Easily the most noticeable landmarks in our neighborhood, and arguably throughout the city, the gates on 4th Ave many of us drive through every day add to the charm and history of our historic neighborhood.
The Fourth Avenue Realty Company hired well-known Denver architect William Ellsworth Fisher to plat the Country Club Place into three wide streets. Each street was to have a parkway down the center, and each would have a distinctive entrance gate along 4th Avenue. The most elaborate gate was built on Franklin Street, which was the entryway to the Denver Country Club until 1957 when it moved to Gilpin Street.
The Franklin Street gate spans the entire street. A 10 by 24 foot wooden platform with sloping, tiled roof with exposed rafters covers the entrance. Supporting this are two large, square, paneled stone columns that connect on either side to Mission-style arches over each of the sidewalks. The gates at Gilpin and High Streets do not cover the whole street but stand as pillars on each side, connecting with the sidewalk
arches. There was originally a four-foot wall along 4th Avenue connecting these gates but it’s been broken up over the years by homeowners.
The gates are a classic example of Spanish architecture with the stucco base and red tile tops. While Fisher designed many buildings in a variety of architectural styles through Denver, many speculate he chose this style because he believed it encouraged a community spirit. Perhaps it is also because Denver and Madrid lie on almost the same longitudinal line, a mere 5,000 miles apart.
You may have noticed that our historic gates are in need of repair. The repairs of these gates are a priority for the CCHN board. We will provide more information on the restoration process in coming months, as well as opportunities to help fund this cause.
Late last year we asked you to share your thoughts regarding two important areas: general feedback about the board, and capital needs in the neighborhood. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your opinions are invaluable to the current and future state of our neighborhood. Without further adieu, here are the results.
Most Important Issues to Residents (listed in order of importance):
• Improve communication around how CCHN spends its budget, neighborhood activities, issues outside the neighborhood in surrounding areas, CCH Design Review Committee, relationship between neighborhood and city capital needs.
• Increase in security hours
• Beautification of the neighborhood, which includes flowers and maintenance of medians
• Repairs to the historic gates
• Adding and improving street lighting
• Concerns over snow removal
• Repair and repave current sidewalks
• Increasing the amount of current sidewalks
• Traffic Safety
• Street repair
The CCHN Board has discussed the survey results and agreed upon priorities for 2016. Capital needs priorities will be broken into two phases. Phase 1 includes historic gate repair, security review, beautification of the neighborhood, and snow removal options. Phase 2 may include street lighting, sidewalk repair and sidewalk expansion. Because many of these items will require additional funding, the board will determine funding options for capital needs and other improvements. The CCHN Board has also identified a communication strategy, which we have detailed for you below.
Street sweeping begins in April, so please mark you calendar to avoid the costly tickets that will be handed out if you fail to move your car. Our neighborhood street sweeping occurs the first week of every month, with the specific day dependent upon the side of the street your home is on. You can also visit https://www.denvergov.org/pocketgov/#/ to sign up for email and text alerts.
• CCHN Annual Dues can now be paid online at countryclubhistoric.org or by downloading a membership form from the website and mailing a check to:
191 University Blvd. #514
Denver, CO 80206
Our dues are completely voluntary, and at $195 per year are also the lowest among Denver and surrounding area neighborhoods. Please consider making an extra donation to our beautification committee so we can keep our neighborhood colorful!
Street paving to begin later this year Many of our streets are in desperate need of repair, and the city has acknowledged this need. A firm date has not been set, but the work is expected to be completed this year. More information will be provided in the coming months.
• Security in our neighborhood One area that is funded by your neighborhood dues is security. Provided by HSS, security vehicles patrol our neighborhood 4 times a day most of the year, and 6 times during the summer months. Their primary role is to act as a deterrent to theft and other criminal activity. But if you’ve ever left your garage door open, you’ve probably received a call from the on-duty patrolman letting you know. If you are concerned about suspicious or potentially criminal activity in our neighborhood, please call 911.
In April, Public Works will begin a long-planned reconstruction of the Fourth Avenue and Gilpin Street intersection. Fourth Avenue will be narrowed to 35 feet from its current width of more than 60 feet. This will be accomplished by building a series of three narrow east-west oriented islands, leaving the driving lanes on the south edge of the current curb and creating a one-way westbound driving and parking access at the north side of the present intersection. The present stop sign on eastbound Fourth Avenue will be moved east to align with southbound Gilpin Street. A stop sign will be added as southbound Williams Avenue bends west to Fourth Avenue.
Public Works will fund the bulk of this project, paying $43,300. Remaining allocated city moneys of former Councilwoman Jeanne Robb’s budget, $24,000, will cover the balance of the work. CCHN and Driving Park neighborhoods will be responsible for maintenance of the urns. Detailed drawings can be found at countrclubhistoric.org.