The Wheeler Block dominates the southeast corner of West 29th Avenue and Vallejo Street. It recalls Charles A. Wheeler. After unsuccessfully looking for gold during the Pikes Peak gold rush, he served as a sergeant in the Civil War. He was especially a crucial figure in putting together what became the Colorado & Southern Railway in the late 19th century. Additionally, he was a founder of the Denver Athletic Club.

Early on Wheeler plunged into North Side real estate. In 1890 he pulled building permit #1128 on June 25th and permit #1284 on July 21 to erect the Wheeler Block as an apartment house/meeting hall at a cost of $30,000. With his encouragement, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Knights of Pythias, and numerous other social and political clubs made their North Side home in what was sometimes called Wheeler Hall. The Wheeler Block is a well preserved representative of nineteenth century commercial construction.

“ To be a perfect Eden, a Utopia, was the dream and ambition of the whole town of Highlands, the people of the town were a very proud people. They were proud of their gardens, their trees, their churches, their schools, their pure air, their pure water, their pure morals – especially their pure morals.”

General William Larimer, Jr., laid out the townsite of Highland on the hilly bluffs facing the South Platte River in December 1858. On the east side of the river, two other towns had previously been created, Auraria and Denver City.

The acreage claimed by the townsite was larger than that included within the boundaries of either Auraria or Denver City. The site was notable for its elevation about the river valley and its scenic views, but its isolation from the other settlements by the topography made access an early challenge.

The Highland Town Company organized in the fall or early summer of 1859. In 1875 the town of Highlands was incorporated. Highlands, which comprised about two square miles of land, viewed itself as an elite suburb, where residents enjoyed fresh air, solid homes, pure water, and the lack of undesirable influences such as saloons. The Highlands is not just one district, but more than thirty-five separate sub-divisions. The city had high aspirations of its own, touting clean air high above the smoke and industry of Denver, clean artesian water, and most important, clean morals.

The hopes and glory of Highlands were short-lived. There were major transportation difficulties crossing the South Platte into Denver and climbing the hill up to Highlands.

These problems and the 1893 Silver Crash, which strained the town’s finances, led to a vote by Highlands citizens in 1896 to annex Highlands to Denver.

For Questions


Tucker Manion

Phone: 303.297.3137

Email: tmanion@cpointproperties.com

Alan Bruno

Phone: 303.297.3137

Email: alanb@cpointproperties.com