Yard Arteology: The study of neighbors through lawn decoration.
Perhaps the most thrilling moment for a yard arteologist is when, after two hours of schlepping up and down neighborhood streets and seeing only birdbaths and flowerpots, he comes face-to-face with a mysterious specialty item. These handmade wonders not only prove that life in Denver does exist, but that life here is wonderfully weirder than previously expected...
Figure 69. Chaffee Park: Front-yard baptismal font is ready to rock a newborn's world.
The trees in the above photo prove that this is an older established neighborhood. The small clapboard home denotes that the neighborhood was built during the post-world-war baby boom for lower middle-class families. The yard art made of tile and stone hint that this tiny home was the nexus of neighborhood newborns.
The chest-high chalice-shaped urn made of hand-laid stone suggest that this is a natural pool to be used for the immersion of infants in sacred religious ritual. The tile finish and width of the knee-high concrete pedestal beneath the baptismal font indicates that this area was the work-space that held the vessel, cruet, Purificator, candle and bullhorn needed for baptism. That it has fallen upon disrepair argues that it is no longer in use as intended.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.