Initially founded in 1858 by Scottish, English and Welsh immigrants, the neighborhood is distinguished from others in Denver by the unusual square platting of blocks. These square blocks allowed each home to face all adjacent streets and provided for a carriage turnaround in the center of the block. While some of these center blocks have been distributed among adjoining properties, other center lots remain and provide a communal feel to the residents. Some mansions were built to attract buyers early on, but most homes in the neighborhood -- constructed between 1893 and 1939 -- are a more modest mix of Victorian, Queen Anne, bungalows, and later ranch-style homes.
The preservation and continued enjoyment of some of the Highlands' original shopping districts, including at 32nd and Lowell, lend this neighborhood its historic sensibility and charm. Art galleries, book stores, coffee shops and cafes on quiet streets give the neighborhood an intimate feel despite its proximity to downtown.
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