Highland Denver is one of the original three communities found in the Denver area during the Gold Rush. The other two were Denver City and Auraria. When Auraria and Denver City merged to form Denver, Highland was officially known as North Denver. Originally a 320-acre homestead, the residential district was developed in 1872 as a 36-block area and incorporated in 1875.
The rich history of the neighborhood can be seen in the variety of architectural styles scattered throughout Highland. Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial, Victorian, Prairie and more represent the homes in Highland and serve as a microcosm of the most popular styles from the early 1900s. Though some houses have been lost to modernization over the years, the neighborhood is now a Historic District, which will preserve the one-of-kind homes for generations to come.
If you love historic homes, then the Highland neighborhood is a must see. Use this list of popular architectural styles to help you divine which home styles are your favorite as you explore the area.
Possibly one of the most recognizable styles from the Victorian period, Queen Anne style homes were popular between 1880 and 1910, and range from the ornate to the restrained. Scalloped and painted shingles, decorative bargeboards and turned spindles are some of the most common details on houses of this style. In “high-style” Queen Anne buildings, it’s common to have a corner tower (though it’s not always on the corner).
After 1900, Colorado home builders turned to the foursquare style, and the resulting houses can be found all over the city (many of them built from kits bought from a Sears Roebuck catalog). As the name suggests, the two-story houses are built on a square plan, but the houses each have their own personality. Most were made with wood, but some used stone or brick to add character to the popular floorplan.
Most Denver Squares have a central dormer, a full-width porch supported by square posts or more substantial columns, and a classical frieze underneath broad, overhanging eaves. Because the foursquare houses refer to the basic frame of the buildings, you can find four squares with a variety of decorative treatments from Classical, Mission, and even Mediterranean.
The Arts and Crafts movement resulted in one of the most popular historical styles—the Craftsman style. Emerging in the early 20th century, the Craftsman style stresses utility and simplicity while using natural materials. Many Craftsman houses have exposed wood trim and rafters, large—almost oversized—porch columns, and unique windows—with the upper sash divided and a single, undivided pane in the lower sash.
One of the most common styles of Craftsman houses in Denver is the Craftsman Bungalow, which is a one-and-a-half story house in the Craftsman style. This style of home became popular from 1900 to 1930, and can be found all over the state.
The Classic Cottage is another favorite style of home in the city (and around the country). It’s basically a foursquare house that only has one, or one-and-a-half stories. Between 1890 and 1930, many Classic Cottages were built, most often in brick.
A straightforward style of house, most cottages have full-width porches supported by simplified Doric or Tuscan columns, and they usually have very little to no ornamentation. Some of the adornments may include flared eaves on dormers, dentil moldings on the cornice, and classic window surrounds. One really nice feature of many classic cottages are the bay or bow windows that are often found at the front of the house.
Tudor homes became popular in Denver in the late 1920s. Typical of this style are a steeply pitched roof, prominent chimneys on the front of the home, detailed brick, and an entryway gable (Denver Urbanism).
Most of the houses built in Highland Denver were constructed in the early 1900s. There were many different architectural styles that were popular in those days, and we’re lucky to have such a well-preserved neighborhood that features most of those designs. Have fun exploring this beautiful district!
Usaj Realty is a boutique real estate brokerage firm specializing in Denver’s most popular neighborhoods. We help our clients find everything from classic vintage homes to modern condos. For more information about buying or selling a home in the Highland Denver neighborhood, please contact us.