Hilltop is a beautiful neighborhood adorned with magnificent architecture, tree-lined streets and active parks and schools. Views of the Rocky Mountains can be seen from the flagstone terrace atop the crest of Cranmer Park.
The neighborhood of Hilltop is bordered by Colorado Boulevard to the west, Holly Street to the east, 8th Avenue to the north and Alameda Avenue to the south.
The formation of Hilltop, like many other neighborhoods, had several influences. One which may not be expected is the presence of water. Branching off the Highline Canal, which ran south of Hilltop, an offshoot called the City Lateral Canal was negotiated and built. It ran “north through the present Crestmoor, crossing Holly Street into Hilltop just north of the present Third Avenue, and continued across Colorado Boulevard to Congress Park.” The canal crossed the developing area along what was called Thrice Place, lying between Third and Fourth Avenues and later “subject to right of way for electric cars and water and gas mains.”
The other influence on Hilltop’s development was the nearby existence of street cars. One line ran East along 8th Avenue, another ran south on Quebec. The corner of 8th and Quebec was the Phipps Memorial Tuberculosis Sanitorium. The streetcar line continued south to Fairmont Cemetery. This line was used for picnickers visiting the park-like area as well as for mourning families.
The water that began to alter the landscape of the dry plains along with the existence of transportation drew developers to the area and townships began to develop along the north and south sides of the City Lateral Canal.
By 1886, developer Milo A. Smith recognized the “attractiveness of the newly green hill and mountain view and platted the Eastern Capitol Hill Subdivision” just south of the City Lateral Canal. In 1892, Bradford DuBois along with William H. Malone, purchased the land north of the City Lateral Canal creating the Malone and DuBois Subdivision. The two subdivisions were mapped independently and failed to connect where they joined at the canal, creating the jog in north/south running streets which many find a pleasant uniqueness to the Hilltop Neighborhood. The two subdivisions were joined together to form Hilltop when they were annexed to the City of Denver in May 1893.
The information found in this summary was borrowed with permission from Alice Bakemeier and her book, Hilltop Heritage – A History and Guide to a Denver Neighborhood.