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A Century Of Storytelling

Bibliophiles Rejoice; Park Hill Library Turning 100

By Tara Bannon Williamson

Park Hill Librarian

Robert Garrison’s stone plaque over the fireplace honors The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Photo courtesy Denver Public Library/Western History and Genealogy

Did you know that the Park Hill Branch Library is the 5th oldest Carnegie Library in Denver that is still in use today? Built in 1920, the library, at 4705 Montview Boulevard, turns 100 in 2020!

More fun facts:

• $1,800: The price of the land the library sits on in September 1919

• 8,000: The number of books the library was designed to hold

• 1985: The year the library received its first computer, an Apple IIe

The library is a Spanish Renaissance-style building that was designed by lauded Denver architect Burnham Hoyt. Hoyt is also credited with designing the Denver Press Club downtown, Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church’s Education Wing and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The Park Hill Library was designed by lauded Denver architect Burnham Hoyt. Photo courtesy Denver Public Library/Western History and Genealogy

The library also houses a sculpture by Robert Garrison. A stone plaque over the fireplace honors “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Garrison’s other notable sculptures are stone reliefs on the Sixth Avenue side of Rockefeller Center in New York City, and the gargoyles, also called medieval grotesques, at Denver’s South High School.

The official opening date of the library is shrouded in a bit of mystery. The only record of an opening date comes from a personal diary. According to the diary of the first Park Hill librarian, Quantrille D. McClung, the building opened to the public on Dec. 23, 1920. 

The library is planning festivities for the entire year of 2020. Do you have a suggestion for how you’d like to see the library celebrate? Do you have a story about the library to share? Email Tara at

Pauline Robinson Events

Tech Help Appointments | Tuesdays, noon-1 p.m.

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers.

Together We Count: 2020 Census | Thursday, Dec. 5, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The census is coming. Stand up and be counted. Participating in the 2020 Census will benefit your community, your children and the entire state of Colorado. Hear about how to participate and why the census matters to you. 

Kwanzaa | Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m. Kuumba (Creativity)

Kwanzaa is a celebration that honors the African first fruits harvest tradition. Take part in a festive cross-cultural experience highlighting the principles of Kwanzaa by creating your very own vision board. Light refreshments served. Ideal for all ages.

Park Hill Branch Events

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. 

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays & Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers. 

Play and Explore | Monday, Dec. 2, 10-11:45 a.m.

Play with us! Family members and caregivers are a child’s first playmates and teachers. Engage your child in play activities that can help build creativity, coordination, and problem-solving, strengthen muscles, increase social skills and encourage early earning. Ideal for ages 1-5 accompanied by an adult. 

The Man of 1000 Songs | Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Rob Wivchar will entertain music-lovers of all ages with a guitar and harmonica while performing storytelling songs with surprising backgrounds. 

Coloring for Grown Ups | Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m.

Come for a nostalgic hour of coloring, in or outside the lines. Use our supplies to unplug and color your way to serenity.

Looking Up, Looking Down: Images of Aviation in World War I | Saturday, Dec. 7, 2:30 p.m.

An illustrated presentation on how the experience of airplanes in flight affected the course of The Great War and resulted in lasting changes to the very act of seeing. 

Teen Advisory Board (TAB)  | Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

Join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan events and projects, talk about your favorite books, music, movies and make your opinion count. Plus snacks. Ideal for ages 13-18. 

Immigrants, Ornaments and Legacies: The Story of American Made Glass Christmas Ornaments | Wednesday, Dec. 11, 6:30 p.m.

Travel from Germany to Corning Glass Works for a nostalgic Christmas history lesson. Still sold today, learn about Shiny Brite™ and George Franke Christmas tree ornaments passed through the generations. 

Holiday Cards | Friday, Dec. 13, 4:30 p.m.

Get creative making holiday cards for family and friends. All ages: kids, teens and adults.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Rocky Mountain Aardvarks Family Music Program | Monday, Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m.

Music for Aardvarks includes original songs, rhythms and chants. The music is appealing to kids and adults alike and may incorporate singing, dancing, musical storytelling, instrumental jam sessions and more. 

Kids’ Book Club | Tuesday, Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m.

This month we won’t be reading a book but we will meet and play BINGO, win books and have snacks. Ideal for ages 6-9 but we will have some prize books for younger or older readers. Everyone is welcome! 

Underground Comedy Club: Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald | Thursday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m.

With a background that ranges from numerous tours as a bouncer with The Rolling Stones to a 25-year career in veterinary medicine (including 11 seasons on the popular Animal Planet television series Emergency Vets) to more than 20 years of performing as a professional stand-up comedian, Kevin Fitzgerald is a true renaissance man. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Eighteen and over only due to adult content.

Cute Coin Banks | Thursday, Dec. 26, 3 p.m.

Save your money with a cute coin bank. 

Erica Sodos Presents Pirate Magic | Friday, Dec. 27, 3 p.m.

Arrrr mateys . . . Captain Rosebud will enchant you into her magical and hilarious world of wild pirates, stolen treasure, and fairy gold. 

Mini Doghouse Craft | Monday, Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m.

Design a doghouse for a miniature stuffed dog.

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