence, what was one park became two. Mr. Cheesman was also a pharmacist with investments in real estate.

  • Pavillion rental - The City of Denver rents out Cheesman Pavillion for functions such as weddings, special performances, etc. This is handled by the Parks Department. Go to our links page and click the link for "Denver City Government". If you are in town, the best way to reach Denver City Government is to dial 3-1-1.

  • Park boundaries: between Eighth Ave. on the south, 13th Ave. on the north, Humboldt St. on the west and Race Street St. on the east. The west, north and east sides of the park are bordered by the backs of buildings and houses on these streets. Eighth avenue borders the park directly on the south edge. A narrow esplanade also extends one block south of 8th Avenue.

  • Park size: 80.7 acres

  • Original urban usage: Mount Prospect Cemetery.

  • Body count: Some estimates claim that as many as two thousand or more bodies remain in Cheesman Park and its immediate environs including Denver Botanic Gardens. This claim is subject to controversy and varied histories. But most accounts tend to believe that some bodies remain. In recent years, skeletal remains have turned up in Denver Botanical Gardens.

  • Government locality: Denver City Council District 10

  • Parking: Cars in Cheesman must park along the circular drive, which allows an abundance of cars. There is only very limited parking in the tiny parking lot, just south of the pavillion. And neighboring streets around the park, do not want more cars parked on already congested streets.

  • Driving: Circular driving is a problem virtually unique to Cheesman Park. The master plan of Cheesman Park Advocacy Group (CPAG) will reduce, but probably not eliinate this problem. Please come to Cheesman by bike or on foot. Or ride the bus. If you must drive to Cheesman, please don't drive in circles around Cheesman.

  • Best Historian: Phil Goodstein, author of many books on Denver including "Ghosts of Capitol Hill". Goodstein is also known for doing tours of the park and through historic Capitol Hill. You can find his books at Tattered Cover on East Colfax and elsewhere.

  • Pets: Dogs must be on leash only. Bring your plastic bags and pick up doggie doo, it's the law. Check Denver City Govt. in Links section for updates on pet rules.

  • Hours: Cheesman is officially open seven days per week, from 5:30am until 11pm to pedestrians. Cars are allowed to pass through after that time according to signs instructing where to turn.

  • Entrances: The main entrance is southbound Franklin Street at East 13th Avenue. You can also enter from busy 8th Avenue and some of the side streets on both sides of the park.

  • Rest rooms: Cheesman closed it's old structural rest rooms many years ago. The existing portable rest rooms often create horrible odors that drift across the park, especially on warmer days. Perhaps the new CPAG master plan will bring rest rooms that don't compete with the smell of the flowers.

  • Lost & found: No official lost and found is known at this time. Will post if we hear of one. People forget things in parks all the time.

  • Denver Botanic Gardens is adjacent to the east edge of Cheesman Park but not part of it, even though they both share a common history as a pioneer cemetery location. DBG is accessable from its main (east) entrance on York Street. The west (rear) gate connects DBG to Cheesman Park near the pavillion but is only opened for special events, such as those held at DBG amphitheater. For more info and directions, click the DBG web link from our links page. The Botanic Gardens is a wonderful place to relax, walk or do photography.
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© Cheesman Park Net, 2004 and later

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