Westwood


Before the depression of 1929, Westwood was little more than rolling prairie land. Westwood developed during the depression when times became hard and cheap land was the only land people could afford. It became a shack town, trailer town and tent town. Building lots were sold for $1 down and 50 cents a week. Then came World War II, and shack town became boom town. The Denver Ordinance Plant (present day Federal Center) was built west of Denver. Westwood was near the plant and land still was comparatively cheap, with building restrictions almost non-existent. Arms plant workers flocked to the town of Westwood. Houses, some below Denver's standards, were rapidly built. In 1946, lots were selling on West Alameda Avenue for $10,000 a pair. Businesses increased from corner groceries to swank road houses, several with gross sales of $100,000 a year. The growth was too fast for any real community planning.

History
P.T. Barnum of "The Barnum & Bailey Circus" bought 760 acres of undeveloped land just west of Denver and platted a subdivision in 1882. He paid $11,000 for the land. From this project, some years later, another development company continued where P.T. Barnum left off, subdividing farther south along Morrison Road. In a 1946 newspaper article (describing the town of Westwood) it says, "one of the most thriving and upcoming little cities in the west...Westwood, Colorado."

Today
Westwood is a dense, predominately single-family residential neighborhood in southwest Denver with a population of 16,569 [2015]. In Westwood, 79.95% percent of residents are Latino, 11% are white, 1% Native American, 6% Asian, and 1% is African American. A large proportion of the population is recently arrived, mostly Mexican immigrants. More than 23.17% [2015] of residents do not speak English, and over 13% of births are to foreign mothers. The average annual wage in Westwood is $42,837 [2015] and that’s compared to $71,146 of median household income of residents in Denver Metro. Over 87% of children attending Westwood public schools qualified for free and reduced lunch in 2007. The neighborhood has many assets, including rich and unique cultural diversity. A committed team of diverse residents and organizations are working tirelessly to promote healthy eating and active living and economic opportunity in Westwood. The coalition has diverse participants from multiple sectors, strong resident participation, and a resident vision for a walkable, bikeable, active community.

Source: The Piton Foundation
More Info: Denver Community Planning and Development
Print