Mapleton Hill is one of the oldest and dreamiest neighborhoods in Boulder. Walking up tree-lined Mapleton Avenue, you’re presented with almost every late nineteenth century architectural style. The wide streets, expansive lawns and sprawling porches make for the very picture of Rockwellian scenarios. And with most houses going for a million dollars, those quaint features come at a premium.
- History: Many of the residences constructed between 1895 and 1910 still stand in Boulder’s Mapleton Hill area. This neighborhood was popular from the start due to the good drainage and excellent views that the hill provided. The first building on Mapleton Avenue was the Mapleton school, built in 1888 and opened for 250 students the next year. Much of the Mapleton Hill neighborhood is a designated historic district. This distinction means that Boulder’s homeowners in this neighborhood receive state tax credit and preservation grants from the Colorado Historical Society for restoring properties. The results can be seen all over in the well-preserved and luxorious old houses that make up much of the charm of this neighborhood.
- Housing: The majority of residences are single-family with a great deal of that Victorian and Queen Anne architecture. As the average listing price for a home in this neighborhood is above the $1 million mark (you could say there’s not much affordable housing in the area). A few estate homes have been converted into town home and condominium developments, but the majority of houses are large and pricey.
- Family & Fitness: This neighborhood is all about location. There isn’t much commerce (meaning almost no restaurants or shopping in the immediate area) so Mapleton Hill really feels like an old-school neighborhood. But the location is amazing because you’re within walking distance of all that Pearl street and downtown Boulder has to offer. This area scores an 83 in walkability from WalkScore.com, making it one of the highest-ranked in town. In addition, you’re also super close to the Mount Sanitas and Sanitas Valley trail heads, making an early morning hike before work not out of the question.
- Schools: Whittier International Elementary, Casey Middle, Boulder High
- Quirks: Over 200 silver maple and cottonwood trees were planted by early Mapleton Hill developers. The mature trees that cover the neighborhood add to the appeal of the neighborhood but according to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr, Norway maple or pin oak would have been a better choice. Turns out the silver maple is a brittle and short-lived tree. Don’t tell that to the trees on Mapleton Hill. The Squires house at 1019 Spruce Street was built in 1865 and is thought to be the oldest in town. And in more recent fame, the Mapleton Hill neighborhood found itself at the center of a media frenzy in early 2013 when an elk was shot by two police officers in the middle of Mapleton Avenue.
- Major street boundaries: Broadway on the east, Spruce on the south, and some say Maxwell on the north while others say Alpine.
Mapleton Hill is a beautiful and historic neighborhood. There is easy walking and biking access to hiking and Pearl Street action, along with the serenity of a tight-knit, family-oriented community. Drive slowly, children (and adults) at play
Top Photo Credit: Carolannie–slow return via Flickr.