Capitol Hill, Denver/Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: All It’s Cracked Up to Be: Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.

When I was in grad school at the University of Denver, the “in” place to live was Capitol Hill. I really really really wanted to live there like all the “cool” kids did. But I didn’t live there. I lived in Englewood in the upstairs part of a house with a basement. What it’s like living over a basement full of hookers is another blog post. Then I lived near the university; that was pretty good because I was RIGHT BY school and in the building next to that of my best friend.

Then, single, finally, again, I moved to a place near Washington Park. The place was OK, except for bits of the ceiling falling down. Then I finally moved to Capitol Hill — not the kind of place I WANTED but it was fine. A friend who lived in the building hooked me up and I had a one room apartment in a sixties building decorated in the faux Spanish concept. The ceiling had such heavy plaster in the hallway that it looked (to me) like bat guano (I’ve never seen bat guano). My life improved dramatically! I was close enough to walk to my job in a downtown Denver Law firm. It was a beautiful walk and a great transition from the world of painting and writing (MY world) to my gainful employment as a paralegal. My friend Wes, another artist, lived only a block and a half away. The place had a pool which was enjoyable. Cheeseman Park was a block to the east. Wow.

At some point, out of boredom, I changed the route for my walk home. Then I saw it. 12th and Marion. A canvas awning with “The Dalton” painted on it. It was two stories, very art deco. I passed it every day and every day got a kind of “feeling” from it. When a “For Rent” sign appeared in a first floor window I called immediately. I moved in on Halloween, 1980, with the help of a great friend who lived not far away and one of the guys in the mail room. We hauled large furniture three blocks in the back of my VW Bug, one piece at a time. Somehow I thought that was fun.

It really was perfect. Hardwood floors, a beautiful art deco (not usable) fireplace, niches for books, a simple kitchen in the style of the 1920’s, a black-and-white tiled bathroom. I didn’t have any furniture but as time passed I accumulated nice hand-me-downs. I was living in Denver’s most interesting neighborhood, I could walk anywhere I wanted to go, my friends were all close-by and I loved the ambiance of my own apartment.

I learned later from the most reliable source in the world (Helen Bonfils’ husband) that Helen Bonfils’ had built it for the actors and actresses who worked in the theater she built on Colfax in the late 1920s.

Living in Capitol Hill was truly “everything it was cracked up to be.” I’d go back in a heartbeat!

The building is still apartments, with pretty hefty rents. You can see it here. My apartment is now called the “Canterbury” – fitting since I’m now a medievalist.

If you have an interest in arcane Denver theater history, you can learn a little something here

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13 thoughts on “Capitol Hill, Denver/Daily Prompt

  1. This is very lovely. I try to make my home somewhat similar. If I could afford it, I’d love to go south for a couple of months and rent such a place. Very nice indeed. Thanks for sharing.

    • I was so lucky and I loved living there for two years. After that I went to China for a year. I tried to move back when I returned, but the building had changed hands and rent was way out of my price range. I still lived on Capitol Hill, in another beautiful 1920’s apartment, though. 🙂 I now live in a house I love as much. ❤

      • Isn’t that the pits? But I am glad you are living in a house you love as much. My house (the first-half) was build 9n 1973, and the second part which looks more Victorian was built 12 years ago. I love it. But as I get older, there is a lot of maintenance, and I may have to move out one day too soon for my liking.

  2. Same here — my house was originally built as a mountain cabin for use on weekends (back in the 20’s) but it’s been added onto several times to make it a 12 month livable house. Still, it’s a lot of upkeep. Thank goodness this is California where (unless it burns down) there’s not much weather to contend with. I hope I get to stay, but who knows? If I can’t, I’ll move back to Colorado. 🙂

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