Did you know?

The name "Krisana" Park is an amalgamation of the names'f the original owners of the area, which was once an alfalfa field.

Honoring the Unique Character of Krisana Park

In 2013 Historic Denver developed a relationship with neighbors in Krisana Park, neighbors who love their special enclave of mid-century modern homes tucked in Denver's Virginia Village neighborhood.  After several informal conversations Historic Denver hosted a neighborhood meeting at the local library and described the various tools available to neighborhoods interesting in protecting their unique character. 

Krisana Park is a unique and well-loved neighborhood. Its special mid-century character, from the streetscapes to the individual homes, has served long-time residents well and continues to attract newcomers. In 2013 Historic Denver and the Krisana Park neighbors began a partnership that resulted in a Pattern Book, and more recently, the approval of a Conservation Overlay District (a form of customized zoning) that is designed to honor and protect the neighborhood's character.  Both projects were born out of a desire among neighbors to better understand what makes the neighborhood special so that those characteristics can be valued and maintained. The Pattern Book provides a history and contextual description of the neighborhood and gives visual descriptions, accompanied by photographs, of the features that make it unique. The book answers common questions about maintenance issues and often-desired modifications, providing advice on how to make the homes work for modern families while also retaining the overall character of Krisana Park.  The book also helped inform the provision of the Conservation Overlay District, approved November 21, 2016.

Krisana Park is located between Louisiana and Florida, Dahlia and Filbert Way.

Denver at Midcentury

In the late 1940s, Brad Wolff and his father, developer H.B. Wolff, acquired an alfalfa field in southeast Denver. Responding to Denver’s post-war housing shortage, they planned the construction of a new subdivision. The design of Krisana Park, however, stood out. Unlike the more common cul-de-sacs of Ranch Style houses under development across metro Denver, the Wolffs were inspired by the modernist designs of California developer Joseph Eichler. They named their development Krisana Park, and began construction on its 174 homes in 1954. Marketing their homes as “3-D Contemporaries,” prices started at $15,950. Financing was offered. With the GI Bill, returning soldiers could pay a $50 down payment and monthly payments of $104.02. According to the promotional brochure, Krisana Park offered:

• New materials and new methods of construction
• A new perspective in living at a popular price
• A house planned to permit the maximum enjoyment of
outdoor living
• The first properly-planned subdivision built in the city of
• Homes designed by a Builder-Designer-Landscape
Architect team to achieve proper balance of exterior designs; colors of sidings and roofs; and combinations of masonry, redwood, and glass
• Economy of large-scale building without sameness or monotony
• Features that reduce upkeep and make housework easier for women with busy schedules

Krisana Park Design Features

Intrigued by Eichler’s new developments in California, the Wolffs decided to replicate them in Denver. Brad Wolff traveled to California to look at Eichler houses under construction. Working with their architect Frenchie Gratts, the Wolffs brought nearly exact copies of Eichler’s houses to Colorado. Adapting to the colder climate, additional insulation was added to the roof and the central atriums were eliminated. Slab-on-grade construction was also replaced with a concrete foundation supporting floor joists over a crawlspace.
Key features of Krisana Park houses include:
• Post and beam construction
• Vertical redwood siding with concrete block
accent walls
• Low pitched roofs with wide eave overhangs
• Attached carports
• Asymmetrical floor plans
• Emphasis on indoor-outdoor living
• Few windows facing street
• Aluminum windows
• Large window walls onto private yards
• Lanai
• Stained redwood fence
• Outside storage

Conservation Overlay

On November 21, 2016 Denver City Council unanimously approved the CO-5 Conservation Overlay for Krisana Park.  This overlay provides customized zoning provisions that will encourage continuity and the preservation of the neighborhood's character, and it makes it simpler for owners to renovate and add to their homes while honoring the original design and aesthetic of the neighborhood.  It is intended to maintain the distinctive features of the California Contemporary style, including:
– Low pitched roof lines
– Low profile, single-story building heights
– Compatible additions

You can learn more about the Conservation Overlay here.