Stapleton, Denver

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Stapleton, Denver, Colorado
Location in the state of Colorado
Location in the state of Colorado
Location within the County/City of Denver, Colorado
Location within the County/City of Denver, Colorado
CountryUnited States
Time zoneUTC–7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC–6 (MDT)
ZIP code
80237, 80238, 80239, 80010
Area code(s)303, 720

Stapleton is a neighborhood in Denver, Colorado.[1] Located northeast of downtown Denver, the development is on the site of the decommissioned Stapleton International Airport, which closed in 1995. Now referred to as the Stapleton Community, it contains nine neighborhoods, nine schools public/private, 50 parks, several shopping and business districts, and a visitor center. Since April 2016, Stapleton has been connected to the Denver metro area by RTD's A line, a recently opened commuter rail service.[2][3]


While Denver International Airport was being constructed, planners considered how the Stapleton site would be redeveloped. A private group of Denver civic leaders, the Stapleton Development Foundation, convened in 1990 and produced a master plan for the site in 1995, emphasizing a pedestrian-oriented design rather than the automobile-oriented designs found in many other planned developments. Nearly a third of the airport site was planned to be redeveloped as public park space.

The former airport 4,700 acres (19 km2) site 10 minutes from Downtown Denver is now being redeveloped by Forest City Enterprises new urbanist project. Construction began in 2001, and as of 2008, 3,200 single-family houses, row houses, condominiums and other for-sale housing, as well as 400 apartments, had been built.[4] The new community is zoned for residential and commercial development, including office parks and "big box" shopping centers. Stapleton is by far the largest neighborhood in the city of Denver and a southern portion of the redevelopment site lies in the neighboring city of Aurora.

In 2004, residents moved into Stapleton's first apartments, increasing its population to 2,500 residents. In 2006, Stapleton's population grew above 5,000 and the Denver School of Science and Technology opened along with The Shops at Northfield Stapleton.[5] In 2007, the 80 acres (32 ha) Central Park opened along with three new office buildings. Additionally, Stapleton's population surpassed 7,500 people.

The old Stapleton Control Tower as seen in 2008

Three years later, more than 14,000[citation needed] people lived in the Stapleton neighborhood, and the trail network reached 38 miles (61 km). In 2011, Stapleton received national recognition as the site of the 2011 HGTV Green Home. Additionally, a new interstate interchange opened, connecting Central Park Boulevard to I-70, I-270 and neighborhoods south of the interstate.

The community was originally visioned to be home to approximately 30,000 residents in around 12,000 homes, with more than 10 schools, an 80 acres (32 ha) central park, a commuter-rail station, 10,000,000 sq ft (930,000 m2). of planned office space, 1,500,000 sq ft (140,000 m2). of retail space, and 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) for parks and open space.[6] Stapleton's 1,100 acres (4.5 km2) of open space also borders the restored Sand Creek Regional Greenway and Bluff Lake Nature Center, one of the nation's largest urban wildlife refuges.

As of 2018, Stapleton has a population of around 75,000[citation needed] residents living amongst 23,500[citation needed] households. The Northfield section of the development (north of Interstate 70) still has significant residential and commercial development occurring today. The University of Colorado A-Line directly connecting Denver Union Station downtown to Denver International Airport started operating in 2016 and has one stop in Stapleton; the Central Park Station. Adjacent to the station construction began in 2019 of the Central Park Station Transit-Oriented Development spanning five blocks which will include apartments, offices, a hotel and retail.[7]


Stapleton is served by the Central Park commuter rail and bus station, with direct connections to Union Station in downtown and the Denver International Airport via the A Line.


The original airport was named for Benjamin Franklin Stapleton (November 12, 1869 – May 23, 1950) who was the Mayor of Denver for two periods (comprising five terms), the first from 1923 to 1931 and the second from 1935 to 1947. He also served as a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan and the Democratic Colorado State Auditor from 1933 to 1935. Beginning in 1925 Stapleton began distancing himself from the Klan, undermining their power in the police force and welcoming the NAACP convention that June.[8] Today, the Stapleton neighborhood continues to bear his name despite his complex history and some political pressure to rename it[9] due to Benjamin Stapleton's adherence to white supremacy and membership in the Ku Klux Klan for a time in his life.[10]


  1. ^ "The Story of Stapleton Denver". Stapleton Denver. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  2. ^ BY THE NUMBERS Retrieved: July 17, 2014
  3. ^ Stapleton Business Ready: Facts, Figures and Updates. Retrieved: July 17, 2014
  4. ^
  5. ^ 8340 Northfield Boulevard, Denver, CO. 80238 :: 303-375-5475. Northfield Stapleton. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
  6. ^ USA Today
  7. ^ Central Park Station Coming to Life
  8. ^ "Who was Benjamin Stapleton". Front Porch. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  9. ^ "Stapleton". Black Lives Matter 5280. 2015-12-14. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  10. ^ "Renewed push to change Stapleton's name due to its KKK ties". KUSA. Retrieved 2018-02-20.

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