Denver is blessed with hundreds of gorgeous homes good for gawking at

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).

I’ve never been one to go on those organized home tours, where you walk around neighborhoods and enter participating private manses (like the 2022 Parade of Homes, which runs Aug. 11-28). Although I’m certain the interiors are fabulous, the idea of it seems like an intrusion to me.

But every once in a while, I dream of opening the door to a home along Seventh Avenue Parkway in Congress Park, Montview Boulevard in Park Hill, or along East 13th Avenue in Capitol Hill.

The Joshua Monti Mansion on the left, and the Molly Brown house on the right, on E. 13th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, in a late 19th-century photo. (Denver Public Library, Western History Department)

Once inside, I’m an early 20th-century novelist holed up in a turreted attic, sweaty and desperate for an idea.

I’m a suffragist making posters for women’s rights on a huge, polished mahogany table.

I’m a cook in a grand, marbled kitchen, preparing a multi-course meal for a dinner party of 12.

I’m a grande dame, choosing a bonnet and boots for a walk in the park.

That’s what driving or walking down some streets in Denver does for me. I gawk; I dream.

Park your car and walk along Seventh Avenue Parkway in Congress Park, or drive up or down Monaco Parkway north of Alameda, or 17th Avenue in Park Hill east of Colorado Boulevard. Walk around Cheesman Park and the streets just west, and marvel at the grand structures.

Denver is blessed with dozens of such neighborhoods, hundreds of such homes.

Denver Post fine arts/architecture writer Ray Mark Rinaldi said that if you want to see something off the beaten track, there is a row of amazing historic mansions on the 1400 block of West Stuart in Denver, like the Frank I. Smith house and the Ralph Voorhees house. “Amazing,” he said.

There are other homes in the Denver area that might spark your interest as well. “I think if you want to see the better modern mansions, that would be Hilltop, streets like Ivy, Jersey and others, just north of Alameda,” Rinaldi said. “Scrapes, but crazy mega-houses that are design-forward rather than crappy, lot-eating McMansions.

“For mid-century modern, though not at all mansions, you can pick from the list at midmoddreamhomes.com. My faves are Harvey Park and Krisana Park, but all of these are great recommendations,” he added.

Have some free time this weekend? Take a drive or a walk around one of our lovely Denver neighborhoods. And let your imagination soar.

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