Historic Gateway Restored
On Thursday, May 6, Denver Parks and Recreation celebrated the restoration of City Park’s Sullivan Gateway, which faces Colfax Avenue at the end of the Esplanade through the East High campus.
DPR refurbished both the east and west lions head fountains, including new mechanical and electrical work to make them operational. The historical terra cotta walls adjacent to the fountains were rehabilitated, as well as the terra cotta crescent drive and walls. The $4.7 million project also included improving the surrounding landscape.
Happy Haynes, Manager of DPR, thanked the History Colorado State Historical Fund for a $200,000 grant that helped kick off the project, and East Angel Friends and Alumni Foundation for a $1,500 donation. She acknowledged East High School current Principal John Youngquist, and incoming Principal Terita Walker, who both attended the event. She also thanked the Registered Neighborhood Organizations and strong park advocates City Park Friends and Neighbors, City Park Alliance and Greater Park Hill Community, Inc, among others.
The Sullivan Gateway was built in 1917 as an impressive and grand entry to the City Park Esplanade, strongly influenced by the City Beautiful Movement. But the history of this land stretches back well beyond that time, and Haynes honored and acknowledged that the land is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho peoples, and 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the State of Colorado.
“We have waited a decade for the renewal of the Sullivan Gateway to be completed,” said Haynes, herself an East High alum. “The enhancements that have been made allow our children, our families, and our entire community to enter their experiences here with an even greater appreciation and pride in this space and joy in exploring the great city of Denver.”
Before the restoration, the walls were in such bad condition that Colorado Preservation Inc. listed it on their list of endangered places. Because of the Gateway’s significance, the walls had to be restored appropriately, with the right products and materials, to bring back their historic appearance. After testing in their shop yard, the masons found graffiti cleaning products and anti-graffiti coatings that worked without damaging the historic terra cotta.
Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca noted that the Sullivan Gate is “the physical structure that welcomes everyone into City Park, one of the few places left where those who have been displaced in a rapidly unaffordable city can still feel like they are home.”
Check out tinyurl.com/SullivanRestoration for additional information about the project, including “before” and “after” photos.
— Maria Flora
Golf Tourney Set For June 28
The First Annual City Park Alliance Golf Tournament will be held at City Park Golf Club the morning of Monday, June 28. The day of golf will include an innovative approach to the “longest drive,” and hole-in-one contests. Register to play at cityparkalliance.org. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
The tournament proceeds will be used to assist in funding City Park improvement projects, such as accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists. Funds raised will go to First Tee scholarships and to reinvigorate efforts to improve the aesthetics of the Denver Zoo’s Gate 15 near the Pavilion.
City Park Alliance is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprising board members whose memorable experiences in City Park are eclipsed only by their dedication to preserving and improving the park experience for others.
— Pat Maley
Color Field Lives On
What had been a sad and lonely part of City Park became awash with shimmering color and life delighting park-goers over the past year.
The Color Field art installation south of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and near the near 17th Avenue Parkway, was the brainchild of Denver artists Sarah and Josh Palmeri. The installation was the recipient of a grant from Denver Arts and Venues under their “P.S. You Are Here” program, a neighborhood revitalization effort.
With the help of volunteers, the Palmeris planted 6,000 painted gardening stakes into the seed beds of the Lily Pond, created in 1924 by landscape architect Saco de Boer. The artists painted the stakes in different colors on both sides so that as park-goers walked around the beds they would get a sense of movement as well as luminous color. The colors were inspired by the colors of Monet’s water lily paintings, the original inspiration of de Boer.
On May 7, the Palmeris gathered at Color Field to de-install the exhibit. The sadness of dismantling what had become a landmark for park-goers was offset by the steady flow of people coming to retrieve free stakes to reinvent Color Field in their own landscapes.
Louis Plachowski, who is one of the gardeners featured in this month’s Park Hill Garden Walk, has transplanted some of the stakes to his garden. Others will use their stakes to create their own artistic vision. Denver artist Darrell Anderson, a City Park Alliance board member, plans to fashion artworks that will be sold to benefit City Park at the CPA Golf Tournament in June. Fellow CPA board member Lawren Cary plans to make picture frames out of his stakes.
— Georgia Garnsey