Baker is generally defined by these boundaries: Northern Boundary - West 6th Avenue, Eastern Boundary - Lincoln Avenue, Southern Boundary - Mississippi Avenue, Western Boundary - Platte River
Within those boundaries is a Landmark District with irregular borders that range from within a half block of Alameda and Broadway on the South and East to as far as Fox on the West and 5th on the North. The Landmark District designation is part of the Denver city government's Historic Preservation effort.
By some measures, Baker is the oldest neighborhood in Denver as it has the oldest stock of buildings in the city. The neighborhood includes several 19th century brick houses and several homes by locally famous architect William Lang.
Referred to in the early 1800’s as South Side or South Broadway, the laud where the Baker neighborhood is located today was originally a 160‑acre tract homesteaded by William and Elizabeth Byers.
Elizabeth’s brother, Edward Sumner, and mountaineer James Beckwourth joined them for the trip to Denver. Armed with a printing press, John Dailey came along with the Byers, and shortly after arriving in Denver published the first issue of the Rocky Mountain News in 1859.
If you have ever wondered how Broadway was created, we have Thomas
Skerritt to thank! Following the 1864 flood of Cherry Creek, he dragged a log behind his wagon to create a “broad way” into Denver!
Baker’s first subdivisions were platted in 1872 but most development occurred following the annexation of South Side to Denver in 1883. Broadway’s cable cars as well as the Circle Railroad system drew citizens to South Side.
Two of Denver’s mayors were residents of South Side‑Marion D. Van Horn (‘1893‑95) and Thomas S. McMurray (1895‑7,). Prominent women from the area include Sadie Likens (the first Police Matron of Denver,),
Alice Polk Hill (Colorado’s first Poet Laureate) and Mary Coyle Chase (writer of the Pulitzer winning play Harvey).
Much of Baker’s development was related to commercial and industrial growth.
Denver’s professional baseball team played at a ballpark at 6th Avenue and Broadway from 1893‑1922. What is now Denver Health Medical Center is located at the County Hospital site established in 1873 at West 6th Avenue and Bannock. Gradually, Broadway transitions from residential to the commercial use we see today.
Besides housing the largest number of middle‑class Queen Anne homes in
Denver, Baker boasts the Mayan Theatre, one of the most unique buildings in the city. Built in 1930 by architect Montana Fallis, the Mayan was constructed over the fire damaged Queen Theater. With a Pre‑Columbian theme, the theatre is one of a kind. Fortunately, it was saved from
demolition in 1984 and fully restored by 1987. Today it is a recognized Denver Landmark and regularly shows independently produced films.
Baker was designated a National Historic district in 1985 and continues
to draw residents who love the charm of its history and the conveniences of its urban location.
Recently, Baker has become a popular urban neighborhood because of its central location and its access to several commercial business enclaves. This has led to a transformation of the neighborhood, which worries some residents because of an increased density, more traffic, and the propensity of some developers to scrape historic homes and replace them with denser luxury duplexes, town-homes, or other development.
Taken from: bakerneighborhood.org and wikipedia.com