Project at City Park Golf Course on schedule to be finished next May

A new exhibit will look at the history of 'The People's Court'


Nearly a year after the closure of the City Park Golf Course, the clubhouse has been demolished and construction has started on the new one, which will be directly across the street from the Denver Zoo’s main entrance at 2300 Steele St.

City Park Golf Course opened to the public in 1913 at 2500 York St. The land was formerly a dairy farm covering 136 acres and an exhibit in the new clubhouse will help honor its history as the “People’s Course.”

City Park, for instance, was one of the first courses to allow African-American men to play in the 1960s through the East Denver Golf Club, which used it as its home course.

“We just want to make sure people are celebrating that,” said Leslie Wright, director of marketing for Denver Golf.

Last November, the 18-hole golf course at one of Denver’s largest parks shut down for construction. City Park is part of the overall Platte to Park Hill plan, which aimed to mitigate neighborhood flooding with nearly $300 million worth of projects.

In addition to increasing the flood retention at City Park Golf Course, the project includes a redesign of the entire area. The project was estimated at $40 million. Hale Irwin, a professional golfer-turned-course designer, was brought in for the work along with Broomfield-based iConGolf Studio.

Platte to Park Hill is focusing on Denver’s northern neighborhoods, said Nancy Kuhn a spokesperson with Denver Public Works.

“With no natural drainage way in this area, such as a creek or stream, and a century-old network of underground pipes that are aging, undersized and inadequate, these neighborhoods are the most at-risk for flooding in Denver,” she said in an email.

Part of the construction at City Park included removing a 102-inch pipe that was previously used for storm drainage. Now, the course’s new design is meant to hold various levels of water, enough for a 100-year storm. The retention area allows the water to slowly drain instead of flooding the nearby neighborhoods.

Flood mitigation is all on the west side of the course, which is under construction now, Wright said.

There was some controversy behind the project, as seven Denver residents sued the city before the course’s closure saying the project violated the city charter.

David H. Goldberg, a judge for Denver District Court, ruled in favor of the city on Oct. 26, days before the course was set to close on Nov. 1.

So far, construction is on schedule to be completed at the end of May next year, Wright said. After that, the city will let the grass re-grow on the course before reopening it to the public. The city is hoping to reopen as early as next fall, Wright said.

“Reopening is really going to depend on grass growth,” she said. “Mother Nature is going to play a big role.”


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