Our Neighbors – Globeville-Elyria-Swansea, What’s Old Is New Again

By: Tracy Williams, President TradeWinds Communications

There’s a lot of “old” in the Globeville-Elyria-Swansea (GES) area these days.

It is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, but it wasn’t always one unified community.

Located just five miles west of Stapleton, both Elyria and Swansea each began as separate incorporated towns. Swansea was founded and annexed to Denver in 1883 and again in 1902 (in two phases).

Elyria was founded and annexed to Denver in 1902, and the Globeville neighborhood was originally settled in the late 1880’s around the Globe Smelting and Refining Company.

All are located in what is considered North Denver.

Dotted with quaint cottages, it is also home to several old, but major landmarks, including the soon-to-be overhauled National Western Complex, the Denver Coliseum, the Nestle Purina Pet Care factory and the 13th Floor Haunted House.

The Riverside Cemetery, Denver’s oldest burial ground, is also located in GES.

And some of the city’s best Mexican restaurants and markets have been in GES for years, including Panaderia Sanchez Restaurante and Bakery and El Tepetate Market.

Elyria Park is also a longstanding family gathering spot for families, community events, barbecues and celebrations.

The Growhaus (not to be confused with any of the surrounding cannabis dispensaries) is a large indoor food farm that offers residents access to an abundance of affordable, fresh-grown, weekly produce harvested on site or provided to them through partnerships with other entities. The Growhaus also offers bilingual gardening classes, health and nutrition lectures, and summer programs for youth and others interested in learning to grow, harvest, cook, can, pickle, and produce their own food.

Long-time residents of the neighborhood hope to see treasures such as these remain in the area and preserve portions of the community’s historical roots, and working-class principles.

But while old can be a good thing when cherishing our neighborhoods, the progress of new development is on the horizon in this area.

The aforementioned National Western Complex is undergoing a $1 billion makeover, which will add new buildings, grounds and events, and is expected to attract an additional 1 million visitors annually.

Up to 350 new businesses are also expected to locate near the center and create as many as 10,000 new jobs.

Added to this mix is a $200 million, six-acre transit-oriented development near 48th and Race streets. The development, expected to open in late 2018, will include 560 residential units (including mixed-income for-rent and for-sale homes) and 80,000 square feet of commercial space.

So, while much is new and anticipated in GES, those with an appreciation for the community’s unique, old-style character are working to keep those elements in place for generations to come, and are anticipating what the revitalization plans have in store for the future landscape of Globeville-Elyria-Swansea.

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