The Ballpark neighborhood has weathered some tough times in recent years, including an influx of the homeless and an identity crisis that sees the area often mistakenly labeled RiNo. But long before that hip hot spot emerged, the Ballpark Neighborhood developed in the blocks of old warehouses and Victorian storefronts just past LoDo, a softball's throw from Coors Field, which opened in 1995.
Lately, though, the neighborhood has been re-energized, with a push to create a business improvement district. And now it looks like the area has a hit with The Square on 21st, a new summer pop-up park on 21st Street between Larimer and Lawrence streets. Through August 15, this urban oasis will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (standard Denver park hours), with shaded seating areas, lawn games, food and beverage vendors, a performance space, an area for off-leash dogs and plenty of activities, including bike rides and a silent disco from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 16, following an appearance by Dinger, that mangy mascot who'll hype tonight's Rockies game.
“As Denver continues to grow, access to quality outdoor spaces is increasingly important," Mayor Michael Hancock said in dedicating the outdoor space on June 15. “Our parks bring neighbors together, and this new public space will allow the community to spend time outdoors and experience our vibrant downtown in new ways.”
Denver Community Planning and Development, Parks and Recreations and the Downtown Denver Partnership worked alongside residents and business owners to re-image the one-block stretch of downtown; last month, neighbors worked with artist (and Westword cover boy) Pat Milbery on the murals that decorate the space.
Milbery and his colleagues showed off their work at the June 15 dedication; keep reading to see photos of the event. For a complete schedule of activities at the Square on 21st, go to denvergov.org/thesquareon21st.
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See more photos in our Square on 21st slideshow.