The developers of Whittier were among Denver’s earliest citizens. These pioneers played vigorous roles as leaders in agriculture, mining, railroading, education, manufacturing, retailing, and government during the formation of the city. A. B. Case, one of the first settlers in Denver in 1859, was a founder of the University of Denver and a prominent figure in the movement to reform city government. The Case Addition, filed in 1868, was the first subdivision platted in Whittier and is located in the northeasternmost quadrant of the neighborhood.The neighborhood was home to many of Denver’s finest craftsmen, who contributed to the architectural details of some of the community’s most significant structures. Their skills are evidenced in ornate details found on many of the homes. Most of the larger and more ornate residences are located on corner lots, which display their impressive details to the best advantage.
The historic significance of Whittier was noted in 1974 and again in 1983 in surveys conducted by the Colorado Historical Society. The Denver Landmark Preservation Commission, in a report issued in 1995, recognized the potential for designation of High and Williams streets within Whittier as a historic district.The information on this page was excerpted from the book, Whittier Neighborhood and San Rafael Historic District, written by Jim L. Raughton, and designed by Cathy Calder (both Whittier residents). The book features four walking tours of the two neighborhoods, with photos and information about all of the featured structures. The book can be purchased from the Whittier Neighborhood Association.