Cheesman Park .net
Capitol Hill's Backyard was born as the first-ever web site dedicated to Cheesman Park, its history, beauty, fables and politics. The site will also have content for Denver Botanic Gardens and Capitol Hill. first went online in 2004 although it was partly created years earlier and site construction has been sidetracked due to other projects. It will hopefully resume on a future date. As creator and photographer, I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos that I've captured of the park going back many years. And I have family Cheesman pics going back to the 1940s. I hope to add a few more of these in the future, as time avails, so that this web site will serve as a visual and historic tour.
Cheesman Park in Denver is many things to many people. It is an urban refuge to residential neighbors in densely populated Capitol Hill. It is a favorite jogging spot, a place to throw frisbees and fly kites. It is a playground for women and children. It is a place where Denver's diverse inner city people flock to. It is an exclusive greenbelt for upscale citizens who own houses and condos bordering the park. It is a place for romanticists and romantics of all persauasions. It is also a former cemetery believed by some to contain as many as three thousand bodies of Denver's earliest inhabitants. Some believe the park is haunted, others enchanted. Nearly all who come here regard it as a place of beauty.
The Pavilion
The most revered part of Cheesman is the Walter Scott Cheesman Pavilion dedicated in 1908. Today the pavilion serves as a place for formal and informal public gatherings as well as wedding events and occasional concerts. The pavilion is also one of Denver's leading attractions to photographers who use the structure as a background for models and newlyweds or simply as a subject for its classic perspective and character. The area around and behind the pavilion is to many an esoteric place given its tall pines, its elevation overlooking the Denver skyline, its serenity and its rose gardens. It is suitable for meditation, writing, reading a book, sunning, and even periodic gatherings for nature-based spirituality.
Given its natural beauty, its high urban elevation and being a place of the dead, local pagans have used Cheesman for quiet ceremonies under its tall trees. It is also a place attractive to dance instructors and choreographers. In the summer, the pavilion area is visited by drum circles and people with pets watching the sun go down. At its best, the tree shaded environs around the pavilion and the pavilion itself are suitable for ethereal dreamers.
. Contents:

Park Facts
Park History


More to come...
Cheesman Images
Park Map
Botanic Gardens

Save the Park!
Cheesman Pavillion is not all goddess and Grecian ethereal beauty. Like any park, Cheesman and its the pavilion are sometimes visited by noisy radios and litterbugs, occasional loud drunks and illegal pavilion skateboarders. And there are now so many cars cruising in front of the pavilion that it could credibly be renamed "Cheesman Parkway." The park is used as a traffic conduit by drivers passing through. But many of the cars in the park drive its circular path endlessly. Tragically, most park users do not care if their park is both a noisy expressway and a parking lot. Cheesman is an attraction to cruising car addicts who would be better off to discover walking in the park, for whatever purpose. Their cars are an endless drone of white noise and a source of pollution to park users and birds. The very meaning of the park needs to be redefined, restored, renewed, reconsidered. It needs to be a clean, green pedestrian place where anyone can find relative silence and solitude, regardless of personal persuasions.
No park should be a place for driving cars in circles. Cheesman Park is plagued by horrendous traffic not found in nearby City Park, Washington Park or any other major Denver park. Park users have sheepishly adapted to this automotive lifestyle as if it were normal, thus cheapening the inherent value of Cheesman as a potentially placid and more beautiful place. Awareness must be raised. Park users should seek remedies to drastically cut down on circular drivers. Cruisers need to get out of their noisy tin cans and walk.

Personally, I believe that the best remedy for Cheesman's car cruising problem, would be to "break the circle" at the high point near the pavillion. Only bicyclists and emergency vehicles would be allowed to circle the park continuously. But drivers could still pick a spot and park, since there are no parking lots. And exercizing bicyclists should be able to circle the park all day, without undue car traffic.

Cheesman Photo Art will serve largely as a photographic showcase of the park, especially the pavilion. Many photos of adjacent Denver Botanic Gardens will also be included. The photography will represent the exquisite best of thousands of images photographed by one photographer over the course of years. Some of the images are quite stunning, representing night and day, and all seasons. Most of the images do not contain people, so as to show only the park itself. Much of the beauty that is Cheesman Park and its pavilion are invisible to the unenlightened. It is one thing to come here, another entirely to know and feel the airy spirit that is the park's pinnacle. Cheesman Park, its pavilion and the assorted gardens of Denver Botanical Gardens, are far more beautiful than many know. As time avails to add more photos, you will see these attractions like they have never been seen before.

More will outline some history of the park and the Botanical Gardens, including facts about Mount Prospect Cemetery. Links to relevant web sites and a list of publications will be provided. Eventually we may feature some Cheesman art and perhaps some relevant poetry. But mainly this website will focus on Cheesman photography.

© Cheesman Park Net, 2004 and later

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