The Golden Triangle is a neighborhood in Denver defined in the minds of locals and visitors. It is an area of vast importance to the Denver Metropolitan Area, and to the state of Colorado with many civic and cultural institutions located in the northern part of the neighborhood in an area called the Civic Center. The neighborhood is one of the most important, historic, and vibrant neighborhoods in Denver. According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, the population of the neighborhood is 630. Though recent new developments have added many new residential units in the neighborhood so the current population is probably much higher than that, possibly even above 1,000 people.
The Golden Triangle is not a statistical neighborhood as defined by the city of Denver. However, another neighborhood called Civic Center has roughly the same geographical boundaries as the Golden Triangle. These are the boundaries:
- North- Colfax Avenue
- West and South- Speer Boulevard
- East- Broadway
However, most Denverites including the Downtown Denver Partnership, and the Golden Triangle Neighborhood Association define the Golden Triangle as extending one block east to Lincoln Street, thereby incorporating almost all of Civic Center Park and the institutions surrounding them (with the exception of the Colorado State Capitol in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and a few buildings to the north of Colfax Avenue). The main arterial street through the Golden Triangle is Bannock Street. 13th, 14th, and 8th avenues are important east-west arterials as well. All of the streets that provide the borders for the neighborhood (Lincoln/Broadway, Colfax, and Speer) are important transportation corridors for Denver.
The Golden Triangle is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Denver, with many single family Victorian homes and bungalows built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1904 and 1919, Denver Mayor Robert Speer completed his ambitious plan for the Civic Center area, adding many civic institutions and a neoclassic park to the north of the neighborhood, and placing a leafy concrete urban canyon around Cherry Creek, creating Speer Boulevard, the neighborhood’s western and southern border.
After World War II, the Golden Triangle became a business support area for the cental business district and most of those historic homes were bulldozed in favor of surface parking lots, car dealerships, supply stores and other businesses.
Starting in the 1190s, perhaps as the result of the new Cental Library, the neighborhood began its transformation into a functional and vibrant multi-use neighborhood. New condominium and loft developments came into the neighborhood, and many of the old supply stores and garages were transformed into hip restaurants, art galleries, and small offices.
The Golden Triangle is still undergoing many transformations. The construction of a new justice center recently passed a city-wide vote, with the local neighborhood association being a part of the discussion and approval process for the new center which will contain Denver’s jail.. There are also some new ideas about expandingCivic Center Park to include the justice center and the Denver Mint three blocks away from where the park is currently. The Denver Art Museum’s new wing is expected to be completed in early 2006, further developing the neighborhood’s already vibrant art scene.
Curious Theatre Company, located at 1080 Acoma St. is a keystone of the performing arts in the The Golden Triangle. Housed in a historic church structure (built in 1895, the original Acoma originally served as the Swedish Evangelical Free Church, later becoming The Upper Room United Pentecostal Church. In 1995, a private partnership was formed to purchase and renovate this 10,000 square foot building, naming it â€œThe Acoma Centerâ€. ) Curious Theatre Company is a 9 year old company of artists dedicated to producing Regional and World Premieres of the best new plays in theatre. Curious celebrates its role as a â€œtheatre of the communityâ€, striving to build bridges to audiences that demonstrate the relevance of theatre in our daily lives. Curious has had a presence in the Golden Triangle for the past 9 years.
However, there is some neighborhood concern that the area is developing too quickly. Some Denverites criticize some recent condominium developments of Craig Nassi such as the Prado, a luxury 18-story neo-historic French-style building that some say are too big, and too garish (and fairly expensive) for the neighborhood. There are three of these developments built in the last five years by Nassi who apparently combined different property’s entitlements to get around the height restrictions of the neighborhood. While the developments are technically legal, some critics say the zoning does not really intend for his condominiums to be built in the Golden Triangle. His supporters contend that Nassi has built some architecturally beautiful and classic buildings that show off Denver as a great place to live. Indeed, Denver Nuggets basketball starCarmelo Anthony’s Prado penthouse was featured on MTV’s show Cribs.
Nonetheless, the Golden Triangle is one of the hot neighborhoods in Denver right now, and the new developments are likely only going to further the area’s popularity.